Listening to Trump’s State of the Union address, billed as a unity address, was less about an agenda for unity and much more a trip down memory lane. Commemorating past successes, but what about today’s successes and failures?

There was no mention of real challenges. The shutdown, past and looming. The trillion dollar spike in our national debt or unaddressed gun violence, let alone the dangers of climate change. But there was a whole lot of finger-pointing. Nearly all at Democrats and their initiatives. Easy bait for Trump’s core supporters to swallow and celebrate. FYI, Social Security is an example of socialism. So is public education among a whole host of programs. Is Trump telling Americans he intends to terminate these programs?

Yes, Buzz Aldrin is a kick, but it’s not NASA sending Americans back to space, but rather an immigrant, Elon Musk. World War II veterans are also special, as is a survivor of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. But what is being done to remedy homeless veterans? And how weird is it to champion a survivor of one of the worst mass shootings in America? Neither problems, both deeply rooted and to date unsolvable, remained unaddressed by Trump.

Am I alone in perceiving Trump reminiscing about victories achieved decades ago is really a ploy to distract from real challenges ahead? The economy as represented by the roller coaster stock market is undeniably reflective of a chaotic presidency. The effects of doubling back on decisions and tweeting declarations which contradict previously announced intentions. Nothing is really concrete other than Trump’s obsession with the wall.

Wade Eagleton, Bakersfield