Each year since the founding of our country, every president has given a State of the Union communique to Congress – either written or spoken. While a president’s opening remarks often specifically state the Union’s current state, every president has asserted it was good, save for one. President Gerald Ford, in his 1975 SOTU speech, represented the state of the union was otherwise.
The reasons for this were both economic and political. Concerning the former, recession reigned, inflation ran wild, factories were closing, interest rates were out of control, long gas lines were commonplace; concerning the latter, fallout continued over former President Richard Nixon’s corruption and, similar to now, Deep State accusations surfaced over how our intelligence and law enforcement agencies had routinely broken the law to undermine citizens’ rights.
While America’s economic situation today is very positive, the political situation is probably as bad, or worse, than in 1975.
On Tuesday night, delivering his SOTU address, President Donald Trump will, hopefully, be as straightforward as Ford, for, clearly, the state of the union is not good.
This has been obvious ever since Trump took office with the dubious, DNC-inspired cloud of Russian conspiracy hanging over his head. But things ratcheted up as the $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall became an issue. Both Democrats and the president have firmly dug in positions from which neither seems likely to budge. It already has resulted in the longest government shutdown in history. And, with no resolution still in sight, another could possibly loom over the horizon.
While Trump will have the advantage of using his SOTU platform to put the blame on Democrats, they will have the opportunity immediately afterward to respond and launch their own accusations against Trump.
But, on the border wall issue, Trump has a unique opportunity to pre-empt them if he simply limits his words, allowing the words Democrats have used to speak for them. Should Trump try explaining to Americans that Democrats are playing with our national security for purely political reasons, they will not buy off on it. Therefore, it is important they hear the words specifically spoken by Democrats who were for the wall before they were against it – and then let the American public surmise why.
Various anti-wall Democrats today sang a much different tune earlier about illegal immigration:
Sen. Harry Reid (1993) attacking the Republican leadership:
“If making it easy to be an illegal alien isn’t enough, how about offering a reward for being an illegal immigrant? No sane country would do that. Right? Guess again. If you break our laws by entering this country without permission and give birth to a child, we reward that child with U.S. citizenship. And guarantee a full access to all public and social services this society provides. And that’s a lot of services. Is it any wonder that two-thirds of the babies born at taxpayer expense in … county-run hospitals in Los Angeles are born to illegal alien mothers?”
Sen. Diane Feinstein (1994):
“We can enforce our borders. I think we should enforce our borders. To have a situation where 40 percent of the babies born on Medicaid in California today are born of illegal immigrants, creates a very real problem for the state. To have 17 percent of our prison population, at a cost of $300 million a year, be illegal immigrants who come here and commit felonies? That’s not what this nation is all about.”
President Bill Clinton, SOTU address (1995):
“We are a nation of immigrants.. but we are a nation of laws. Our nation is rightly disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering our country. … Illegal immigrants take jobs from citizens or legal immigrants, they impose burdens on our taxpayers. … That is why we are doubling the number of border guards, deporting more illegal immigrants than ever before, cracking down on illegal hiring, barring benefits to illegal aliens, and we will do more to speed the deportation of illegal immigrants arrest for crimes. … It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws that has occurred in the last few years … and we must do more to stop it.”
Sen. Tim Kaine (2005):
“I’m deeply opposed to illegal immigration. And I call on the federal government, the president, and immigration services to stop the inflood of illegal immigrants into this country.”
Sen. Barack Obama (2006):
“We simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented, unchecked, and circumventing the line of people who are waiting patiently, diligently, and lawfully to become immigrants.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (2007):
“I believe we have very serious immigration problems in this country. I think as you’ve heard today, sanctions against employers who employ illegal immigrants is virtually nonexistent. Our border is very porous. And I think we need a path to citizenship, which I think this bill addresses, in a significant way. My main concern about this bill is what it will do in terms of driving wages down, not only for low-wage workers, but for professional, skilled workers, as well. And I think at a time when the middle class is shrinking, the last thing we need is to bring over, a period of years, millions of people into this country who are prepared to lower wages for American workers. I think it’s a bad idea.”
Sen. Charles Schumer (2009):
“Illegal immigration is wrong, plain and simple. Until the American people are convinced we will stop future flows of illegal immigration, we will make no progress.”
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (2015):
“I voted numerous times when I was a senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in. And I do think you have to control your borders.”
Anti-border wall Democrats need listen to their own words and then explain in their response to the American people why they did such an about-face under Trump. The answer should be obvious: party politics.