Last week Donald Trump gave his second State of the Union address. It was the longest such address in almost 20 years. In an 83-minute monologue, Trump talked about the booming economy, low employment, and the historic number of women in the House. Two former drug offenders were highlighted for their excessive prison sentences that a new prison reform bill will address. Yet there was no mention of Jason Van Dyke’s light sentence after being convicted of second-degree murder and sixteen counts aggravated battery with a firearm in the death of Laquan McDonald. There was no mention of the five Houston police officers wounded while serving a drug warrant, the multiple acts of domestic terrorism, and no policies or bills were outlined to help address poverty or assist the poor in this country.
In the richest nation in the world, there are too many families having to decide between buying groceries and putting gas in the car to go to work. While many believe poverty is a choice, the results of laziness, or because of bad decisions, oftentimes that’s far from the truth. Yes, the economy is growing, the markets are slowly rebounding, but that means little to those on the lower-end of the socio-economic spectrum. Oftentimes, the poor don’t have 401K plans or stocks to realize the positive effects of a “growing economy.”
Trump is right -- we do have a national emergency and it has nothing to do with the southern border. America has Americans without adequate access to healthcare, employment, shelter, and education. Instead of building a wall, let’s build a bridge out of poverty.
I’m Joe Mitchell and this is my perspective.