Tonight is the President’s last State of the Union address.
I feel the same as Kevin Williamson about it:
“The annual State of the Union pageant is a hideous, dispiriting, ugly, monotonous, un-American, un-republican, anti-democratic, dreary, backward, monarchical, retch-inducing, depressing, shameful, crypto-imperial display of official self-aggrandizement and piteous toadying, a black Mass during which every unholy order of teacup totalitarian and cringing courtier gathers under the towering dome of a faux-Roman temple to listen to a speech with no content given by a man with no content, to rise and to be seated as is called for by the order of worship…with one wretched representative of their number squirreled away in some well-upholstered Washington hidey-hole in order to preserve the illusion that those gathered constitute a special class of humanity without whom we could not live. It’s the most nauseating display in American public life … It’s worse than the Oscars.”
The SOTU address bothered me for as long as I can remember, well before I knew the difference between a Democrat or Republican. The part that bothers me the most is when the President takes his long walk down the center aisle to his podium.
It takes 15 minutes. All of the sycophant congresspeople are there, stretching out their hands hoping to touch the President like a bunch of 12-year-old girls at a Justin Bieber concert. Have they never seen the President before? What’s the big deal? Why do you need to touch him?!
Do you think he’ll remember you next time you want a bill passed? “This is a terrible bill, but, Charlie did make the effort to touch my shoulder in the last State of the Union address, so I’ll sign it.” I wouldn’t be surprised if this year, after a congressman touches the back of the President’s cloak, he turns around and says, “Take heart, your faith has healed you.” And the congressman faints.
The SOTU is a pathetic display of everything our Founding Fathers didn’t want our country to be. Thomas Jefferson never gave his SOTU in person. He said it was too much like a the king of England giving his speech from the throne. Instead, he wrote his speech down and had a clerk read it. No president gave it in public again until Woodrow Wilson in 1913. Which makes sense. He was the president who started the first great erosion of our Constitution. Somehow, our country survived all of those years between Jefferson and Wilson without this pretentious display.
The SOTU was interesting when the President didn’t play an integral part of your daily life. I actually really enjoyed the President’s town hall on CNN last week. I mean, Family Guy reruns got better ratings, but it was an appropriate display on how the President should be presented to the American people: a guy sitting on a stool. Not a king on his throne.