IDYD President Matt Kilburn’s Response to the State of the Union:
“First, I must say that I agree with Representative Kennedy that the state of the union is “hopeful.” He referred to the fact that we are continually given options between one group of people or another (like in the recent government shutdown in which the GOP said we had to pick between sick children and DREAMers) but said we must choose both. We leave nobody behind.
The State of the Union was clearly directed to one group: President Trump’s base. It was not a statement to the Union. He came off professional, but it was because he stuck to a script. We have seen what he says when going off script. It was all pageantry to his base, hence the constant standing ovations. Frankly, I was exhausted for the Republican Congressmen with all the standing and sitting they were doing. Also, I’m not sure that the President understands that Presidents don’t normally clap for themselves constantly, nor do they do it into the microphone.
The good parts of his address were not in his accomplishments, but those who accompanied him, from the police officer who adopted a baby born from a heroin-addicted mother, to the North Korea defector who triumphantly waved his crutches in the air, to the courageous soldier who sacrificed so much for his fellow man. These stories were the highlights of the State of the Union – not because of the President, but because they show the best that humanity has to offer. These individuals, not the President, give the American people hope.
Our response as a people should be to demand that the President be a champion for us all, not just his base. Don’t just talk about the opioid epidemic, but the school shooting epidemic. Don’t just talk about a 12 year plan to give DREAMers a path to citizenship, but recognize that they are just as American as us–give them citizenship and recognize their value. Don’t just talk about “clean coal”, talk about renewable energy and other jobs that we can create to combat the loss of coal jobs. Start speaking up for minorities and marginalized groups that already make America great. Don’t be “my President” for your base–be “our President” for us all, and stop the pageantry.
The state of the union is hopeful, and we are ready to tear down any wall you throw up and ready to stand by our American brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico that you have left behind because of your lack of respect for the American people. We are ready to take to the streets and protest, to march all the way to the polls in November. We are ready to fight for our rights. All of this is possible because of our hope and determination. We are resilient and will make it through this terrible chapter in our history, and will come out of it triumphant. Young people will be the ones to lead that way, and Idaho Young Democrats will help as much as possible in that cause.
President, Idaho Young Democrats”