A Journal of People report
US president Donald Trump delivered his first address to a joint session of the US Congress on Tuesday evening. His speech cites a few facts that expose condition of the US society:
“Tonight … we must honestly acknowledge the circumstances we inherited.
“Ninety-four million Americans are out of the labor force.
“Over 43 million people are now living in poverty, and over 43 million Americans are on food stamps.
“More than 1 in 5 people in their prime working years are not working.
“We have the worst financial recovery in 65 years.“In the last 8 years, the past Administration has put on more new debt than nearly all other Presidents combined.
“We’ve lost more than one-fourth of our manufacturing jobs since NAFTA was approved, and we’ve lost 60,000 factories since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
“Our trade deficit in goods with the world last year was nearly $800 billion dollars.”
The state of economy and society in the country is exposed in his speech as he mentioned “dying industries”, “crumbling infrastructure”, “terrible drug epidemic”, “neglected inner cities”, “criminal cartels … spread across our Nation”, “an environment of lawless chaos”, “gang members, drug dealers and criminals that threaten our communities and prey on our citizens”, “cycle of poverty” and “cycle of violence”.
The US president said:
“The murder rate in 2015 experienced its largest single-year increase in nearly half a century.
“In Chicago, more than 4,000 people were shot last year alone — and the murder rate so far this year has been even higher.”
“We’ve financed and built one global project after another, but ignored the fates of our children in the inner cities of Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit — and so many other places throughout our land.”
Mood in the society came up in the speech:
“Then, in 2016, the earth shifted beneath our feet. The rebellion started as a quiet protest, spoken by families of all colors and creeds – families who just wanted a fair shot for their children, and a fair hearing for their concerns.
“But then the quiet voices became a loud chorus – as thousands of citizens now spoke out together, from cities small and large, all across our country.
“Finally, the chorus became an earthquake – and the people turned out by the tens of millions, and they were all united by one very simple, but crucial demand, that America must put its own citizens first …”
The condition has led to, according to the speech, taking following step:
“We have placed a hiring freeze on non-military and non-essential Federal workers.”
The extent of corruption at government level is exposed as the speech mentions “the swamp of government corruption”. It is also exposed with the step the Trump administration, according to speech, has to take:
“Imposing a 5 year ban on lobbying by executive branch officials – and a lifetime ban on becoming lobbyists for a foreign government.”
The state’s foreign policy failures are so big that the speech by the president has to say:
“And overseas, we have inherited a series of tragic foreign policy disasters.”
The war economy is exposed by the following parts of the speech:
“America has spent approximately six trillion dollars in the Middle East, all this while our infrastructure at home is crumbling. With this six trillion dollars we could have rebuilt our country – twice. And maybe even three times if we had people who had the ability to negotiate.”
The situation leads the US president to say:
“Education is the civil rights issue of our time.”
But it does not mean that the cited civil rights – education – will not be put at the mercy of market.
The imperialist program is mentioned in the speech:
“I am sending the Congress a budget that rebuilds the military, eliminates the Defense sequester, and calls for one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history.”
But existing reality leads the US president to say in the speech:
“America respects the right of all nations to chart their own path. My job is not to represent the world. My job is to represent the United States of America. But we know that America is better off, when there is less conflict – not more.”
He also said:
“We must learn from the mistakes of the past – we have seen the war and destruction that have raged across our world.”
Contending interests will shape these statements.