Donald J. Trump is going to stand in the U.S. House of Representatives next week to deliver his State of the Union speech.
I really am wondering how he’s going to characterize the state of our Union. Will he declare it strong? Is it vibrant? Does our Union reflect his aim to “make America great again”?
Were the president to ask me about how I view the state of our Union, I would have tell him the harsh truth as I see it. The Union is broken. It is damaged badly. It needs repair.
I get that the economy is rocking along. We’re adding tens of thousands of jobs each month. Unemployment is at near-historic lows. The economic improvement has accelerated during the first two years of the president’s term. For that I give him due credit.
However, there is so much more that is fractured.
The president cannot possibly declare, given the state of our federal functionality, declare the Union to be strong. Oh, but he’ll likely seek to do exactly that. He might draw laughter from the Democratic side of the House chamber along with the cheers that will come from the Republicans.
Our federal government is on life support. Congress and the president cannot pay for it to run for longer than weeks at a time. They are haggling over The Wall. Trump is trying to keep a profoundly stupid campaign promise to build the thing; he is trying to foist the cost on you and me while ignoring the pledge he made dozens of times that Mexico would pay for The Wall.
He will declare that there’s a “crisis” on the southern border. There is no crisis. Indeed, the only crisis I can find is within the United States, where gunmen keep killing fellow Americans. Do you remember the president’s pledge that “this American carnage” was going to stop? It hasn’t ended. He will ignore that, too.
Well, I look forward to hearing from the president. I cannot support him or his agenda. I cannot condone the way he berates his national security team, or how he insults his foes and denigrates the media.
How will he frame the state of our Union, which in reality is as divided as it has been for the past two decades? It likely will bear no resemblance to what many millions of Americans perceive.