President Trump’s State of the Union Address

President Donald Trump addressed the nation for the first time since he got into office on January 30, 2018, according to the requirements of the United States constitution which compels the head of state to provide information on the State of the Union and give recommendations to the Congress periodically. In the last speech, the president focused on policy issues pertaining to unity, tax reductions, immigration, infrastructure development, security, and energy sustainability. He intends to implement the new changes by garnering support from the congress through the preparation of bills and approval of new budgets, especially as far as the sectors of security and infrastructure are concerned. In particular, the president plans to execute his policies by uniting democrats and republicans into a form of partnership that will guarantee safety, security, and support for the entire American population including both the poor and rich.

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            However, the president’s speech was limited by a range of fallacies, including hasty generalization, strawman, and appeal to ignorance. The fallacy of hasty generalization was embodied in several instances among which the most significant was the claim that “there are no other people on earth who are as daring, fearless, and determined as Americans” (USA TODAY). This statement is quite general and lacks sufficient evidence to support it. Indeed, the president seems to have hastily made this claim, committing some sort of overstatement to please the American people. Two more instances where this fallacy was exemplified were the claims that “320 million hearts were moaning for victims of violence and could not imagine the extent of their sorrows” and that “Americans are dreamers” (USA TODAY).  The fallacy of generalization was more common in the president’s speech than any other fallacy, perhaps because there is no single measure agreed upon for “sufficient” evidence.

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            The president also frequently used the strawman fallacy in his statement, either as a way of making an argument or refuting an argument which no one had made before. For example, he claimed that his government wanted “every American to appreciate the dignity of a hard day’s work.” The reality is that many Americans appreciate the dignity of their jobs and there is no one prior to Trump’s presidency who had declared otherwise. He also cited that his regime was in a “drive to make Washington accountable” (USA TODAY). While it is true that previous regimes had a few counts of unaccountability, they were also accountable in many ways. Moreover, it can be concluded that President Trump was arguing against a strawman because nobody had initially provided a claim that refuted his stand. Lastly, the president appealed to ignorance in a few instances including when he said that “Americans adore their nation and, as such, deserve a regime that returns their loyalty.” This assertion is mainly founded on ignorance since all Americans have not confirmed love for their country.  

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In conclusion, President Trump’s speech focused on legitimate issues facing Americans particularly regarding the need for tax reductions, immigration reforms, infrastructure development, security, and energy sustainability. Nevertheless, he occasionally applied fallacies in his arguments. Overall, I think that the policies he presented in his speech were justifiable based on existing evidence, although the inclusion of delusions could result in bad relations with other countries. For instance, by referring to China and Russia as rogue regimes and terrorists, the president could have worsened interactions with these countries.

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