Courtesy of CNN
By Franchetta Groves
President Trump delivered his third State of the Union (SOTU) address last Tuesday evening. Upon finishing, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi ripped her copy of his speech. The recent impeachment trial contributed to polarization and tension between the president and the Democratic party.
Pelosi shocked the Congress and the American people by standing and ripping President Trump’s speech as he was finishing. When asked about this action afterwards she said that, “It was the courteous thing to do, considering the alternatives.”
“I thought President Trump’s speech was overwhelmingly positive, and focused on the achievements of not only his administration, but also of the American people,” said freshman Catriona Fee. “To see Speaker Pelosi tear up the speech was disheartening to me, as I see her position as one of authority and dignity, and her actions were rather childish.”
Other students have differing perspectives on Pelosi’s actions.
“Recent republican outrage over Speaker Pelosi’s ‘classless’ ripping up of her copy of SOTU is nothing less than hypocrisy,” said freshman Juan Carlos Mora. “Speaker Pelosi’s actions symbolized a rejection of Trump and Trumpism-the notion that respecting another’s human dignity is no longer needed in politics. I ask my friends across the aisle that their party leaders weep nothing more than crocodile tears.”
The State of the Union Address took place as Trump’s impeachment trial was coming to a close in the Senate. Republicans acquitted President Trump of all charges and this contributed to the polarization and tension between Trump and Pelosi.
Pelosi was not the only Democrat who was upset about President Trump’s actions and the results of the impeachment trial. Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez among other Democrats skipped the State of the Union entirely in protest.
Cortez said her reasoning behind doing so was because she refuses to “normalize Trump’s lawless conduct & subversion of the Constitution.”
At the beginning of the night, Pelosi broke normal protocol in introducing the president. Normally the speaker of the house would announce the president by saying the following: “I have the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you the president of the United States.”
However Pelosi instead opted for the phrase, “Members of Congress, the president of the United States.” President Trump also snubbed Pelosi by appearing to ignore her outstretched hand as he took to the podium.
As usual topics during the address included the economy, foregin affairs, and the successes of the current administration. Yet due to the recent impeachment trials and Pelosi’s ripping of the speech there were questions about what this means for the state of politics in the United States.
“Regardless of whether you like the President or not I believe the office should be respected,” said freshman Emily Martinsen, “I thought it was so unprofessional and in terms of our country only makes things worse and creates more disunity and further tearing apart the fabric of our country.”