United States President Donald J. Trump gave his second State of Union Tuesday night as he laid out his administration’s agenda and called for bipartisanship, immigration reform, economic growth and criminal justice reform.
Per usual, the president conflated numbers, made false claims and exaggerated the impact of illegal immigration on the southern border.
What should concern the American people is that this rhetoric cannot be accepted as the norm in society.
Trump stated, “The U.S. economy is growing almost twice as fast today as when I took office, and we are considered far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world.”
This is far from the truth. The U.S. economy expanded at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2018. Growth in Latvia, Poland, China and India were almost twice as fast.
Many economic analysts have estimated that the growth of the economy slowed in the fourth quarter and even further in the first month of 2019.
Not to mention the impact the recent Republican tax cuts will have on the economy in 2022.
He touted the cut in regulations his team has pushed through, saying, “My administration has cut more regulations in a short period of time than any other administration during its entire tenure.”
The scale of regulatory rollbacks doesn’t exceed the massive cuts in federal rules during the Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan administrations.
No president should be proud to cut regulations protecting clean water and air, safety measures for airlines, trains and trucks, let alone protecting the environment.
The biggest lie the president told was during the immigration portion of his speech. He attempted to stoke a false and misleading image of the impact of illegal immigration and those crossing the U.S.-Mexican border.
He claimed that El Paso, Texas, which is a border city, “used to have extremely high rates of violent crime — one of the highest in the entire country and considered one of the nation’s most dangerous cities.”
This was followed by stating the construction of a barrier in El Paso made it one of the safest cities in the country. False.
El Paso has never been one of the most dangerous cities in the country. Overall crime has dropped in cities across the country, with none of those impacted by a border fence.
In 2008, the city had not completed its border barrier and had the second-lowest violent crime rate among more than 20 similarly sized cities.
The barrier was finished in 2010 and El Paso has stayed in that place.
Credit is given when credit is due, despite the president’s distorted facts.
Trump’s praise of having a high number of women in Congress was commendable, as the country has never had this many women representing the American people.
The American people cannot allow this distortion of facts, misleading claims and outright false statements to become the norm in society. This is the first step that needs to be taken if America wants to truly become great.