Our government’s manifesto of mistruths

On Feb. 4, members of both parties gathered in the House to hear the president’s annual address to the nation, but like most things involving Trump, the event did not come without controversy.

While the majority of Republican senators wore dark suits, the Democratic women of Congress arrived in all white to signify their commitment to the stand for women’s rights.

Enter Trump.

As the president approached the podium, both Vice President, Mike Pence, and Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi stood to shake the president’s hand. While Trump greeted Pence, he dodged Pelosi’s outstretched hand.

After that, things got ugly.

It’s become tradition that the speaker of the house introduces the president to the chamber with the phrase “Members of Congress, I have the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you the President of the United States.”

After the handshake debacle though, Pelosi simply said, “Members of Congress, the President of the United States.” Throughout the address, Pelosi shook her head in disagreement.

At the end of the 78 minutes, Pelosi stood and tore up her copy of the president’s speech in an act of

defiance. This single rip has further divided both Washington and the nation at large, and now Republicans want to write a formal disapproval resolution against Pelosi. So was it right for Pelosi to tear up Trump’s speech?

According to an investigation by FactCheck.org, many of Trump’s statistics were either stretched or totally false. Trump claimed that “illegal crossings” at the southwest border were down 75% since May. Total apprehensions in 2019 however, were 81% higher than what was recorded in 2016 before Trump took office.

While Trump gloated that “our economy is the best it has ever been,” the most recent official estimate has shown that gross domestic product grew only 2.3% in the last year, in comparison to 2.9% in 2018 or 3.8% in 2004. Democrats’ biggest issue with the speech, however, was when Trump claimed that healthcare was now “cheaper” and “better,” when in fact plans created by his administration cover significantly less care.

“He shredded the truth with his speech, he’s shredding the constitution with his conduct and I shredded his state of mind address.” Pelosi said in a statement to Fox News.

While this State of the Union had a strange, reality-TV element to it, it’s important to remember that

these addresses have always been an emotionally charged event.

During Obama’s 2009 State of the Union, South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson yelled “you lie.” This latest address though, was really the first time I think these emotions and microaggressions spiraled out of control.

Yes, much of Trump’s speech was not factual, but ripping it up was not helpful to anyone. While she was trying to make a statement about truths, Pelosi instead stooped to Trump’s childish, vindictive level.

The president feeds on drama, and he’s looking for anything to turn the tables on Democrats after the attempted impeachment. Pelosi gave him exactly what he wanted.

It’s understandable that Pelosi’s emotions got the best of her.

Trump is like a virus that nobody can seem to get rid of and every time she’s tried following procedure to take him to task, it’s come back to bite her.

While the President has disregarded most standards of professionalism, it’s important that Pelosi remembers that she represents Democrats in the most politically divided state the nation has ever known.

Someone has to be the adult in our government.