by Diondra Clements
On Jan. 30, President Donald Trump gave his first State of the Union address as the 45th president of the United States. While some watched to keep up with politics and the fate of the country, others simply protested by not watching the speech at all.
According to some mainstream media outlets, such as CNN and NBC, the tone of the speech was deemed “different” compared to previous SOTU addresses by preceding presidents.
For many, it seemed as if Trump started off the speech with self-praise on his behalf and the Trump administration, acknowledging everything they had accomplished within the past year.
“I thought it was a rather typical Trump. Heavy on pageantry, light on specifics,” Jason Jakubowski, a professor of political science at Central Connecticut State University, said.
President Trump stated in his speech that, since the election, he had created 2.4 million jobs, and that both African-American and Hispanic unemployment rates had reached “the lowest levels in history.”
According to FactCheck.org and The Washington Post, both statements were proven to be exaggerations. From the time Trump took the oath of office back in January of 2017, there have been 1.8 million jobs created, which is six-hundred thousand less than he stated.
Some of Trump’s previous statements made well before his address that included, but not limited to, his stance on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ultimately angered some students, causing them to avoid any news related or pertaining to the SOTU.
“I avoided learning anything about it. I knew I would be disappointed, so I decided I’d rather focus on my schoolwork than waste energy listening to someone who rarely makes sense,” CCSU student and Student Government Association senator Amanda Gorman said.
Still, others watched closely to see how Trump’s words could impact both themselves and the country.
“I personally was struck by how many times he clapped for himself throughout the speech. It was strange. I have never seen another president do that,” Jakubowski said.
During previous addresses, it was stated by CNN that presidents would often take the time Trump used clapping for himself to outline their upcoming plans and what they wanted to achieve for their upcoming year.
For some, it still seemed as if Trump ultimately took a different stance by filling his speech with self-praise and using those in the audience to help prove his point. For example, Trump used Staub Manufacturing, a small business, to explain how his tax reform has brought in more money for local businesses and the working class.
Still, Gorman and Jakubowski were not the only ones who had low expectations of the President’s SOTU address; only 48 percent of Americans who watched his address had a “very positive” reaction, according to CNN, the number lowest since 1998.
Senior and former SGA member Damar Britto was among students who chose to avoid the address altogether, saying he “wasn’t too interested” because he “really can’t tolerate Trump talking too long.”
For now, both CCSU students and professors will have to wait another year if they want to hear Trump’s annual address to the American people.