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Bucks Students Weigh in on the State of the Union Address

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Bucks Students Weigh in on the State of the Union Address

courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Jackson Weaver, Jackson Weaver

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Amid recovery from the longest government shutdown in history, on Tuesday Feb. 5, President Donald J. Trump delivered the annual State of the Union Address in the House of Congress.
His words sparked differing opinions across the nation, and perhaps even across the globe, having only been allowed to speak due to his agreement to end the shutdown.
The president started his speech by expressing hope for the political parties to unite. This begat a mixture of responses. The College Republicans Club Present Zack Shoester said “I think … it’s a good thing to hope for … wishing, in a way asking, the Democrats to work with him … regarding the wall that’s causing the shutdown. I think we all hope for that, it’s just whether it will actually happen.”
Bucks College Democrats President Shanzeh Khan was a little more skeptical. “I’m not sure. It just seems like he’s trying to make it look like the Democrats are kind of like being hard to deal with but … I think otherwise.”
Political Science professor John Petito stated, “Trump is the biggest divider in the country right now, so if he can get behind that … that would be a good example. Hopefully everyone can come together.”
The next major statement the president made, was in regard to the economy, and all of the major improvements he has made during his presidency.
Petito was asked if the president had truly helped the economy and he said, “Maybe, certainly the stock market charts since 2008 it’s been on an upward trajectory. Part of that occurred under his watch, so I’m happy to give him credit for having the stock market go up under his watch. Unlike him I’m willing to give Barack Obama credit for having brought us up basically from ground zero, to where Donald Trump inherited it.”
Another thing the president commented on and, made sure to vehemently condemn was the partisan investigation of him and the Russians. Having called the investigations “ridiculous” both Shoester and Kahn were asked if they agreed with the statement.
Shoester said, “I do … I think it stopped being an investigation into a crime and they’re more looking for the committing of crime. They’re looking for anything they can cling onto. It’s been two years, and no one has been actually sentenced. You know there’s been indictments there’s been arrests made but no actual sentences. I think it is getting a little ludicrous at this point.”
Khan’s opinion differed slightly, “I really don’t know what to say about that. I mean that’s kind of crazy. I do see that Trump has made Russia a strong ally. I think both parties have their fair share of trying to rig the system so to speak. For example, with the DNC, everyone thought it was gonna be Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton just kind of popped out. It was like the chosen one for the DNC.”
Eventually the president revisited his famous campaign to build the wall. He cited the Texan border city of El Paso, stating the crime rate took a major dive due to the presence of a border wall there. When asked about whether or not they though the border wall would work, all three gave the same answer, “no”.
“Absolutely not.” said Shoester. “Studies show that only a quarter of illegal immigrants come over actually by crossing the border on land. You know the rest are either boated in or flown in a tunnel under it so … it wouldn’t really do too much, so we gotta remember that the cartels fund all this, and they’re resourceful, they’ll find a way around Trump’s wall…”
Addressing a very recent debacle that placed much of the nation under a state of fear, the president stated, “If I had not been elected president of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea.” The question as to whether or not he indeed fixed the situation in North Korea became apparent, therefore.
To this question Shoester answered, “I think … time will have to tell if Trump really had a huge hand in the North Korean and South Korean conflict. We are still waiting to see if peace talks … follow through and we can actually … end that conflict. I think give it 20, 25 years we’ll actually know Trump’s impact, depending on how historians talk about it. But right now it’s still very much … politicized on both ends, that we can’t really believe either side”.
Khan voiced a similar opinion, saying, “Yes and no. I think he kind of just put a band aid on the whole situation. I think there was a different way he could have gone about this, but I feel like that could be a country that I don’t think we can trust because they have a lot of nuclear weapons and the could fire at any time.”
The president addressed the rise of socialism and its effect on politics. He claimed for it to be a growing “problem” and rebuked its ideals.
“We are born free and we will stay free.” he said.
When asked if socialism was a growing problem, Petito said, “No I don’t think it’s a problem. I think we’re already a semi-socialist state. That’s what social security is, that’s what unemployment insurance is, that’s what Medicare is, that’s what Medicaid is.”
After the president closed his speech, another one began. The Democratic response was delivered by Democratic nominee for the Governor of Georgia, Stacey Abrams. She spoke for the Democratic party, voicing a speech from an entirely different viewpoint.
One of the final perhaps most controversial statements in the speech was about the republican tax changes. According to Abrams said changes “rigged the system” for working Americans. In terms of those interviewed, there was major division.
Petito said, “I think it was a giveaway to the rich, to the wealthiest people on the globe.Trump promised during his campaign he was going to reign in what’s known as carried interest for … hedge fund managers. The richest people on the globe, pay some of the lowest taxes. We don’t tax the wealth in this country, and I think it’s a tragedy.”
On the other hand, Shoester stated, “It’s workin’ out great for me and my family and we’re a … middle class family. So, I don’t think it’s rigging the system at all. I think everybody got a little something, and if we continued to let Donald Trump do what he wants as far as tax goes, I think we’ll all get a little more.”
The final question overall arises, therefore. Is the state of our union strong? To that the answer from Khan and Petito was no. “I think it’s about to fall, break apart.” said Petito.
Shoester however, ended up saying the contrary, “I think things have calmed down, we’re doing pretty good.”
Overall, the State of the Union brought about a mixture of agreement and dissent among those who viewed it. This could be said about any presidential speech. However, the effects are especially profound given the controversies surrounding the current president, and so this State of the Union will be one that will be remembered, whether or not the state of the union is strong.

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Bucks Students Weigh in on the State of the Union Address