On Tuesday night, America’s reality TV show president turned his last State of the Union address before the 2020 election into a made-for-TV spectacle that A. B. Stoddard called “Fantasy Island meets Make-A-Wish meets Oprah” in an article she penned for TheBulwark.com.
Trump’s production had its sub-plots. It began with him mooning, politically speaking, Nancy Pelosi when he refused to shake her hand and ended when she literally ripped his speech apart. However, in between these events when Trump wasn’t hosting the White House remake of The Price Is Right — “Tell America what she’s won, Johnny” — he halfheartedly offered a list of accomplishments and recycled promises he hopes will turn out his base in November.
Using, or maybe I should say reusing, many of the same SOTU talking points he used in 2018 and 2019 — now you know why I skipped it — Trump rehashed the same lies and broken promises he’s been using throughout his presidency. And while there are an innumerable amount of lies to choose from, I’m going to point out a few of the most obvious and important to conservatives.
I begin with his lie about how the economy “is the best it’s ever been.” It’s not.
While the economic expansion that began under Obama has continued, the economy has yet to hit the 3% GDP mark he promised in 2016. But even if he had reached that mark, the economy has had better GDP numbers in the past; it grew over 4% in the 1990s and was nearly 9% in the 1950s.
Despite his braggadocious claims about the number of jobs he’s created and how manufacturing has expanded under his presidency, the reality is that Trump’s economic policies have created a softening job market and manufacturing is officially in a recession. The foundation of America’s economy is cracking under Trump.
Next, is Trump’s lie about how he is fighting socialism.
Repeating a talking point used in his 2019 SOTU, Trump condemned socialism because it “destroys nations,” and he rejected Democrat efforts “to impose a socialist takeover of healthcare.” However, the reality is that Trump and the GOP have embraced the America First nationalism approach to economics, an ideology that believes government, and not the free market. should control commerce, and they have adopted what I refer to as “conservative socialism” to advocate for government intervention on the healthcare issue.
Combined, these big-government, anti-free market ideals have helped Ivanka advance her socialist agenda. One of her pet projects, paid family leave, became law for federal workers in the $1.4 trillion omnibus signed into law this past December. That’s not all. In Tuesday’s SOTU condemnation of socialism, Trump also endorsed a new paid family leave plan that will allow parents to use their child tax credit to finance an expansion of the program to include all “working families.”
The last lie I’ll cover in this piece deals with abortion.
In Tuesday’s reality show, Trump introduced a little girl who survived being born only 20 weeks into her mother’s pregnancy — 20 weeks is a number bandied about by so-called pro-life members of Congress and their Abortion, Inc. supporters as a cut-off for murdering unborn babies. Using the child as a political prop, Trump said the girl “reminds us that every child is a miracle of life” and he called on members of every political party to “agree that every human life is a sacred gift from God.”
Nice sentiment, but meaningless and hypocritical. Trump and the GOP have given Planned Parenthood billions of taxpayer dollars and the have continued to finance fetal tissue research. Under their “pro-life” policies, more babies were murdered last year at taxpayer expense than any time in history.
Trump’s State of the Union address was a reality TV show, but missing from the production was the reality that Trump lied about his accomplishments and has broken every promise he’s made to the American people.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative.