quotes Trump and the State of the Union

11 March 2024
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Updated 11 March 2024

Trump and the State of the Union

The American media’s account of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech is that he attempted to contrast himself against his rival, former president Donald Trump, and project himself as the candidate of the middle class. However, it was evident to millions of people that Biden’s success in getting reelected in November 2024 depends on his opponent’s fate, especially considering the mounting legal and political problems Trump still faces in the American court system.

Biden faces significant challenges in securing a second term in the White House. Recent public opinion polls suggest that he is trailing Trump by a few points, even in crucial swing-vote states essential for winning a second term. About 73 percent of the American people express concerns about his age.

Biden does not have a smooth path to the White House for a second term. His State of the Union address followed many important developments in American politics. First, the US Supreme Court decided to reinstate Trump’s name on the electoral ballot in the State of Colorado. The implication of this decision is that no court or executive authority can prevent Trump from appearing on the ballot in any state, county or administrative entity in the US. In other words, Trump has the right to run for office and take part in elections, a right that cannot be denied to him. Biden did not address this critical matter in the 2024 presidential race.

Even more confusing was Vice President Kamala Harris’ call for a ceasefire in Gaza. Soon after, officials from the Biden Administration diluted Harris’ remarks, asserting that her call was aimed at persuading Hamas to disarm and release the Israeli hostages taken captive on Oct. 7, 2023.

Undoubtedly, Biden was critical of Trump. Though he did not mention his name, he consistently referred to him as “my predecessor” throughout the speech. Biden portrayed him as someone “bowing down” to Russian President Vladimir Putin, labeling such behavior as “outrageous, dangerous and unacceptable.” During his speech, Biden advocated for providing Ukraine with financial support and arms in its war against Russia, a stark contrast to Trump’s pro-Moscow stance. Biden said: “You can’t love your country only when you win.” He accused Trump of mishandling the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, saying: “My predecessor failed in the most basic presidential duty owed to the American people: The duty to care.” Without directly naming Trump, Biden said: “The former president has bragged about appointing Supreme Court justices who overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.” Overall, Biden portrayed Republicans and Trump as working against the freedom of the American people, asking: “My God, what freedoms will you take away next?”

The fate of American politics rests on judicial authorities and their judgments.

So far, Biden’s rhetoric has had little impact on preventing Trump from winning the Republican Party primaries and securing the nomination for the presidential office. However, Trump faces a substantial list of legal challenges that could potentially lead to his imprisonment.

Trump has said that all the legal problems implicating him are fabrications by the US Department of Justice. He consistently refers to the cases as politically motivated, asserting that they reflect only a narrow interpretation of the US Constitution and law in America. He has even described federal prosecutors as having a personal vendetta against him.

As an example of Trump’s legal troubles, a New York judge recently dealt the former president a significant blow in his civil fraud case. Trump was ordered to pay almost $450 million to the State of New York after being found liable for conspiracy to manipulate his net wealth. Furthermore, his attorneys have been scrambling to gain access to his sealed filings in a classified documents case in Florida. They are also attempting to delay many of his criminal trials based on his rights of immunity as an American citizen and as a former president of the US. Nonetheless, on March 25, his trial will be reviewed by a jury investigating charges that he used hush money to pay a prostitute to prevent her from sharing unfavorable stories about him with the media.

Strangely, these accusations have made Trump even more popular. Polls indicate that 66 percent of Republicans support him in his defense against these charges. Surprisingly, even 30 percent of Democrats feel that Trump is being prosecuted unfairly. These high percentages reflect strong support for Trump.

In conclusion, it seems that after the State of the Union speech, both Biden and Trump will follow the series of these trials with each adopting a different approach to them. Biden wants Trump defeated in the elections by having him punished by the courts.
Trump’s goal is to vindicate himself against these charges. Therefore, the fate of American politics rests on judicial authorities and their judgments. The present status of American democracy is what the courts will rule on the fate of Donald Trump.

Faisal Al-Shammeri is a political analyst. X: @Mr_Alshammeri