Three Takeaways From Last Night’s State of the Union

“Winning for our country” demands a different approach

February 6, 2019


Last night, President Trump delivered his second State of the Union address amid the pageantry and bluster which typically surround the occasion. The address fell flat in its divergence from actual policy and relied heavily on scapegoating and fear tactics. Below are three ways our nation can deliver on its great promise to its citizens.

Stop Scapegoating Migrant Workers

As is customary, President Trump began the State of the Union by calling for national unity, warning against “the politics of revenge, resistance, and retribution.” Despite this call, which on its face is welcome, Trump used the platform offered by the address to offer an intensely exaggerated vision of the looming threat posed by migrant workers and to reiterate calls to Congress to approve plans to construct a border wall which would stand as a symbol of hatred and xenophobia. The rhetoric used to support the proposed wall serves to scapegoat the undocumented for both the crises in their home countries and the U.S. economy which, if anything, they resoundingly benefit.

This attack leads to the separation of families at our borders, forcing them to choose between vital public assistance programs or remaining together.

End ALL Endless Wars

Trump struck a positive note later in the speech in saying that “great nations do not fight endless wars.” Unfortunately, this aspiration fell flat when stacked up against this administration’s support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen and the escalation of tensions with Iran. The endless war-mongering demonizes immigrant and minority communities alike and forces the broader public into a false choice between national security and equal liberty for all. It is true that great nations do not fight endless wars, but rather engage in the process of peacemaking. Without a commitment to the latter, any aspiration for the former remains a platitude.

Commit to Our Nation’s Ideals

MPAC's work responds to these policies and the rhetoric used to support them by reasserting the value of the most defenseless among us. Just last week, we announced our support of two pieces of legislation, H.R.810 and S.246, which would defund the Muslim Ban. We will also demand that the House Oversight Committee use the full weight of their investigatory powers to secure information on the implementation of the Muslim Ban and the visa waiver process, both of which remain unclear in its implementation thus far, and demand meaningful redress. 

Winning for our country demands an approach to politics that bridges the gap between the President's speech and the response by Stacey Abrams. Ms. Abrams called for a “joint commitment to the ideals of this nation,” which find home in “a renewed commitment to social and economic justice … where voters pick their leaders, not where politicians pick their voters.” 


 

 

 

Following the SOTU last night, MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati commented on the address on Facebook Live. Watch the video to the left.




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