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  • Writer's pictureFred Guerin

On Trump's 2nd State of the Union Address

I give credit to anyone out there who had the stomach to watch Donald Trump's second State of the Union address.

I don't refer here to all the evidence-free proclamations about how 'great' America is, or all the lies, big and small, about the economy or the state of employment and unemployment. All of the latter are what we have come to expect from the master prevaricator who occupies the White House.

Neither is this about Trump's paranoia and disconnect with reality regarding the 'criminal deep state' that he thinks planted spies inside his campaign in order to destroy him.

Nor is it about the economic damage Trump has already inflicted on the most vulnerable American citizens, the dehumanizing policies aimed at undocumented women and children, or the destructive outcomes that his policies have wreaked upon the environment. These latter harms and profound failings are obviously deeply disturbing and in a functional democracy would be thoroughly examined and critically countered—though it is very likely that few in the mainstream media will ever do this.

No, what I want to point to is not Trump himself, nor even the yearly shit-show called the SOTU address. Instead, I want to point to the fact that a sexist, racist, red-baiting, xenophobic charlatan and bully could give a state of the union address in the exalted chamber of the House of Representatives and bask in unreserved bi-partisan applause. Democrats danced when a sexual predator announced the record number of women in Congress; Republicans and Democrats joined in a deafening Orwellian-like chanting of ‘U-S-A’; both Houses cheered as Trump, with the belligerence and faux self-righteousness of a Joseph McCarthy, announced the necessity of American sponsored regime-change in Venezuela, and proclaimed that “America will never be a socialist country”.

That there were democrats in the House who heard this speech and did not get up and immediately walk out or at the very least walk away profoundly disturbed at the idea that a US president has a right to stifle political speech that is not in lock-step with a fascist, neoliberal agenda, is beyond disgusting. That there were democrats in the audience who swore an oath to the constitution and cheered on a president who surrounds himself with imperialist warmongers and believes America should be a global police force, with the right to kill citizens anywhere without legal repercussions, is as obnoxious and outrageous as the sycophant Republicans who have steadfastly refused to take their party back from someone who they should never have allowed to run for POTUS in the first place.

To give this state of the union any kind of serious acknowledgement or this president even a scintilla of approval is to grant recognition to that which should be shunned, and to award legitimacy to that which is nothing more or less than illegitimate.

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