Xavier reacts to 2019 SOTU address

Trump calls for end to Russia investigation, renews call for wall on the border

Photo courtesy of people.com | President Donald Trump gave his State of the Union Address on Tuesday, Feb. 5. Trump began with a call for bipartisanship and also discussed trade issues, border control and the Russia investigation. 2018 Georgia gubernatorial runner-up Stacey Abrams gave the Democratic Party’s response.

President Donald Trump gave his State of the Union Speech last Tuesday, after the government shutdown saw his invitation revoked by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. The address to the nation drew a mixed reaction from the Xavier community.

Some students did not feel the need to watch the State of the Union live as it was broacasted. “I already knew what he was going to say, and I felt like it would’ve been a waste of my time when I know that he (President Trump) likes getting TV ratings, and I didn’t want to supply that rating,” junior Philosophy, Politics and the Public and history double major Miles Tiemeyer said.

Others who watched felt like it did not have substance. “I felt like it was fluff,” said junior special education major Cole Stautberg said. “The congressional response to it could have been stronger.”

Besl Family Chair for Ethics, Religion and Society Dr. Myron Jackson took a different approach to the address: “I was very happy with the celebration of the Anniversary of women’s suffrage. I thought (it) was good to have that reference.”

However, he felt differently on the issues brought up by the president, feeling that most issues proposed were from the last State of the Union Address.

“It’s disappointing in that sense because…to continue to hear your leaders talk about the same policy issues year after year diminishes the value on them and your trust or confidence in their ability to get these things done,” Jackson said. “In that sense, it can be very deflating. And then, the performance is no longer seen as believable because of the gridlock.”

The Democrats’ response, given by runner-up in the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election Stacey Abrams, drew a more positive reaction. “One thing that I thought was really interesting is that she (Abrams) didn’t actually watch his speech,” Tiemeyer said.

Dr. Jackson found that this response drew some similarities between the Democratic and Republican parties. “I really liked Abrams’ response and how the Democrats went with an outsider. But it speaks to their position where, like the Republicans, they’re either seeking to reidentify themselves or to redefine themselves,” he said.

Trump covered a wide range of topics in his State of the Union, beginning with a call for bipartisanship. He then discussed trade, border control and the Russia investigation.

“If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation,” Trump said during the address. Trump renewed his call for a physical barrier on the southern border saying that, “in the past, most of the people in this room voted for a wall but the proper wall never got built. I’ll get it built.”

Congressional negotiators reached “an agreement in principle” on Monday night in hopes of avoiding another partial government shutdown that would go in effect at midnight on Feb. 15.

The tentative agreement includes $1.3 billion in fudning for a physical barrier along 55 miles of the southern border. Trump has not given any sign as to whether or not he would sign the bipartisan deal, saying, “I can’t say I’m thrilled with Congress’ border security deal.”

By: Jack Dunn and Ryan Kambich | U.S. & World News Editor and Opinion & Editorials Editor