Each year we are either treated or are horrified by what we call the State of the Union address. The state of it, however, is never something we can quantify in an impassioned speech. For the many that watched their eyes told them a much more convincing narrative of the status of our nation than any mere statement could have done. Every presidency has its detractors and supporters, but in this increasingly polarized environment, the battle lines are drawn.
The speech itself held many olive branches out to the Democratic Party. One of those branches that should have garnered some support was the proposed 1.5 trillion dollar infrastructure plan to rebuild our nations aging and deteriorating transportation networks. Republicans don’t often suggest such grandiose investments in our nation’s future of this nature. It is a significant investment in money and time, but it is also a job creator and something that would benefit generations to come. The Democrats looked on with a persona of apparent constipation and didn’t clap or show any support besides one lone man from West Virginia.
The President also offered a compromise on immigration reform that would have opened a pathway to citizenship for some 1.8 million people that are here because of DACA. This is a significant olive branch that will no doubt be rejected by the Democrats because they place hatred before their proclaimed ideological goals. It is not a hatred of the President or his proposed policies but the hatred of a spoiled child still pouting for not having gotten their way. It comes down to symbolism above ideology for the majority of Americans on both sides of the aisle. This is why you see the most significant supporters, and detractors of the speech both point to the same examples to justify their reasoning.
Every President it would seem without fail has used symbols in the form of people that have been adversely or positively affected by political goals that they wish to enact. I have never been a fan of using people in this manner but knowing the nature of the majority of my fellow citizens I understand the necessity of such tactics. People are shallow and thus react emotionally to the trials and struggles of others. They often don’t consider in any broad sense the invariable pitfalls associated with policy direction unless they are given a symbol in the form of some suffering soul to represent it. So we have the supporters of the speech pointing to these symbols to seek the moral high ground to justify their positions when simple logic and common sense should be sufficient. The detractors of the speech point to these same symbols and declare a moral outrage even though they too use such symbols to manipulate people of a similarly shallow nature as themselves emotionally.
I thought it was a great speech. He is at least attempting to keep the promises he made, and he is also trying to give the other side of the aisle what they claim to want. However, anyone watching the speech last night and their reactions to it can see that they have no passion for the issues they trumpet. It is merely all about defeating the other side and if it’s convenient to use an issue to do so, they will, otherwise they will sit on their hands and not even support the President when he parrots some of their talking points. They also refused to applaud his comments about working together going forward as they have never had any intention of doing so. It has been one contrived conspiracy theory after another in an attempt to drive this man from office. He has proven to be resilient in the face of their grandiloquent attacks on his Presidency. This has further fueled their anger and determination to oppose everything he proposes including proposals of which they agree. However, as was stated last night we are all Americans, and we will achieve success going forward, and we will be the shining light of freedom for the entire world. If we can take away one thing, it is this, to not focus so much on symbols and focus more on the logical nature of choices we make going forward. Let us not let emotion rule our decision-making processes, where emotion rules, reason dies!
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