Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To The President’s State Of The Union Message

Under this President, the State of our Union is suddenly tenuous, in many ways.

President Trump can say he’s for uniting instead of dividing the nation.  He’s said it before.  But after a year of intensely divisive actions, petty insults and disgraceful race-baiting, those words ring hollow by now.  Nor does doubling down on his broken promises to help struggling Americans sound as convincing as it once might have.

The tens of billions of dollars that he wants taxpayers – not Mexico, as he promised – to pay for his cynical and misbegotten wall are sorely needed instead to improve veterans care, tackle the worsening opioid crisis, and address so many other pressing needs right here at home.

His Trump First focus isolates the United States from the world community.  He is alienating our international friends and allies, weakening our global leadership, ceding power to other nations that do not share our values, and threatening our long-term security. 

He has been systematically dismantling the constitutional pillars, ideals and principles that have kept America strong and vibrant.  His latest attacks on the independence of our justice system are more than appalling; they are deeply dangerous.

Words cannot and will not repair the damage he already has done.  Concrete deeds, steady actions, good faith cooperation and truth-telling will be needed for that.  Most Americans, as I do, yearn for a turn toward that kind of presidential leadership. 

He can effectively deliver words on a screen, but it is what he delivers for the American people that matters going forward.  

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David Carle: 202-224-3693