EDITORIAL: Trump’s state of the union speech underscores his threat to the nation


President Donald Trump during his second State of the Union Address made an undeniable case for the wisdom of bipartisan cooperation in Congress, keeping his wayward presidency in check, and replacing him as soon as possible.

Filled with threats, deceit and innuendo, the shameful speech was more like of that of a desperate, third-world dictator than that of an American president.

Because the tirade was filled with customary Trump distortions, fiction and conflations, Americans looking for a defensible argument for anything this president pitched were left wanting.

It is undeniable that Trump and his administration have created a fictitious immigration crisis at the Mexican border, rushing thousands of troops there to create a spectacle most Americans already see through. The most worrisome part of this charade is how a growing number of Republicans in Congress are becoming complicit or outright championing Trump’s ludicrous and dangerous feint.

The United States’ problem with illegal immigration has long gone unsolved because powerful business lobbies refuse to give up the source of cheap, available labor. Even if Americans were to stipulate Trump’s case, it would do nothing to solve the problem he proclaims to he Public Enemy No. 1. The vast majority of illegal immigrants, drugs and more arrive in the United States through manned ports, not in the middle of the desert.

His dubious claims are as worthless as the plan he has to fix it.

While Trump’s speech was loaded with puffery and misinformation, Trump touched on a host of topics that shine as examples of his malfeasance: trade, war and infrastructure.

The Trump Administration, after disrupting global trade by attacking it and turning it upside down, has done nothing but hike tariffs and jeopardized various critical American industries. This is  certain to hit American consumers in the wallet even harder than it already has. There is no workable north American trade agreement at the this point because he’s damaged one and failed to enact another.

U.S. credibility in foreign relations is at an all-time low as other major democracies take control of the world state in light of Trump Administration buffoonery. He has jeopardized NATO, emboldening the Russians, undermined nuclear controls on Iran, allowed North Korea to step out from under world pressure to end its nuclear program and painted America as a rogue frat house rather than a world power.

Given years to create an infrastructure plan, Congress has done next to nothing to provide a way forward in replacing trillions of dollars of failing roads and bridges and create new transit for a growing nation. In two years with his own party in control, a transportation plan has gone nowhere and Congress gives no indication it will in the near future.

But the most worrisome message Trump delivered during his Tuesday address is that he’s willing to do anything it takes to prevent Congress and his own justice department from exposing whatever it is he and his cronies are hiding. Americans have already seen how far Trump will go to hide his past.

“If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation,” he declared.

Even his own Republican comrades fell silent in the room, understanding the threat of an autocrat they do not control.

Any credible Republican could easily usurp Trump as the 2020 presidential nominee, but that Trump will do anything to prevent that. Republicans have created President Trump, and they now must suffer him.

That’s not the case for the rest of the nation. With an opposition party in the House, the nation can be assured that any crimes, corruption and malfeasance committed by Trump, his administration and his compatriots will be exposed.

The nation needs and craves bi-partisan cooperation and civility. Trump has successfully undermined it since he became a candidate, and he laid out a clear path Tuesday of how he’ll work against in for the remainder of his presidency.

Whether his transgressions rise to the level of impeachment and removal are yet unseen. But Trump made clear the real danger he presents to the nation as president, and the work to be done by rational Republicans and Democrats willing to take on the critical job of containing this president until he is gone.