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The president's positive "pivot?"

Written by Kathryn Spira

During the presidential campaign last year, media commentators were awaiting a “pivot” in Donald Trump’s approach, which often seemed very negative. Perhaps with the address to congress this past week, there was the long-awaited change towards the positive.

"A new chapter of American greatness is beginning," was greeted with enthusiastic applause. The newly elected president's comments on improving civil rights and race relations struck a note with me. His comments on the hatred committed against Jewish Americans that will not be tolerated was also close to my heart.

But when Trump expressed optimism abut "new American jobs" the Democratic side of the house was conspicuous in its lack of applause, especially Nancy Pelosi, the minority's head of the party. So the divide continues.

Paul Ryan and Mike Pence's unenviable positions in the background of Trump was amusing if it were not so sad in their smug viewing of Trump.

Democrats definitely found something to argue about when Trump stated his "draining of the swamp" after filling his cabinet with billionaires. The divide between the right and left sides of the audience symbolized the divide in the country where the loser of the election garnered three million more votes than the winner.

It was good to see our own Kirsten Gillibrand (sitting next to Elizabeth Warren) applaud Trump's proposal to assist women entrepreneurs in fulfilling their dreams and she did not wear the "white uniform" of those women protesting Trump's adverse comments on women in his campaign.

But only Republicans applauded many of his comments such as "building a great, Great Wall" with Mexico.

Among the many false statements Trump made was about "uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur." It is well documented that many immigrants had to wait two years to be vetted and enter the country under Obama. Republicans applauded like robots with little enthusiasm when Trump stated, "We will not be a sanctuary for extremists."

His quote of Lincoln on protectionist trade policies may be as out of time and sync as the 150 year old civil war while the division between Democrats and Republicans almost looked like the civil war was still on. When it came to repealing and replacing "Obamacare," the boos and thumbs down from Democrats were loud and pronounced.

While the address could not make up for the divide in the country, it was certainly more positive than the inaugural speech deriding the supposed "carnage" of the past.

About Kathryn Spira

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland, OH who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County, New York. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site

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