The State of the Union is an annual address held between early January and late February.
The purpose as dictated by Article 2, Section 3 of the Constitution: “…give to the Congress information of the State of he Union and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient…”
Presently, the State of the Union is broadcast on a wide variety of networks and has become more an address to the people of America than to Congress. From President Obama’s Facebook page to the Twitter account of the White House it goes without saying that few Americans were unaware of the theatrics. Yet, not many Americans were reeling with anticipation. This year shook us as a people. Not only did we discover the visage of privacy, but we became more involved in what it means to be “a people”. We discussed options for policies, reached out to people thousands of miles away, and more importantly struck up a cause we could put our passion to (whatever that may be). Yet, there is one problem: We have taken power into our hands, without taking power out of theirs. We mock the news, the President, and the Big Bankers of Wall Street with political memes and vagrant disbelief. However, I have always believed if we are to stop the tyrants of Washington, we must decode the methods they use to lie to us and that involves an open ear.
In the even that you didn’t see or hear the State of the Union, only saw political memes relevant to your ideology , or were stuck at the part-time job you slave through to feed yourself, here is my personal overview of the affair.
-President Obama first points out all that we have ‘right’:
The Affordable Care Act
The increase of clean energy (ex. ‘Every four minutes a business or home switches to solar energy, the claim that we are first in carbon reduction)
Limiting student loan payments to 10% of income
The various programs for early education, obesity, and healthcare
The uprise of the Auto Industry
The ‘millions’ of new jobs and those intending to bring jobs to America
Each one of these comments were supported by a vague demonstration of questionable facts. Bar graphs and percentages that seemed almost too elementary to display the actual “State of the Union”.
-He then moves on to discuss what we must do to make things ‘better’:
New carbon dumping laws, and a higher focus on protecting the natural wonders we have (ex. national parks, chemical dumping, and recreational areas)
To join the international race for high-tech manufacturing, which he believes will put Americans ahead of the curve. Also including a raise on the cuts made to basic research. (ex. growth in cloud computing, advanced robotics, and mobile internet. )
To reform the immigration system (His proposal has passed in the Senate but not in the House)
For Americans to sign up for the Affordable Care Act
Between points and suggestions, President Obama took the time to tell the stories of those that have or will benefit from his programs. A usual approach in politics, for it is widely observed that the average American does not identify with The Administration. This did not surprise me. What did was one of President Obama’s remarks:
“Wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for American families that is what I’m doing to do.”
Well, there it is. An open confession that things will fall to paper without being seen by the public, let alone Congress. It was shocking, to hear the words so clearly: I will make decisions for you.
After all, was this country not built on the idea that we make decisions together? How can The Administration openly convey that they will do what THEY THINK is best for us? How could they know what is best for us? A tour around the country for elections cannot be considered “getting to know America”. We are more than one person and certainly more than one idea.
Though the State of the Union comes but once year, it is the statements made there that help define what we will combat this year.
I urge you not to give up on your government but to take it back into your hands.
Write letters to Congress, to your Senator, or to the President. Keep discussing political beliefs and keep protesting for what you believe in. Show up to vote and put the power back into the process. Never give up. You are what you believe in.