The Most Revealing Moment of the State of the Union Speech

Malin Karlsson

by Kris Kobach

The state of the union speech has become an annual pageant of political theater, and Tuesday’s speech by President Trump was no exception. The content of such speeches is usually exactly what you’d expect the sitting president to say on any given topic, with a few surprises sprinkled in here and there.

To make it interesting television (or as interesting as an hour-long political speech can be), the networks have adopted the practice of turning the cameras on various people in the chamber, so that we can see their reactions to whatever the president is saying. Thank goodness. Watching those reactions is now a central part of any good state of the union experience.

And then there’s the clapping. Or not clapping, as the case may be. This can sometimes be a challenge for the party opposing the president, because presidents often say things that are universally accepted and worthy of applause. And in those moments, failing to clap can look pretty bad to the American people.

President Trump teed up several of those moments on Tuesday evening. His accounting of the economic success that minority groups have enjoyed during his presidency was a noteworthy one, for example. Democrats mostly sat on their hands in response, when they should have been clapping.

But the most revealing moment occurred after President Trump described the staggering failure of socialist policies in Venezuela, when he said, “Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.” Republicans erupted in enthusiastic agreement.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez-CSPAN

Democrats had a quick decision to make. To clap or not to clap? The cameras immediately went to the two most prominent self-declared socialists – Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. They did what any self-respecting socialist would do and refused to clap. But what about the rest of the Democrats in the chamber? Read the rest at


About Alan Berkelhammer

Opinions are my own and are not necessarily those of any organization or group.
This entry was posted in 2020 Elections, Constitution, Executive Branch, Immigration, Legislative Branch, Major News Items, National and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply