U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore
Op Ed

How Trump Has Unified America

The state of our union is strong because he’s unified so many Americans against him.

By - Feb 1st, 2018 12:30 pm
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Donald Trump. Photo from whitehouse.gov.

Donald Trump. Photo from whitehouse.gov.

As I sat in the well of the House of Representatives during President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address, I listened to him boast about his administration’s “incredible progress” and “extraordinary success.”

“The state of our union is strong because our people are strong,” said the president.

He’s right. The state of our union is indeed strong, as are the people who call it home. And despite what my Democratic colleagues might think, I do believe President Trump deserves credit as well — just not for the reasons he thinks.

The president’s first year in office has been tumultuous to say the least. Most of his administration’s legislative goals have been mired by self-sabotage; his mental fitness and moral clarity have been questioned by both parties; special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation haunts the White House at every turn; and President Trump’s vulgar anti-immigrant comments have sent shockwaves across the globe. However, these shameful transgressions have done more to unify our country than any policy the Trump administration claims to have championed during its short tenure.

Take, for example, the president’s efforts to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: After making clear his intention to scrap protections for approximately 800,000 undocumented immigrants who came to our country as children, faith communities across America stood up to take action. Recently, dozens of rabbis and Jewish clergy members staged a sit-in under the Russell Senate Office Building rotunda to protest the president’s efforts. They called for the passage of the DREAM Act, a bipartisan bill that would provide a path to citizenship for those with DACA or Temporary Protected Status.

A total of 82 people were arrested and escorted off the premises in handcuffs.

“Welcoming the stranger is an important part of our identity,” said Barbara Weinstein, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, one of the groups that organized the protest. “We are all descendants of immigrants. It’s on all of us to support these DREAMers. They grew up here, this is the only country they’ve ever known, many of them serve in the military, this is their home.”

Even conservatives deep in the heart of Trump country have made the decision to rise above the president’s anti-immigrant agenda. Residents of Volusia, Fla., where President Trump received 54 percent of the vote in 2016, recently elected Michael Chitwood — a progressive reformer with a strong pro-immigrant outlook — to serve as county sheriff. Sheriff Chitwood isn’t your typical red-state law enforcement official: He’s ordered his deputies to reject the racial-profiling tactics supported by the Trump Justice Department and has even lobbied Congress to find a solution to protect our DREAMers.

During tonight’s speech, the president echoed Sheriff Chitwood’s sentiments, taking a break from his usual caustic, anti-immigrant rhetoric to express optimism in finding a bipartisan compromise on DACA. “It is time to reform these outdated immigration rules, and finally bring our immigration system into the 21st century,” said the president.

As lovely as that sounds, the validity of such a sentiment quickly degrades against the backdrop of reality. Let’s not forget that just weeks ago, in the vilest of manners, the president turned his back on a proposed bipartisan senate immigration compromise. “Why do we want all these people from shithole countries coming here?” President Trump asked a group of senators in the Oval Office.

Ignorant viewpoints like that and the president’s corresponding polices have helped spur a surge of opposition at the ballot box, from support for candidates like state Delegate Danica Roem, D-Va., and Senator Doug Jones, D-Ala., to ordinary Americans running for office and taking matters into their own hands. And I’m proud to report that women are at the very tip of the spear.

Women across the country have united in an unprecedented wave of first-time candidates taking to the campaign trail. In the last year, more than 26,000 women have contacted Emily’s List — the largest national resource for women in politics — about getting involved in public service. (I also turned to Emily’s List during my first bid for congress in 2004, and I continue to work with them today.)

The administration’s intolerance, however, isn’t the only factor that has inspired everyday Americans to take a stand. In fact, many of the country’s most vulnerable joined forces against the president to oppose what is now considered his administration’s only major legislative achievement to speak of —the Republican tax plan.

Last December, as members of Congress debated the plan, those representing America’s disabled converged on the capitol in droves to sound the alarm over the dangerous impact the Republican proposal would have on Medicaid. With a clear understanding that the tax plan would add $1.5 trillion to the national debt, disability rights activist knew Republicans would target programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security, as a means to offset the price tag.

Devastating cuts to these vital programs — $1 trillion from Medicaid and $500 billion from Medicare — is nothing short of a death sentence for Americans with disabilities. It was with this in mind that activists of all ages from across the political spectrum (some connected to ventilators) literally threw their bodies in front of the president’s agenda. They hoisted themselves out of their wheelchairs onto the floor of the Rayburn House Office Building and pleaded with their elected representatives to reverse course. It was a striking display of heroism that I will not soon forget.

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” I believe the same could be said for our country.

And in the face of an administration determined to vilify immigrants, ignore women, belittle communities of color, and put the desires of the wealthy before the needs of the vulnerable, courageous acts of defiance have only strengthened our collective resolve. In spite of President Trump and his administration, the state of our union has never been stronger.

Congresswoman Gwen Moore was elected to represent Wisconsin’s 4th Congressional District in 2004, making her the first African American elected to Congress from the State of Wisconsin. This op-ed originally ran with NBC News.

Categories: Op-Ed, Politics

17 thoughts on “Op Ed: How Trump Has Unified America”

  1. Terry says:

    Trump is a disaster and his enablers like Career Politician Big Government moocher Scott Walker and Paul “Toady for Trump” Ryan need to be voted out of office in November 2018.

