A little after a month into his presidency, President Donald Trump delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday evening, sharing his administration's vision for America. Many responded to the speech on social media, including Sen. Bernie Sanders, who tweeted after Trump's speech, criticizing the President for failing to mention what he believes are several crucial details.
Sanders, the junior Senator from the state of Vermont, has long been a critic of Trump and his policies, both throughout his campaign and the duration of his presidency. Following Trump's address to Congress, Sanders heavily critiqued Trump on Twitter for failing to address aspects of several issues that he believes profoundly affect the country, including healthcare, income inequality, and climate change, among others.
In reference to income inequality, Sanders tweeted that he "didn't hear Trump mention the words 'income and wealth inequality' or the fact that we now have the widest wealth gap since the 1920s." Sanders also stated he never heard Trump "mention the fact that the U.S. is the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care as a right," or say "one word about climate change – the single biggest threat facing our planet."
I did not hear Trump mention the fact that the U.S. is the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care as a right.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) March 1, 2017
In addition to chastising the President for the important issues he failed to mention during his speech, Sanders also critiqued Trump for what he did discuss. Sanders pointed out the irony of Trump asserting in his speech that the United States needs to "promote clean air and clear water," while simultaneously eliminating clean water rules that same day. Furthermore, Sanders took Trump to task for saying that corporations in the United States pay the "highest tax rate in the world," when, according to Sanders, one in five companies pay no federal income taxes.
In addition to tweeting his response to Trump's speech, Sanders also delivered a video response via Facebook Live on Tuesday evening and reiterated some of the sentiments captured by his tweets. In his response, Sanders expounded on the themes of Trump's failure to address a variety of issues in his speech (and added rising incarceration, social security, and Medicare to the list of issues already laid out in his tweets) as well as focused on the inconsistency between what Trump says and what his actions reflect.
Sanders also used both Twitter and Facebook Live as platforms to encourage people to keep standing up for their rights and to make their voices heard through various acts of advocacy and protest in which Americans have been engaging since the beginning of Trump's presidency. These methods include calling elected officials, showing up to Republican town hall meetings, and organizing large demonstrations, among others.
Those of you who attended rallies or town hall meetings, keep showing up, keep calling Congress, and continue to fight.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) March 1, 2017
Sanders concluded his Facebook Live address as well as his series of tweets with a fitting message of solidarity to his fellow Americans, imploring, "Those of you who haven't taken action yet: we need your voices, we need your action. Only together, when millions of people stand up and fight ... can we create the political revolution that will turn this country around."
Overall, Sanders' tweets and Facebook Live address indicate that he will continue to play a leading role in holding Trump accountable for his actions and in protecting the interests and rights of all Americans.