Mike Rowe isn’t one to accept platitudes at face value. The State of the Union speech, no matter who is delivering it, is rarely complex. But Rowe took issue with the way President Trump reduced America’s options to several simplistic platitudes. He sees the state of our union through a very different lens.
“What the president just said,” Rowe explained to the crew of Fox and Friends, “I can’t quote him verbatim, but it was really interesting. It was ‘vengeance, this or that, this or that, this or that.’ Now, arguments aside, the fundamental choices are binary in everything, right now, he’s right, it is ‘this or that’.”
“It’s dangerous to frame everything as good or bad, right or wrong, blue collar or white collar, right? That’s where we are as a country,” he added. “As a result, we simply don’t know what to stand for, because when we hear something we agree with, if it’s coming out of a source we don’t like, we’re paralyzed.”
“Likewise,” he went on, “if we hear something we disagree with from a source we like, we can’t call them out. Because everything has been framed as this or that.”
“So my thought watching the speech was he can’t do or say anything that’s gonna make anybody stand who doesn’t like him, and neither can the other side, so the question is what can we talk about?”
We should be talking more about jobs, Rowe said.
“There are a lot of jobs,” he said.
“And the discussion” he added, “has broken down into ‘well is it a good job or a bad job?’ We’re not talking about the existence of opportunity we’re talking about the quality of the opportunities that undeniably exist, and as a result, we have framed the debate in a way that we can’t possibly win.”
“We’re having the wrong conversation,” he said.
When asked about the role illegal immigration has on the available blue-collar work in America, Rowe admitted he wasn’t sure. “I don’t know,” he said. But there are jobs available, he said, just no anyone–legal or not–willing to step up and work.