  2. Mike Stanley says:

    Trump’s approval rating is actually higher today than it was on November 8, 2016 (the day he won the Presidency). Sorry to destroy your rant with a single sentence and a single link, Congresswoman. https://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster/donald-trump-favorable-rating

  3. Terry says:

    @Mike Stanley, it might be “higher today than it was on November, 8th 2016” but you forgot to mention that Trump’s approval rating is still “the lowest approval rating ever recorded for a US President after one year.”

    http://time.com/5103776/donald-trump-approval-rating-graph/

    That’s right, the worst ever! You forgot that part Mike. Sorry to destroy your little sycophantic Trump Toady groveling.

  4. Mike Stanley says:

    Trump’s base is unique and traditional approval numbers aren’t as applicable to him as they are to a “generic Republican” like Bush, McCain, or Romney. Many of his supporters are not reachable by traditional polling methods. “Silent Majority”.

  5. PMD says:

    Mike Stanley is right. Polls are fake news. Trump’s approval rating is more like 65%, if not more. Most of his supporters live in cabins without electricity and trailers without Internet or cell phone access, so pollsters can’t reach them. #MakeAmericaWhiteAgain

  6. Terry says:

    @Mike, You mean like all the closeted racists that voted for him? You do have a point there but I wouldn’t be too proud of it myself. Most of the Neo-Nazis, White Nationalists, Confederates etc. are out of the closet now anyways Mike but I digress…

    The fact remains, Donald Trump has “the lowest approval rating ever recorded for a president after one year.” The lowest ever. Suck on that one for while.

    Nixon had a “silent majority” as well, and then he resigned in complete disgrace. Trump has never even had a majority, much less a “silent” one. He lost the popular vote by millions remember.

    So you just keep rationalizing how “Trump’s base is unique and traditional approval numbers aren’t as applicable to him…” You keep rationalizing and excusing away his crypto-fascism and authoritarianism…right up until a Big Blue Wave washes him and all his groveling little sycophantic republican toadies away in November 2018!

  7. Troll says:

    Gwen Moore 2020. Gwen will you stand up against Gerrymandering. I would love to see you on the debate floor in a competitive race.

  8. PMD says:

    I agree Troll she should stand up against gerrymandering and face a competitive race.

  9. Ben says:

    The US is recovering amazingly after Obama nearly destroyed it.

    I haven’t seen this much support for the President of the United States before!!!

    With Obama, we were always worried about what is coming next….what new taxes, what new laws, who is he going to discriminate against next….

    With President Trump, we know he is looking out for the country, not for donors and the rich.

    Obama supported keeping the poor dependent on handouts. Trump wants to support the working-hands and the betterment of the hardworking.

  10. PMD says:

    Amen Ben. The swamp has been drained!

    “Draining the swamp? D.C. lobbying during Trump administration surges to highest level in 7 years.” https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/01/26/draining-swamp-dc-lobbying-during-trump-administration-surges-highest-level-7-years/1068627001/

  11. ERIC J. says:

    Ben :
    -Trump was GIVEN an economy on the rise for several years already. At this point he is riding the wave.

    -With TRUMP (Obama),we are ( were) always worried about what is coming next ( Tweet/rant)

    -With President Trump, we know he is looking out for the donors and the rich ( country), his administration IS FULL OF them ( Wall Street exec’s.). The Swamp is far worse than ever.

  12. Troll says:

    Happy working class tax cut day. Thanks for the extra take home pay. Liberals I am sure you are outraged by your own money. I suggest sending your extra gains to the GYPSY taco vender. Since you lefties keep calling him a racist. He has a child and simply is trying to make ends meet. He must find a new company name and it will cost at least $25,000

  13. PMD says:

    Happy Lobbyists Live at Trump’s Hotel Day. Conservatives I’m sure you’re outraged that rather than drain the swamp lobbyists are spending their days at a Trump property near the White House and lobbying at record levels, which ensured that the vast majority of the beneficiaries of the tax cuts are the ultra wealthy elites that Trump campaigned against. You’re probably writing strongly worded letters to your representatives in Congress right now to express how outraged you are that the working class is being ignored as lobbyists schmooze at Trump’s hotel and the tax cuts benefit the billionaires in his cabinet.

  14. EricS says:

    Job creation has dropped some the last few years, but is generally continuing the trend of the last 7-8 years or so. The unemployment rate has continued to drop at roughly the same pace as it has for the last 8 years or so. The stock market has continued its march upward, with some hiccups here and there, much the same as it has for the last 8 years or so.

    So, yeah, the Trump economy looks largely the same as the Obama economy. Will the growth and expansion continue? Are we overdo for a contraction? We’ll see going forward.

  15. Troll says:

    Gwen Moore why won’t you pursue the Sterling Brown video? NAACP where is the outrage? No one wants to watch a privileged black man attack police officers. Tom Barrett. meets with the Bucks but cannot thank the police for their service.

  16. PMD says:

    My family member was one of the officers on the scene Troll. He’s a sergeant in that district. What you described didn’t happen. Quit spewing hateful, racist nonsense. You have no idea what you’re talking about.

  17. Terry says:

    @Ben, Dow -666!
    Yet another Republican economic crash, this time with Trump at the helm is just beginning…Don’t worry. Democrats will be there again to save the economic system, just like they did under Obama, and then be blamed for it and having a record economic expansion by dim-witted republicans. That’d just how it works.

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