President Bush will tell us what he thinks of the state of the union tonight.
It’s always political speech, regardless of who gives it.
They are always long on vision and never really engage in soul searching as a true state of the union should.
I spend a lot of time thinking about the state of our union, and I mostly refrain from posting my thoughts as they always seem to annoy about half my readers.
But every so often, I can’t resist the temptation and tonight is one of those times.
I am unhappy with the state of our union.
On the foreign policy side, I see an activist government that is fighting a war on terrorism against an enemy we can’t see and don’t really understand. We are fostering a civil war in Iraq that is catching our troops, our journalists, and many Iraqi citizens in its crossfire. And I wonder how long we will sit in this crossfire before it is too painful to bear. And I wonder where we draw the line on this interventionist policy. Do we take the fight to Iran, to North Korea? Do we have to go it basically alone? Why won’t the rest of the democratic world fight this war on terrorism alongside of us if it is so critical to the stability of the world? And why has our international reputation fallen so far in the past decade?
But as troubling as the foreign policy picture is, I am even more distressed by the domestic scene. We have oil companies like Exxon reporting earnings at the rate of $40bn per year. And yet we have no real alternative energy policy in this country. We have federal budget deftcits of close to $500bn compared to a surplus at the beginning of the decade. We have rising interest rates suporting a dollar that is terribly weakened by a bankrupt fiscal policy.
We have senior citizens scared and confused by a market driven drug benefit policy they don’t understand and don’t like. We have religious beliefs governing our thinking on issues like stem cell research and the morning after pill.
We have a goverment that is proud of the fact that it spies on its citizens. A government that takes great pleasure in raising the specter of 9/11 every time someone questions the wisdom of its policies. And a party that controls every branch of government and is once again proof that absolute power corrupts.
But I also see a minority party that is so bereft of ideas that it has been relugated to the back bench where it simply throws tomatoes at the guys in charge but does nothing more. I see a Democratic party that is led by an old guard that has lost the war but can’t admit the defeat.
I see a Democratic party that remains built on age old foundations like labor and civl rights that are cracking and buckling before our very eyes.
So President Bush can say all he wants tonight to make our country feel good about where it is and where it is going. But it is not going to make me feel good.
I am tired of the Bushes and the Clintons, the Kennedys and the Delays, the Gores and the Cheneys. I want them all gone. I want new blood, new ideas, a new state of the union. Unfortunately I think I am in the minority on this.