Donald Trump has outdone himself again. His 2020 State of the Union address was a steaming heap of negativity, institutionalized hate, and flagrant lies. He has followed up his infamous “American Carnage” inaugural address with a speech that was rife with disrespect for the nation and its diverse people. By disparaging our recent history as “the mentality of American decline,” he is proving again that he despises what actually makes America great.
Trump’s SOTU most closely resembled another episode of his reality TV game show past. He was handing out medals, staging family reunions, and most of all, bragging about himself and insulting his predecessors. He set the tone at the beginning by refusing to shake Pelosi’s hand. and the Republicans tainted the affair politically with chants of “four more years.” The awarding of the Medal of Freedom to Rush Limbaugh, a notorious racist, misogynist, and knee-jerk partisan wingnut, is a massive depreciation of the honor that award used to represent.
Trump went on a morning-after tweet rampage aimed at his hurt feelings because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped up a copy of his speech. Of the 28 tweets he posted early Wednesday morning, 23 were about Pelosi’s fully justifiable act of conscience. Let that sink in. He was far more upset with Pelosi than he was satisfied with his own oratory. And it takes a lot to get Trump to divert from glorifying himself. But what will surely be most personally unbearable to the Narcissist-in-Chief is that the ratings for the SOTU declined 21% from last year. Although that won’t stop him from lying about it, like he did so brazenly in 2018.
Throughout the speech Trump validated what is the most recognizable element of his presidency: full-throated, shameless, deliberate lies. He covered so many subjects with his falsehoods and fabrications that it was hard to keep count. Here are just a few of the smugly delivered dishonesties:
“…our values are renewed, our pride is restored.”
Trump is widely regarded at home and abroad as an embarrassment. And his “values” of racism, misogyny, greed, and reverence for foreign tyrants, are not generally considered a source of pride.
“I moved rapidly to revive the U.S. economy, slashing a number of job killing-regulations, enacting historic and record-setting tax cuts, and fighting for fair and reciprocal trade agreements.”
The U.S. economy was growing faster under Obama than it has under Trump. And what he calls “job killing-regulations” were actually protections for workers, healthcare, and the environment.
“Our agenda is relentlessly pro-worker.”
The Trump administration has presided over the most anti-worker policies in decades, including altering overtime rules, obstructing collective bargaining, and placing a higher percentage of tax burdens on working Americans, while cutting them for corporations and the wealthy.
“…lifting our citizens of every race, color, religion and creed very high.”
It was Trump who defended neo-Nazis and white nationalists as “very good people.”
“Seven million Americans have come off food stamps.”
What Trump means is not “come off” food stamps, but being thrown off.
“After decades of flat and falling incomes, wages are rising fast.”
The only rise in wages is due to the increase in the minimum wage enacted by Democrats in the states and localities. Trump and the GOP have been ardent opponents of that.
“The United States has become the No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas”
Actually, the U.S. achieved that milestone in 2012, under Obama.
“We are restoring our nation’s manufacturing might.”
Not exactly. The truth is that manufacturing in the U.S. is currently in recession.
“…replace the disastrous NAFTA trade deal.”
What Trump continues to conceal is that the USMCA is just NAFTA with a few minor changes.
“Our new [healthcare] plans are up to 60% less expensive, and better.”
The plans to which Trump is referring are covering very few people. And they are less expensive because they hardly cover anything at all.
“We will always protect patients with preexisting conditions.”
This is just a blatant lie. Trump ran on repealing the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), and the protections for people with preexisting conditions therein. He has joined a lawsuit that is aimed at declaring Obamacare unconstitutional. And neither he, nor the Republican Party, have an alternative, even after ten years of opposition.
“We have now completed over 100 miles.”
Not a single mile of new border wall has been built. And Mexico still isn’t paying for it.
“The cost of prescription drugs actually went down.”
This is another blatant falsehood. The cost of prescription drugs actually went up.
“…radical politicians have chosen to provide sanctuary for these criminal illegal aliens.”
Wrong. Not a single politician is advocating sanctuary for criminals. Local authorities have jurisdiction over these matters, and they are protecting the rights of law abiding undocumented immigrants.
“My administration is also defending religious liberty…America has always been a Christian nation.”
Trump is not defending religious liberty unless you are Christian. In fact, he’s imposing religious barriers for non-Christians in schools and those who wish to emigrate. And the Founders explicitly declared that America is not a Christian nation, but one that “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”
“I announced a groundbreaking plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.”
Trump’s “groundbreaking plan” was contrived without even talking to Palestinians. Consequently, they have rejected it along with the Arab League. It is going nowhere.
“My administration is restoring the rule of law.”
This may be the most ludicrous and flaming dishonesty of the whole speech. Donald Trump has been impeached for breaching the Constitution. He committed extortion against a foreign ally in order to coerce him to help Trump steal an election. He engaged in witness tampering by threatening and firing career public servants and even military officers. He violates campaign finance and self-dealing laws on a daily basis. And he has obstructed justice by withholding subpoenaed documents and prohibiting the testimony of administration staff. This is not the conduct of someone who claims to be “restoring the rule of law.”
Nancy Pelosi did the right thing by ripping up Trump’s speech. It is a document that extols the division of the American people, while disseminating pure propaganda. It seeks to glorify Trump in the most trivial terms, emulating his fictional reality TV character. And the behavior of the Republicans in the chamber, who rose to applaud after every piffling lie, only cements their reputation for being fully indoctrinated members of the Cult of Trump.
Meanwhile, this is how all of Trump’s speeches should be done.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.