President Trump delivered his State of the Union address on 4 February in true Trump fashion: he repaid the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, in her own coin for her dismissive attitude towards him the previous year and simultaneously played to the entire American gallery. He began by noting his economic achievements over the last year, which themselves were of a greater magnitude than any his immediate predecessor had achieved. Those, however, could never have satisfied this president’s thirst for unbounded glory. He incorporated the stories of ordinary Americans into his speech, effectively demonstrating how executive decisions – his decisions – affected the lives of people who live far from the elitist, stratospheric circles within which most politicians in Washington move.

President Trump first introduced a military veteran who had previously struggled with drug addiction. Homeless, the African-American man was eventually employed by a company in Cincinnati, Ohio, that, due to the booming economy, sought workers from areas that had until now been neglected. The company trained and then employed the veteran. As Mr Trump noted, the man is now a top-performing tradesman. He then introduced a World War Two airman who, after carrying out 130 missions, returned to “a country still struggling for civil rights”, then went on to fight in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He also introduced the 100-year-old African-American veteran’s great-grandson, who aspires to join the Space Force that the president recently created. He next introduced a single African-American mother, whose young daughter aspired to going to a better school but whose efforts to achieve that had been blocked by legislation enacted by the Democrat Governor of Pennsylvania, who vetoed a Trump initiative, “School Choice”, in that state. That veto blocked the young girl’s dreams of a better-quality education and those of an estimated 50,000 other students. The president announced, however, that an opportunity scholarship would be made available to the student, enabling her to go to the school of her choice.

He brought a serving military officer into the chamber, much to the surprise of that person’s spouse and family who thought he was still in Afghanistan and, in a show of defiance to the Democrats, conferred the highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, on a conservative radio talk-show host. Arguably the most impactful story was that of a mother and her two-year-old daughter, who had been born at just 21 weeks. The strongly pro-life president did not need to make a statement regarding the right-to-life debate; the presence of that child spoke volumes to “pro-lifers”.

This paper, then, will describe why many ordinary US citizens may vote for President Trump in the forthcoming November presidential election and act as a basis for a future examination of his possible foreign policies in his second term.

Key points:

  • It is likely that President Trump will win the US presidential election in November this year.
  • There are equally strong signs that the support he now enjoys could result in a Republican takeover of the House of Representatives.
  • Were that to occur, the Republican Party would control both the House and Senate.
  • President Trump is, moreover, placing officials who share his views and who are loyal to him in key positions in the Intelligence Community and in the State Department.
  • Combined with his nominations to the Supreme Court, the effects of “Trumpism” could have a major impact on US domestic and foreign policy for decades to come.
Publication Details
Publication Year: