Is it really about an optimistic future as a hallowed resonance, or an optimistic future amidst the hysteria and paranoia that is crippling American thought and reasoning? Whatever it is, the fact that a constitutional objective like the State of the Union address (SOTU) calls for a new subjective reality, truly means that this is the strangest chapter in American history.
For one, the State of the Union address (SOTU) is a speech that highlights the economy, the national debt, social programs, education, healthcare and failures, progress and strategies in US military operations globally.
But in a presidential and congressional election year driven by harsh partisanship, fanaticism, hysteria, and extremism of the far right, the president’s focus on a broad vision for America, instead of a policy wish list couldn’t come at better time.
Despite polling statistics that demonstrate that the President receives low marks for the handling of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s (R- KY) argument that “the president tries to paint a rosy picture that does not exist,” it cannot be doubted, that the economy will remain a positive part of Obama’s legacy.
More significantly, advance reports that the economy added 292,000 jobs last month, thus bringing about a quick reduction in unemployment and the fastest rate of job growth since the 1990’s must also be noted.
Progressively, president Obama’s agenda in the State of the Union address (SOTU) appeals to “optimism for the future with respect to the increasing economic mobility, robust national security and more representative democracy.”
For democracy in America is broken.
Not only has Obama progressed the democratic dialogue, but he has represented the hallmark of open democratic government, and has clearly silhouetted his governing vision.
“Every American, the president asserts, must have a shot in America’s changing economy and participation in civic life. Every American must have a chance to influence democracy.”
Yet, there is no co-operation from Congress and Americans continue to live in a never changing margin of wealth inequality, while the powerful and the elite continue to guard their positions of power and advantage.
Compounded to this is the fact, that propaganda and hysteria are at their zenith. Fanaticism is the new tool that continues to distract America from its real problems of wealth inequality, racism and bigotry. The struggle to maintain dignity in the face of an America bereft of reason also dissipates. Republicans dispute for major policy ideas in their re –election campaign invokes a sociological and political mayhem and paranoia continues to triumph over reason.
Even as the president is referred to as a “petulant child” by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie because of the president’s executive action expanding background checks for gun purchases, Obama’s policies and priorities are still a relief to the American public.
In essence, the president’s progress of the past seven years gives historians much to write about. From the Monroe Doctrine that became a significant moment in American foreign policy, to the Four Elements of Freedom, the Second Bill of Rights that fuelled equality in the pursuit of happiness, the War on Poverty that gave rise to the Office of Economic Opportunity and to the Axis of Evil that threatened the peace of the world, Obama’s optimistic future will find its niche.
And just as it was in the beginning when the president delivered a message of hope and change in his State of the Union address, so shall it be in the end. The solemnity and commitment of this final State of the Union address is a prospect of renewal for America.
If words have the ability to inspire, then the future is friendly.