Donald Trump gave his first State of the Union address last Tuesday, counting the Republican tax bill, the repeal of the individual healthcare mandate and lower Black unemployment rates as some of his biggest wins.
While the tax plan will primarily benefit wealthy Americans and the jobless rate for African Americans has been on the decline since the Obama Administration, Trump took credit for turning America around. And he wanted everyone to celebrate it, including the Democrats who’ve been fighting his policies since he took office.
Perhaps Trump has never seen a State of the Union Address before, but apparently, he expected everyone —including those who do not agree with him— to clap.
During a stop at a Sheffer factory in Cincinnati on Monday, Trump called Democrats “un-American” and even “treasonous” for not applauding during his speech.
“Did anybody happen to see the State of the Union address," he asked the crowd. "So I got good marks. I said you have the lowest Black unemployment in the history of our country. It was like… It was a game, you know it’s a game. They play games. They were told don’t even make a facial movement."
“That means they would rather see Trump do badly, OK, then our country do well? That’s what it means. It’s very selfish. It got to a point where I really didn’t even want to look too much during the speech over to that side because honestly, it was bad energy. You know, it was bad energy."
Adding, "You’re up there, you’ve got half the room going totally crazy wild, they loved everything, they want to do something great for our country, and you have the other side even on the positive news, really positive news like that, they were like death and un-American. Un-American. Somebody said treasonous. I mean, yeah, I guess, why not. Can we call that treason? Why not? I mean they certainly didn't seem to love our country very much."
Treason is a very serious charge that involves attempting to overthrow your government. It’s also the only crime explicitly outlined in the Constitution and has nothing to do with clapping, or even agreeing, with a president.
In spite of the serious allegation, Trump’s team have chalked his comments up to a joke.
Still, as Mother Maya Angelou told us years ago, “Words are things.” And as the president of the most powerful nation on Earth, Trump should take that responsibility more seriously.