Republican U.S. Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa gave a vague response to the State of the Union Address last night, in which Ernst talked about her life story for nearly half of her short speech, and then used typical GOP talking points about a handful of issues without going into much detail about the issues she did talk about (which there weren’t many of). It’s worth noting that, immediately after Ernst’s speech, Ernst was not trending on Twitter in my neck of the woods, which gives you a general idea of how her speech was viewed by the American people (i.e., they didn’t care).
One remark that Ernst made in her speech that did get quite a bit of attention, however, was her story of wearing bread bags on her shoes while going to school as a child. However, what Ernst didn’t mention is that Republican policies likely played a role in Ernst’s family being poor. Ernst was born in 1970, which meant that Ronald Reagan, whose trickle-down economic policies, which Ernst and the rest of the far-right Republicans support, led to rampant income inequality in this country, was president for much of her childhood. In fact, for much of the 1980’s, rural America was in the midst of a farm crisis caused by, among other factors, Reagan’s economic policies, and Iowa was one of the states that was greatly affected by the farm crisis.
You can watch my own response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address here.