US political polarization continues to rise

By Sajjad Malik
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, February 11, 2020
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U.S. President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., the United States, Feb. 4, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

U.S. President Donald Trump made an emphatic case for reelection as he delivered the State of the Union address before a divided joint-session of congress. The address followed a vote by the U.S. House of Representatives in December to impeach him for alleged misuse of power. However, Trump, seemingly unfazed, made a blistering effort to fire up his base and secure support for his reelection in November.

Trump spent around 20 minutes of the address recounting his economic achievements. He said his was the age of abundance and prosperity, addingthat the economy was the "best ever" in the history of America, due to rising wages and the lowest unemployment levels in 50 years.

Trump congratulated his own role in the development of the economy, despite many of his proclamations not being true. For example, he said that the new trade deal with Mexico and Canada–USMCA–would create 100,000 new jobs, whereas a report by the U.S. International Trade Commissioner showed that only 28,000 jobs were expected over the next six years.

He also talked about various familiar topics like immigration, abortion and gun laws, which are considered as red meat for his base, and important to boost his chances for a second term.

However, he was almost mute on foreign policy matters, except reiterating his desire to end wars in the Middle East and his attempts to stop the festering conflict in Afghanistan through reconciliation with the Taliban.

Close to home, Trump showed no signs of reconciliation with his domestic political rivals. Dramatic moments included Trump's refusal to take the extended hand of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, followed by her then ripping up his speech in full view of the cameras.

The State of the Union is likely to work in Trump's favor. He said that he had kept his promises made on the campaign trail and also quoted some examples to prove his point.

However, such a highly partisan speech is likely to exacerbate the deep divisions in the country. This comes as the power struggle between the Democrats and Republicans is likely to get more bitter over the coming months. The 2020 election looks set to be a stormy campaign for the White House.

Sajjad Malik is a columnist with For more information please visit:

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