There was a time I looked forward to the state of the union address. It was a chance to learn where our nation was, what threats were out there and where we stood.
Over the years that has changed to the point I don’t even want to watch it anymore.
It has become a campaign event. All staged. A political opportunity for the party in power to announce all these ideas and programs that they can’t pay for. To tell us how great they are, while half the House stands and cheers and the other half sits.
Though, even now that is changing.
The yelling out, once unthought of in the House is now common.
If the yelling “liar” last night offended you, I would agree.
I hope, too, you were offended when Nancy Pelosi ripped up the speech on live TV behind the President.
Both were equal signs of protocol decline.
So in the end, if you thought the President’s speech was great and the state of the union is going in the right direction, you will read that today in the NYT, Washington Post and hear it on MSNBC.
If you thought he painted a false picture, you will hear that loud and clear on the right leaning networks.
My opinion is this. Some of the best speech writers write the speeches. Some of the smartest researchers test the ideas and theme with voters. The speech is refined. The President gets to practice it over a long weekend. He has the microphone alone to deliver promises that people want to hear. There is no debate. TV shows are cheering party members. You get to bring emotional guests you can point to in the audience.
How does it not work for him then? Couldn’t we all deliver under those rules?
Here’s some proof of how these speeches have changed over the past 50 years in words.
In the end, what is the state of the union? Here again it’s what you believe. The President said that:
Inflation is down, gas prices are down and the debt was reduced from a year ago. All true.
But every one of those is up substantially from the day he took office.
So it’s what you believe and who listen to.