By: Abigail Calandra| Writer
February 7, 2019
Georgian Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams delivered the Democratic response to Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on the night of Tuesday, February 5. While Trump spoke with his typical low-grade eloquence, Abrams presented a clear and concise statement. Abrams admitted that although she is “very disappointed by the president’s approach to our problems- [she] still doesn’t want him to fail.” Throughout her speech Abrams discussed issues such as climate change, immigration, gun control, education, immigration, and LBGTQ rights. Trump has attacked Abrams on numerous occasions during her race for Georgia governor, however she remained polite despite the criticism. Although Abrams lost the race in a close margin, she accepted the results; this still didn’t stop her from addressing voter suppression in her response to the State of the Union.
Abrams began her speech with a heartfelt story that demonstrated her family’s values: faith, service, education, and responsibility. As a fellow American, Abrams explained that we live in a nation in which we are given the opportunity to succeed, however she also is fully aware that we can’t succeed in a nation divided. We require unity; in our communities, our cities, our families, and importantly the federal government. Rightfully, Abrams condemned Trump for his record breaking 32 day shutdown of the federal government, as it was completely and utterly unprofessional. Abrams is one to hold Trump accountable for his mistakes and she does not skip a beat in explaining Trump’s disregard for the values of the American people.
The atmosphere of the Trump presidency has created an overall polarization in Congress, which continues to cause a lack of progress in our political system. The partisanship in Congress prevents potential solutions to many issues that still plague society. For instance, an issue that the federal government has not been addressing is education, and during Abrams’s response she made it clear that education must be a focus of the government.
“She was very well-spoken, and she touched on issues that Trump did not,” English teacher Mrs. Dutton said. “As an educator it was important to me.”
She tackled gun violence and addressed the rigged Republican tax bill, before discussing the most prominent issue in American politics: immigration. Trump, as expected, buzzed about the wall, performing his usual charade with another shutdown looming on the horizon. Abrams is well-aware that immigration is an issue, but she communicated that building a concrete wall and locking innocent children in cages simply isn’t the solution.
The Republican Party has worked to repeal the Affordable Care Act since the election of Trump in 2016, and Abrams informs politicians that it is their duty to continue expanding affordable health care for all. Abrams declares that for the success of the nation, the United States must be united in fighting climate change. She calls on the right to stop viewing it as a hoax, and to work for change.
“I’m really grateful we have people in the government who are working to combat climate change,” junior Camie Ding said. “It’s frustrating that there are politicians who don’t believe in it.”
Before closing her speech, Abrams turns her attention to the civil rights of this great nation, the rights our military fight to defend. The rights that all Americans, no matter the color, no matter the orientation deserve. Because when America is united, the Union will always remain strong, and we have Stacey Abrams to thank for fighting for a greater America.