On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump gave his first Presidential Address. The President held a nine-minute speech about what he claimed to be a humanitarian crisis at the United States’ southern border. He made claims of dangerous drugs, like heroin and cocaine, entering from Mexico. Trump has claimed that the dangers of illegal immigration are putting American citizens at risk. The President has asked for 5.7 billion dollars to fund a southern border wall made of steel. Asking for a stop of partisan politics, the President stated that the government shutdown could be ended and worked out in a 45-minute meeting. Nearing the end of the speech Trump, implored that everyone should call their local congressmen and women to ask for the wall.
The Democratic rebuttal given by Democrat speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer stated that the President had made false claims throughout his address. They accused Trump of governing through a temper tantrum and using fear and not fact to get what he wants. They also claimed that the President used the backdrop of the Oval Office to manufacture a crisis, stoke fear, and divert attention from the turmoil in his administration. The Democrats claimed that they do not oppose border security but they do oppose using taxpayer money to pay for an ineffective wall. Chuck Schumer said ¨the symbol of America should be the Statue of Liberty, not a 30-foot wall.¨ The Democrats wish for the President to reopen the government, and then they could work out the situation at the border.
In the past, Presidential Addresses have been used to calm a frightened public or inform the public of a situation of national importance; like events such as the desegregation of schools in Little Rock or the Challenger disaster. In more recent memory, Presidents Bush and Obama have spoken to the public of events such as the September attack on the World Trade Centers in 2001 and the governmental assassination of Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin-laden. Never before had an address been used to frighten a calm public.