Observations of the President’s Address

  • 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? You think it’d be 1776.
  • Is the mailbox at the end of the driveway, or is there a slot in the front door?
  • The numbers on the White House itself aren’t that big. I bet people keep driving by it because they aren’t sure which one it is. Bigger numbers, President Trump!

Now that I got my dumb address jokes out of the way, here are my observations of the president’s address to the joint session of congress last night:

  • “Joint session of congress” will have a different meaning when weed is legal.
  • I wasn’t sure if I was watching a political address or a WWE pay-per-view the way ABC hyped it up with the pre-speech video package. I half expected Roman Reigns to spear Trump halfway through and Stone Cold Steve Austin to give Trump another Stone Cold Stunner while spraying beer all over the Capitol
  • I hate how the media frames things: “President Donald Trump lays out his vision for our future.” A little subliminal manipulation there: “The president is going to determine your future.” Though he plays a role, it’s up to us as individuals to deal with the cards we’re dealt, whether it’s the president, our boss, or a family member, it’s not their actions that determine what we do, it’s how we choose to respond.
  • Then ABC asks the most important question: “How will his message play?” Wait… you mean it’s more important to worry about what people will think of it? This communicates the importance of other people’s opinions to us, a basic roadblock to happiness. Imagine if people like Galileo, Martin Luther King, and Steve Jobs acted based on the opinions of others. This isn’t politics, this is basic well-being, and if the media places such importance on the opinions of others, imagine the effect this message is having on those who are constantly watching. If we want to accomplish positive change, we must do so without worrying about what others will think of it. Besides, no matter what we do, there will be those who disagree; it’s unavoidable. “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” ― Aristotle.
  • I hope nobody yells out “You lie!” It’s been done; at least be original and yell out something new. A “Go Browns!” would be pretty great.
  • I loved them showing him rehearsing his speech in the limo. Why weren’t the windows tinted? He totally planned this. Part of me believes this entire presidency is a reality show that he wants to be renewed for eight seasons.
  • What I want to hear in this speech: “I hear your cries. I understand we’re not always going to see eye-to-eye, but we all want to feel safe. Personally, I think the best way to be safe is to have a stricter vetting process for immigrants and build a wall. What do you think the best way to be safe is? Let’s sit down and learn about each other’s perspectives and create safety by hearing each other out and working together.”
  • What else I want to hear in this speech: A focus on goals we can work toward as a collective; a common cause to excite and inspire the country. We’ve had enough focusing on the problems, let’s all focus on working toward achieving goals together.
  • Paul Ryan and Mike Pence have matching ties. Do you think that was planned?
  • Actually, I think Mike learned what tie Paul was going to wear and then acted like it was totally a coincidence. “Hey Paul! Woah, we’re wearing the same tie. That’s  so weird. What a coincidence, right? That’s such a friend thing.”
  • Do you think we’re going to unify when Democrats are seated on one side and Republicans are on the other? Tim Kaine wins huge points by being the only Dem sitting on the GOP side. I’d love to see more intermingling because intermingling means conversation is inevitable.
  • People weren’t clamoring to shake Trump’s hand as he walked down the aisle. This either means people don’t like him as much as Obama, or they all saw him sneeze in his hand through the un-tinted limo window. Maybe a combination?
  • Booing? I don’t care which side you’re on or what you believe, booing communicates an unwillingness to expand perspective or empathize. We all know you don’t agree with this guy, booing just makes you sound whiny, especially when he hasn’t even said a word yet. Even though ABC makes you think so, this isn’t a WWE event where you can boo and chant “Asshole!” Be bigger than that, friends.
  • I bet Trump has no idea who half of the people are that he’s shaking hands with. “Hey, you.” “Good to see ya, guy. Oh, you’re a woman? Well I’m just working with the information I’ve been given.”
  • Love the play-by-play commentators. I wonder if there’s going to be instant replay.
  • Breaking news: Trump’s wearing a new tie!!! New tie, new leaf? We’ll find out soon enough.
  • This will probably be his most challenging speech yet: he’s in a room where not everyone agrees with him. Let’s see how he responds.
  • That was a damn long standing ovation. Great… he’s going to bring up how long this ovation was for the next month, isn’t he?
  • The ladies are all wearing white to raise awareness for women’s rights. The commentators think this might distract Donald, which isn’t far fetched. Do you think they got their wardrobes from Nordstrom? Also, if they wanted to really distract him, they’d have Rosie O’Donnell in the front row.
  • Woah, a second standing O? Did Donald plan that? “Can we just have standing ovations the whole time? Then I wouldn’t have to give the speech.” “Donald, you have to give the speech; that’s the point of this thing. There’s no way around it.” “Can Mike read the speech?” “No.” “Can we read the speech at the same time?” “No.” “Can I record myself giving the speech in Mar-a-Lago and have them project it on a screen?” “Mr. President! You have to give the speech.” “…Will everyone love me there? I don’t want to do it if everyone doesn’t love me.” His advisors share a knowing glance; they’ve been through this dozens of times now. “Sure, Mr. President. Everyone there will love you.”
  • The repeated shots of Cory Booker are definitely strategic. The media would love that guy to run for president in 2020.
  • I’m hopeful Melania champions a cause like Michelle did as First Lady. If she were to team up with Ashton Kutcher to fight human trafficking, show solidarity for single mothers, or create programs for widows and widowers of those lost in battle, that would be pretty cool. When I say programs, I’m not talking about having widows star in Melania perfume commercials isn’t what I’m referring to.

