By Jane Moran | Writer
February 6, 2020
On Tuesday, February 4, President Trump gave his possibly final State of The Union speech to almost 50 million viewers. Trump spoke proudly about his promises and accomplishments. Nevertheless, not all of what he stated was factual; according to Now This news, Trump averaged one false claim every 2.5 seconds. Nancy Pelosi also had some choice actions about Trump’s speech herself, tearing up a copy of the President’s speech as he concluded. Shortly after, Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer delivered the Democratic rebuttal. Whitmer even began by stating, “..I would need a lot more than 10 minutes to respond to what the president just said.” Whitmer utilized her time to pivot away from the impeachment and focus on the positive achievement of the Democratic party.
“People may not always agree with what others have to say,” San Clemente High School senior Michelle Nguyen said. “I thought Nancy Pelosi’s action of ripping up Trump’s speech was plain disrespectful regardless if you’re in favor of the current president or not.”
Along with that, shedding light on the diversity of the democratic party, congressional Democratic leaders chose a Hispanic woman, Veronica Escobar, as their representative. She is one of two Latinas to represent Texas, and gave the Democratic response in Spanish.
Whitmer put more emphasis, on not what Trump was saying, but what Democrats have achieved. She began her speech stressing the importance of actions, because in the end actions speak far louder than a speech (and a half true one at that). Whitmer highlighted the significance of what Democrats are already doing: investing in American infrastructure, finishing roads, expanding, and providing cleaner drinking water to name a few.
She also targeted some of President Trump’s often impulsive tweets, saying that “bullying on Twitter does not fix bridges – it burns them,” calling out the immaturity of Trump’s reactive approach to public relations. She addressed the expansion of health care, as every Democratic presidential nominee is supporting affordable health care. She supported her argument with a heartfelt story about trying to hold down a job care for her newborn child, meanwhile finishing a battle with brain cancer all at the same time. Most importantly, she called for coverage for those with preexisting conditions, opposing Trump’s actions towards keeping life saving medical care away from those in need. She ended with the assertion that Democrats are trying to make American health care better and more accessible, while Republicans are trying to strip that away.
“Health care is such an important tool that should not be taken away from American citizens,” SCHS senior Dana Shany said. “ It can always be reformed and improved to benefit the people.”
Whitmer’s response to Trump’s State of the Union emphasized how the ideals of the Democratic party clash with the priorities of the Trump Administration and highlighted the many achievements of the Democratic party over the past year.