Following an extensive round of applause as President Trump made his way to the front, the President presented copies of his speech to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Vice President. This marked the beginning of Trump’s first congressional address.
As Vox noted, this was Trump’s first major speech since his inauguration. It was an address of a joint session of Congress, which is similar to a State of the Union address.
President Trump began the joint address by referencing Black History and remembering the numerous individuals who have fought for freedom throughout the decades. He also addressed the recent attacks on the Jewish community, calling for unity in fighting crime. He said that, while we are a “nation divided” on certain issues, we are a” country united” in our fight against “hatred and evil” on all fronts. Trump said that we still hold the torch of liberty and therefore called on our responsibility as American citizens.
“That torch is now in our hands, and we will use it to light up the world.”
He claimed that his administration is working toward “the renewal of our American spirit,” saying that, in the coming years, those who stand against the United States “will find that America is strong, America is proud, America is free.”
Emphasizing the importance to put American citizens first, Trump noted the border issue. He claimed that the “earth shifted” in 2016, as Americans began to stand behind an issue that is so important to Trump–making American “great again.”
President Trump also addressed the job issues in America, saying that General Motors, Ford, Walmart, and others have pledged to pour “billions and billions” of dollars into creating more American jobs. He further stated that the Dakota pipeline will aid in producing jobs, and that American pipelines will be made “with American steel.”
The drug epidemic and need for safer communities were at the forefront of much of Trump’s speech and he repeatedly came back to the topic. He expressed concern for the threats standing against American citizens, stating that safer communities are a must and that no dream should be too big.
“We want all Americans to succeed.”
Trump emphasized his efforts to help Americans do well, find jobs, attain their “financial dreams,” and succeed. He claimed, however, that this cannot happen without safety and protection–stating that this begins at our border.
“We will soon begin construction of a great, great wall along our southern border.”
Trump said that “bad ones” are already leaving our country, reminding many of the time he titled those supposedly responsible for the drug threat from Mexico as “bad hombres.”
Following these statements, the President launched an address of a proper vetting process and the protection of our country from the threats of ISIS. He stated that he plans to work with the nation’s defense services and with members of the Muslim community to eliminate this threat–a statement that received applause from both Republicans and Democrats.
Neil Gorsuch is set to become the next Supreme Court Justice, and Donald Trump noted this. He singled out Maureen Scalia, wife of Antonin Scalia, from where she sat in the gallery. This was met with standing applause, and Maureen even seemed to wipe a tear from her eye. After recognizing Antonin Scalia’s service, Trump called on Congress to vote to approve Gorsuch.
From this, he moved on to the topic of foreign trade–saying that he believes in free trade, but also in fair trade.
In a bold move, President Trump called on Congress to repeal Obamacare, officially known as ACA. He explained that encouraging citizens to purchase government-funded healthcare was “never” the right solution for America, saying that various officials in states such as Kentucky claim that the system is failing and is costing the government a great deal of money. He called the ACA an “imploding Obamacare disaster.”
Trump stressed the importance of state governors having the freedom to pick the healthcare system that suits them best and not the one that is “forced” on them.
“Everything that is broken in our country can be fixed, every problem can be solved, and every hurting family can find healing and hope. Our citizens deserve this and so much more. So why not join forces and get the job done–and get it done right.”
He then called on Democrats and Republicans, urging them to work together to fix this issue and make the situation better for American families.
Trump recognized various other individuals, including numerous victims of immigrant crimes.
Meanwhile, U.S. Navy Seal William “Ryan” Owens’s widow stood in the gallery, and Trump specifically drew attention to Owens’s sacrifice and to his service to the United States. He claimed that he will be remembered and his sacrifice will not be forgotten, even referencing the Bible.
“The Bible teaches us, ‘There is no greater act of love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friend.’ Ryan laid down his life […] and we will never forget Ryan.”
Trump wrapped his speech up by saying that his first priority is America herself.
“My job is not to represent the world, my job is to represent the United States of America.”
Finally, he called on the people of America, asking that we pursue unity and put aside “trivial fights.” As he put it, “we can only get there together.”
“We all bleed the same blood, we all salute the same great American flag and we all are made by the same God.”
Twitter has already spoken out, many stating that they found the speech inspiring and energizing.
[Featured Image by Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool Image via AP Images]