The speech itself

  • I’ll admit, I panicked a bit when he opened with a statement about Black History Month.
  • That first ovation after his Black History Month remarks probably led to the biggest sigh of relief in his life.
  • I’m glad he condemned hate and evil, but when the president does it, it shouldn’t be a surprise. Why do I feel surprised? That shouldn’t be a thing. I don’t know about you, but I want to live in a world where we don’t have to worry about condemning hate and evil. What steps can we take to make love and peace more commonplace?
  • He’s going to “deeply deliver” a message of unity and strength. This message is going to be so deep it’s going to make our heads spin, isn’t it? (I wish he would’ve worded it this way)
  • New life goal: attend a state of the union and clap at random times
  • We’re ready to lead the world. Great! I dig it! However, we’d be a ton better at leading others if we got really good at leading ourselves first.
  • He abbreviated anniversary and I agree with this choice; those last two syllables are such a waste of time. I’m going to use that down the road: “Happy anniverse, babe. Hope you like the choc and flows I got you.”
  • I agree, the inner city culture of violence must be transformed to one of creation, acceptance, and peace. But are inner cities the only places in this country that see violence?
  • I also agree that we must improve our infrastructure. Why? Honestly, are we giving the people of Flint the best chance to succeed? Improving the infrastructure isn’t just about putting people to work, it’s about taking care of the people in your care and giving them the best chance to succeed. Worrying about being poisoned by the water coming out of your sink is an unnecessary obstacle. Think about how much energy the people of Flint are expending on the basic right to water when they could be focusing on learning, growing, and working to create happiness and success for themselves.
  • If I were president, I would prompt people to clap at random shit by pairing it with inspiring messages. “We’re going to pass a law where everyone has to make a fart noise instead of saying the name ‘Hillary Clinton.’ We should live in a world of peace, equality and love, and together, we’re going to lead the way!” Pause for applause. Got ya! You all just clapped for the fart noise thing!!!
  • He missed the perfect opportunity for a joke about the inauguration crowd size after he said, “It’s now been a month since my inauguration.” If he jokingly said,  “Which, might I remind you, was the biggest inauguration in the history of the universe.” he would’ve loosened some people up and made them laugh. A touch of self-aware humor could go a long way toward humanizing himself to opponents.
  • The way he says “Billions and billions” is pretty funny.
  • Nancy Pelosi not clapping about bringing jobs back to America is the essence of partisanship. Although his policy for bringing those jobs back isn’t what she’s looking for, the end game of more jobs is a win more often than not, and that’s something both parties should be behind. Be a team player, Nance.
  • His remarks on “draining the swamp” are a perfect example of Trump not practicing what he preaches. How can he claim to be doing this when his secretary of state has been in the oil industry his whole career. Come on, dude. If you’re going to say it, mean it by actually doing it.
  • He spoke about an act where, for every new regulation, two old regulations must go. So many policies and laws are incredibly convoluted and confusing, so this is a good practice to promote simplicity, which is needed. The key to the success of this potential law lies in both sides coming together to determine which regulations are unneeded, out-of-date, and/or taking away opportunities for Americans to thrive.
  • My vision for our world is one of abundance, so explain to me how we can create abundance when we’re trying to power society with limited fossil fuels? Coal mining and oil are antiquated, dangerous, and add toxins to the air and water that are unsafe for human consumption. See the light (but don’t look directly into it if you don’t want to go blind): solar energy will give America an abundance of energy, whereas fossil fuels promote a mindset of lack. When we fear we might lose something, we make irrational choices that often lead to conflict. If we ever get to the point where we have to worry about running out of sunlight, we have bigger problems than how we’re going to create the energy to charge our phones. Can anyone claim they own the sun? The wind? We’re on the cusp of finding efficient ways to store and maximize solar power, putting money, time, and energy toward building pipelines and mining coal is a classic example of taking two steps back. If you’re thinking, “What about the jobs we’re going to lose?” think about the money, time, and energy we’re going to save and be able to use to reeducate and retrain those who have worked in fossil fuel. Where there’s a Will, there’s a way, and I’m fairly certain there are thousands of Wills working in the fossil fuel industry.
