Throughout his 80 minute address, President Trump spoke of bringing the country together and working on behalf of all Americans, regardless of race, religion or party affiliation. In fact, the word “we” was used 129 times by President Trump; while “our” was used 104 times. He also mentioned the word “America” over 80 times. These are unifying themes that displayed the President’s true interest in bringing the country together.
In spite of the President’s offer to cultivate bipartisan cooperation, Democrats decided to reject his generous offer. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) spent most of the evening with a grimace on her face, but at least she attended the speech. Sadly, 14 Democrats, including African American legislators such as Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) and Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) refused to attend the speech.
The State of the Union address should be a time that all three branches of the federal government come together. However, Democrats have no interest in working with President Trump. Their responses during the speech displayed incredible disrespect toward not only the President, but also all Americans.
As the President outlined many positive economic reports, including the lowest African American unemployment rate in history, members of the Congressional Black Caucus refused to applaud.
During the speech, the President also highlighted a number of average Americans who have accomplished great things. He mentioned the work of a 12 year old boy, Preston Sharp, who placed 40,000 American flags at the gravesites of military veterans. President Trump said, “Young patriots like Preston teach all of us about our civic duty as Americans. Preston’s reverence for those who have served our nation reminds us why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the Pledge of Allegiance, and why we proudly stand for the national anthem.” These comments should have brought every member of Congress to their feet, but even these remarks were met with silence and looks of disapproval by some Democratic members of Congress.
When the members of Congress started chanting “USA, USA,” this harmless demonstration of American patriotism was too much for illegal immigration activist, Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), who scurried out of his seat and left the House Chamber.
Democrats also expressed their disapproval when the President noted that “Americans are dreamers too.” This was a clear reference to the illegal aliens, known as “dreamers,” who were allowed to remain in the country after an executive order by former President Barack Obama. Democrat members of Congress invited more than two dozen “dreamers” to attend the State of the Union.
While the President praised American heroes such as veterans, a shocking number of Democratic members of Congress not only showed shocking contempt, but were also seen checking their cell phones.
In response to President Trump, the official Democratic Party response was given by the grandson of Robert Kennedy, Congressman Joseph Kennedy, III (D-MA). He gave a poorly received speech that was panned for a variety of reasons. Kennedy seemed to be somewhat sweaty and was even noticed drooling from the side of his mouth. He later blamed the poor appearance on an unusually heavy application of Chap Stick.
The fact that Democrats had to rely on another member of the Kennedy family to give their response showed how few true “leaders” there are in the party. It would have been better for the Democratic Party leaders to choose a person other than an elite member of a political dynasty to give their response.
While Democrats seem to be giving priority to illegal immigrants, the President’s speech was targeted to the average American. It was a homerun according to multiple polls taken after the speech. In a CBS poll, the President’s speech registered an astounding 75% approval rate. The disapproving Democrats were clearly not representing many of their constituents who loved the speech. So if Democrats are not representing their constituents, who are they really representing?
Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award winning program, “Ringside Politics,” airs locally at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & www.Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America's Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on www.JeffCrouere.com. For more information, email him at email@example.com