In his column Feb. 1, Viper One Six captured the divide that has severed this nation. The televised State of the Union address by President Trump vividly portrayed to the American people the gulf that separates Republicans and Democrats. Those who watched and listened to the address could see clearly what Republicans stand for and what Democrats do not stand for.
There were many instances where I could understand why Democrats would not stand to applaud the president. There are many differences between the two parties regarding policies. Had a Democrat president made the address, there would be policies proclaimed which the Republicans would not stand for and applaud.
There are genuine differences between the parties on policy issues such as Obamacare, the environment, trade, sequestering of military funding, whether the state of our union is strong and immigration. Viper One Six captured many of those differences and why Republicans cannot support the Democrats’ views.
Policies are one thing; principles are another. One would think that there are policies and principles that both parties would stand for. If there is any doubt for what Republicans stand and for what Democrats do not, watch the address. See for yourselves what the Republicans literally stood for and the Democrats did not.
Republicans stood for our motto “In God We Trust” approved by a joint session of Congress in 1956. The Democrats did not. Republicans stood for better health care for veterans. Democrats did not. Republicans stood for removing government employees who fail the American people. Democrats did not. Republicans stood for getting tough on illegal drugs. Democrats did not. Republicans stood for the lowest ever unemployment rates for African Americans and Hispanics. Democrats did not. Republicans stood for putting America first. Democrats did not. Republicans stood for repairing our infrastructure. Democrats did not. Republicans stood for acknowledging Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Democrats did not.
Republicans stood for the national capitol as a monument to the American people. Some Democrats stood for that. Others did not. Republicans stood to honor Coast Guard Petty Officer Leppert who helped rescue more than 40 people during Hurricane Harvey. Some Democrats stood. Others did not. When the president proclaimed that “the state of our union is strong because our people are strong,” Republicans stood. Democrats did not. When he stated that “we are defending our Second Amendment … and (protecting) our religious liberty,” Republicans stood. Democrats did not.
The Democrats’ platform was visible for all to see. In the upcoming campaigns they cannot deny what all can see. They cannot deny not standing for patriotism, accountability, lower unemployment, infrastructure improvements and the rule of law. All Americans saw clearly that not all Democrats stood even when the president proclaimed that “We all share … the same great American flag.” There is no denying it.
In his rebuttal to the address, Congressman Joe Kennedy provided a litany of idealism. He urged the Democrats to “Have faith.” Trump and Republicans are providing solutions. The president called upon all Americans to unite. Republicans stood. Democrats sat. By not standing, Democrats have demonstrated clearly what Republicans stand for and what Democrats sit for.
Rich Kiper is a Leavenworth Times columnist.