Checking Trump-isms

The State of the Union address serves as a way for the President to show his plan for the upcoming year. However, some of information has fallen under scrutiny.

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Checking Trump-isms

President Donald Trump gave the State of the Union address on Feb 5 after the government reopened.

President Donald Trump gave the State of the Union address on Feb 5 after the government reopened.

Riordan KJ

President Donald Trump gave the State of the Union address on Feb 5 after the government reopened.

Riordan KJ

Riordan KJ

President Donald Trump gave the State of the Union address on Feb 5 after the government reopened.

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On Feb 5, President Donald Trump addressed the nation in the annual State of the Union speech. In little more than an hour, Trump tackled perhaps the most controversial public and foreign policy issues the government has been deliberating in the past year. Following the longest government shutdown in US history and with partisanship on Capitol Hill reaching dangerous height, Trump’s words offered an insight into what the third year of his administration has in store for the country. The speech, with multifaceted Trump-isms, relies on data to support the rationality of its contentions. But to understand the validity of those contentions, data in the State of the Union first needs to be empirically fact-checked.

According to Trump: An untouchable economy is a Trump economy.

His words: “The US economy is growing almost twice as fast today as when I took office, and [the US is] considered far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world.”

In the third quarter of 2018, the US economy grew 3.4 percent as opposed to 2.2 percent when Trump was inaugurated in January of 2017 and appears to be only “the hottest economy anywhere in the world” once Latvia, Poland, India and China’s economies are discounted from the competition, all according to bea.gov.

According to Trump: Under his administration, the US has seen an unprecedented level of employment gains.

His words: “We have created 5.3 million new jobs and importantly added 600,000 new manufacturing jobs—something which almost everyone said was impossible to do, but the fact is, we are just getting started.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that since Trump’s inauguration, approximately 2.45 million jobs per year, 454,000 of which are manufacturing jobs, have been created, according to nytimes.com. Following the Great Recession, under the Obama administration, employment gains were around 2.45 million jobs per year, similar to those under the Trump administration, according to forbes.com. It appears that employment gains under both presidents are roughly the same. Thus, the probability of creating 4.9 million jobs in a span of two years is certainly not “impossible.”

According to Trump: El Paso is a promising testament to the power of the Wall.

His words: “The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime—one of the highest in the entire country, and considered one our nation’s most dangerous cities. Now, immediately upon its building, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of the safest cities in our country.”

For the past 20 years, El Paso has ranked high on lists on the nation’s safest cities, according to washingtonpost.com. FBI statistics show the border city has seen decreases in crime rates since the 90s, a change that is not necessarily attributed to the construction of a physical barrier. El Paso’s crime rate increased by 17 percent between 2006 and 2011. The barrier was built between 2008 and 2009, according to elpasotimes.com.

According to Trump: His administration has quelled foreign threats in Syria.

His words: “When I took office, ISIS controlled more than 20,000 square miles in Iraq and Syria. Just two years ago. Today, we have liberated virtually all of the territory from the grip of these bloodthirsty monsters.”

Three million civilians and 20,000 square miles of territory once controlled by ISIS have been liberated, according to defense.gov. In addition, as of September of 2018, 36 highly sought after targets have been eliminated and more than 700 foreign terrorist fighters from over 40 countries are in the custody of the Syrian Democratic Force.

“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” Trump said, according to twitter.com.

Shortly after announcing a withdrawal of US troops, four Americans were killed and three were wounded in a suicide attack in the northern Syrian city of Manbij, according to washingtonpost.com. Though ISIS appears to have lost most of its territorial control, there are still an estimated 30,000 fighters remaining in Iraq and Syria. Currently, the Islamic State holds the title as one of the largest terrorist threats abroad.

According to Trump: The state of New York relishes in the act of killing newborns.

His words: “Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments from birth.”

The Reproductive Health Act is a protective measure against a potential repeal of the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. Abortion law does not allow the termination of fetuses past 24 weeks even if severe fetal anomalies and maternal health risks, which are more often to be detected past 24 weeks, are found. Under the Reproductive Health Act, licensed, certified and trained medical practitioners are able to perform abortions without having to face legal repercussions if a woman is in mortal jeopardy or the fetus’ health is compromised to a certain insurmountable degree after the 24 week period, according to nyclu.org.

The State of the Union, though it does contain a relatively small proportion of factual accuracies, is saturated with disinformation. Even the president, who possesses great distaste for deception, has become one of the greatest advocates against the travesties associated with fake news.

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