State of the Union Address 2018


Paige Gerling

President Donald Trump gave the first annual State of the Union address of his presidency Tuesday night, following the one year anniversary of the 2017 presidential inauguration.


In the speech, Trump focused on unifying the nation, proposing to set aside differences and work together to serve the American people.


“I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve,” Trump said.


Immigration was also a major topic, with Trump outlining his proposed immigration plan. Trump said the four pillar plan would represent a compromise between Democrats and Republicans, and would create a safe and lawful system.


“So let us come together, set politics aside, and finally get the job done,” Trump said.


Americans who served their communities were recognized in the speech, including Coast Guard officer Ashlee Leppert, who helped rescue people impacted by Hurricane Harvey, and firefighter David Dahlberg, who saved children and staff members from a wildfire at a California summer camp.


“Each test has forged new American heroes to remind us who we are, and show us what we can be,” Trump said


Another topic of the night was terrorism. Trump talked about the evils of terrorists, and new plans to combat terrorism and groups like ISIS. Trump also signed an order to keep the detention facility of Guantánamo Bay open.


“But we must be clear: Terrorists are not merely criminals. They are unlawful enemy combatants,” Trump said.


Trump also honored North Korean defector Ji Seong-ho, detailing Seong-ho’s journey to freedom.


“Seong-ho’s story is a testament to the yearning of every human soul to live in freedom,” Trump said.


The political unity Trump focused on in his speech was not reflected in the faces of Democratic representatives, many of who sported faces of unrest throughout the speech. Several Democrats also wore Time’s Up pins in support of the movement to take action against sexual misconduct.


“We all feel the fractured fault lines across our country. We hear the voices of Americans who are forgotten and feel forsaken,” Representative Joe Kennedy III said during the Democratic Response to the State of the Union.


Other topics addressed in the speech include infrastructure, health care, economy, and crime.