Trump’s first congressional speech incongruent with past appearances


President Trump chats with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Vice President Mike Pence. Both men were present for Trump’s first congressional speech Tuesday, and were seated directly behind him. Photo by Caleb Smith

Story by Raga Justin, editor in chief

The president delivered his highly anticipated first speech to Congress Tuesday, leading many to speculate whether he would retain the inflammatory style of previous public appearances or opt for a more dignified approach.

It turned out to be the latter. As Congress and America watched, President Trump took the stage and began, “Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, the first lady of the United States and citizens of America, tonight, as we mark the conclusion of Black History Month, we are reminded of our nation’s path towards civil rights and the work that still remains to be done.”

After touching on the recent terror incidents on Jewish communities last week, he described such national problems as a shrinking middle class, and crumbling infrastructure, among others.

He then began a 13-minute outline of what his administration has accomplished so far, almost immediately noting Wall Street success and an influx of corporate dollars back into the economy.

Here’s a list of all that the president has purportedly done or begun to do during his first 100 days, according to last night’s speech:

  • Placed a hiring freeze on nonessential federal employees
  • “Drain the swamp” of corruption with executive official lobbying ban
  • Created a deregulation task force in every agency, along with a new rule that states for every new regulation, two old ones must go
  • Cleared the way for the construction of the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines
  • Withdrawn country from “job-killing” Trans-Pacific Partnership
  • Formed a joint Canadian-American council that helps women entrepreneurs have access to markets and capital
  • Asked the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security and State to coordinate an aggressive strategy targeting criminal cartels
  • Planning construction of a “great, great wall along southern border”
  • Directed Department of Defense to coordinate ISIS destruction
  • Imposed sanctions on people who support Iran’s ballistic missile program
  • Nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch

Trump proceeded to sketch out a soaring portrait of his intended America, calling for immigration reform and infrastructure investments. He asked Congress to repeal Obamacare, listing five principles that he intends Congress to follow while creating a new healthcare system.

He also called upon citizens in the crowd, telling the stories of rare disease survivor Megan Crowley, college graduate Denisha Merriweather, Jamiel Shaw, whose son was killed by gang members in 2008, and Susan Oliver and Jessica Davis, whose policer officer husbands were killed in the line of duty. After outlining his plans for increased military spending, he introduced Carryn Owens, widow of U.S. Navy special operator Senior Chief William “Ryan” Owens who died in Yemen earlier this month. Owens garnered over two minutes of applause, according to a CNN Instagram post; the moment was charged with emotion, although critics later accused the president of resorting to ‘gimmicks’.

After another sweeping, patriotic appeal that stressed American ingenuity and called for a reassertion of superiority, Trump ended an hour-long speech, saying “I am asking all citizens to embrace this renewal of the American spirit. I am asking all members of Congress to join me in dreaming big and bold and daring things for our country.”

“Believe in yourselves. Believe in your future. And believe, once more, in America.”