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The State of the Union: The World’s Meme Provider

According to President Trump in his State of the Union address, the U.S. is the number one producer of oil and natural gas, but that’s not the only thing the U.S. is known for. Our government is notorious for giving our generation exactly what they need to create the perfect meme. 

Who’s the latest and greatest contributor to this? Nancy Pelosi. 

I assume that most people between the ages of 16 and 25 have seen the memes inspired by the events of Feb. 4. If you‘ve watched the speech in its entirety, you saw Trump miss or ignore Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s outstretched hand, the tearing of the address, the political symbolism associated with the women in white and many other key actions.

Pelosi reports the act of tearing up Trump’s speech was in response to the untruths she believed it held. If this was the case, the rebuttal to the speech should have been packed with uncovering the truth and exposing the alleged lies; instead, it was 10 minutes wasted talking about how Democratic governors are successfully fixing the roads in their states and what Governor Whitmer of Michigan did in her early life.

I wish I could know what the Democrats truth was from their own mouths rather than hearing it from the perspective of USA Today or CNN. Their rebuttal should have caused a bigger storm than Pelosi’s dramatic act of ripping up the speech. 

Although Pelosi was incredibly entertaining throughout the speech by mocking the words of the president, her surprised looks and her lack of applause, I believe her big finale was geared toward what was to take place within 24 hours of the State of the Union address.

President Trump was acquitted the following day, so was Pelosi trying to make a symbolic gesture by ripping up his speech? Or was she trying to get a leg up in the trial the next day? Either way, Pelosi was doing her best to get what she wanted, which in the end, failed. 

As a female who aspires to work in the political world, I found her actions during this speech to be humiliating. One of the biggest arguments I have heard as to why women cannot take positions of leadership is that they are too emotional. Nancy Pelosi reacted with emotion, proving the point of the patriarchy. 

The State of the Union is not a protest. It’s not a place for civil disobedience, and it certainly should not be the focus of social media’s most popular meme. A substantive response from the Democratic rebuttal would have been a welcomed break from the unsubstantiated 10-second sound bites. 

I am disappointed in Pelosi, and I would have liked to see the rebuttal to the speech represent the Democratic exposure to Trump’s reported lies, which was worthy of publically tearing up.

Written By: Tana Beckman, sophomore political science major