  • Here’s a basic principle we should all live by: leave the world a better place than it was when you found it. This means other people and our environment. Can we really say with a straight face that we left the world in a better place if our technology is releasing toxins into the air that have been proven to make people sick?
  • On the flip side, I understand how support has been drummed up with the continuation of building oil pipelines: they’re made with American steel. Again, this is short-term thinking. While these pipelines will create jobs at first, which is great, we’re going to be stuck on (and in) oil while the rest of the world starts a solar energy revolution without us. While they’re creating new long-term jobs, improving electric efficiency, and creating brand new industries, we’ll be trying to clean up oil-covered pelicans and dealing with sicknesses, such as lung cancer, which are prevalent in large cities filled with cars giving off toxic fumes. Do you think people were stoked about factories and new technologies that appeared in the Industrial Revolution? Of course not, but the leaders in our country saw the opportunities at hand and took advantage, quickly turning us into a world power.
  • Working together with Prime Minister Trudeau to promote an entrepreneurship program for women is a brilliant idea. I believe in the spreading of an entrepreneur mindset, and empowering millions of people to overcome societal limitations to succeed is never a bad idea.
  • If we want to reduce crime, what are we replacing it with?
  • I dig the expansion of treatment for those addicted to drugs.
  • His motives behind immigration enforcement and border security are to raise wages, help the unemployed, save “billions and billions of dollars,” and make communities safer. These are sound motives, but his methodology for getting there might be a tad skewed, though from his POV, this is how he thinks we can create these results. It’s time to sit down with people on the other side of the wall (see what I did there?), focus on the goals, and work together to create new ideas on how we can get there. This message is for Democrats: resisting everything he proposes gets us nowhere. He thinks his strategy will keep us safe, which is what everyone wants. Starting from what we agree upon – a collective desire for safety – focuses us on the solution, rather than our differences, which accentuate the problem.
  • If we were to eliminate all of the applause, this would be a five minute speech
  • I reeeeeally wanted him to say, “The wall isn’t just a great wall, it’s going to be known as the Great, Great Wall because it’s so much better than the wall in China.”
  • He’s framing extremism as if it’s only Islam that creates extremists. No matter the motive, all violent crime involves someone with extreme beliefs, regardless of faith. Teach and inspire kindness from a young age to all individuals and stop creating abstractions and grouping people together. It’s unfair to the nice ones.
  • Regardless of party, it’s important that the people in leadership have different perspectives. Being surrounded by “yes men” limits perspective when it comes to solving problems, hence the idea that building the wall will actually work.
  • Wait, since when do they include a side bar cycling through each topic he’s going to cover? I feel like I’m watching an episode of Pardon the Interruption on ESPN.
  • Note if you’re attending a State of the Union: stretch first. The amount of standing and sitting is bound to pull a hamstring or two.
  • Was Marie Scalia his celebrity appearance to prompt people to come? He kept telling everyone about a “surprise celebrity guest” on the fliers around DC, giving people who wouldn’t normally come a reason to show up. Then, when he shouted out to Marie, everyone was like, “That wasn’t it, was it? I was hoping it would be Kanye or Scott Baio. I hope that wasn’t it.”
  • It’s interesting to note that Donald values skill and devotion to the law over integrity when it comes to Supreme Court Justices. Those who innovate and advance society are those who see the law as a guideline rather than an absolute.
  • I bet Bike Night at the White House was off the chain!
  • Donald’s got motorcycle jokes! Who knew??
  • If other countries are charging a 100% tariff on exported Harley Davidson motorcycles, Trump’s right; something needs to be done. That’s an absurd number if we want to work together with the rest of the world and continue to globalize.
  • I’m down with the idea of a merit-based system when it comes to immigration. It’s pretty simple to me: are you a contributor to society? Do you make your community and those around you better? These aren’t just questions for immigrants, either. These are questions we should all be asking ourselves.
  • Calling it the Affordable Care Act is much more aesthetically pleasing than Obamacare. I bet more people would be cool with it if it was only referred to as the ACA.
  • “Everything that’s broken can be fixed. Every problem can be solved. Every hurting family can find healing and hope. Why not join forces and get the job done?” – This is a quotable line, Don. Nice work. It could’ve been more effective to say, “Imagine what the world would look like if we came together and got the job done,” to inspire a bit of visualization. I’m splitting hairs here, but thinking about that world just feels Cool vision, DJT.
  • Happy belated Rare Disease Day, everybody! I’m about to go get drunk and celebrate!
  • I could talk forever about education policy. Instead, here are links to two TED Talks by two visionaries ahead of their time when it comes to education: Sir Ken Robinson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFMZrEABdw4 and Seth Godin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXpbONjV1Jc&t=10s
  • “Every child should grow up feeling safe in their neighborhood, going to school, and having access to a high paying job.” His route is by working together with law enforcement – building bridges of cooperation and trust between people (man, he could use this strategy in his immigration and foreign policies and in his relationship with the media and the opposing party).
  • Showed black congressmen clapping when he talked about law enforcement, probably because they wanted to show white people that it’s okay to clap here.
  • What’s the difference between “pure, unadulterated division” and long division. If the answer includes math, I don’t really care that much.
  • And then he does this VOICE thing. Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement? Either they needed the ‘I’ to make it a working acronym or he forgot about the bridges thing. For real, though… more people are victims of crimes committed by Americans.
  • Editorial to be part of the gallery invited by Trump: “Were you or a loved one murdered by an illegal immigrant?”
  • Some of the military budget increase should go toward peacekeeping, not war. We must inspire those cultures that despise us to create abundance, love, and service to each other. The Middle East was kind of thrust into the advanced western world way before they were ready, so of course they’re going to cling to their old beliefs and resist the new. We had the Renaissance, Reformation, Age of Enlightenment, and Industrial Revolution. They basically went from the Middle Ages to an advanced and connected industrial world, skipping the baby steps it took us to get from where we were to where we are. We must inspire them how to behave in a way that leaves the world a better place than it was when they found it. We can do this by inspiring a change in perception. It can’t hurt – world powers have been beating other cultures into submission for millenia and there’s still violence, so it’s clearly not how we create peace. Time to try something new!
  • I will say, good move on allotting some of the increased military spending on helping veterans
  • Anytime anyone boos him, he should refer to Ryan Owens’ widow to transition it into a standing ovation.
  • Sounds like “the money is pouring in” to NATO from other countries was an ad-lib. Definitely fact check this one.
  • Wrapping it up with optimism is a great way to close it out. No more of that “American carnage” stuff is nice.

What did you think of his speech? There’s for sure some room for improvement, especially when it comes to bridge-building, so let’s hope actions speak louder than words and it’s not just a charade. We’ll find out on his Twitter this week.

If you could create one positive change in our country (and not just get rid of something or somebody) what would you create?


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