|President Obama beginning the 2015 SOTU Address, photo by J. Berta|
Tonight, a political ritual is unfolding in our nation's capital. As I type this, The President (our President, for those of you who are Americans) is performing one of his many Constitutional responsibilities to report to the Congress. Article II, Section 3 is where it is found. I have a link to The Heritage Foundation with the specifics.
I also have a link to the whole speech below for those want to check it out. And, of course, there is a full buffet line of cable news networks to chose from for whatever your take is on the current state of the American body politic for commentary.
I would be horribly remiss not to mention that the official Republican response is being given by a fellow Iowan, Senator Joni Ernst. If you have read my blog during the election, you might recall I spoke of my support for then Congressman Bruce Braley. Still, I am proud that a freshman Senator from my state and an OIF Veteran added her voice to the discourse of democracy. My only critique of her speech would be the following: Senator, there are no "ordinary" Iowans...or Americans for that matter.
Back to POTUS' speech, I thought it was great. Biased? Sure. After all, I voted for the guy twice. Still, I did think it was the type of speech a leader gives. I also thought he went out of his way to reach across the aisle to the other side. And that is good, considering that the folks on the "other side" are in charge.
We have a ton of problems to deal with in our current nation and world. There is no getting around that. However, we've been here before, and we've bounced back. I do have to wonder if one of the reasons we've been (how should I put this...) adrift in our nation is that perhaps we don't have a common cause to rally behind. Oh sure, there is ISIS. But as vicious and evil as they are, they are not Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan or the Soviet Union. Perhaps we haven't gotten along as well as we are capable of because,...well, we have not had to.
I'll submit the following: We now need to. We have to find common ground. We have to view compromise not as an affront to our principles but an example of our principles. We have to recognize that the state of the Union is based on how we all interact with each other. It is, in short, our union.
I believe this union, our union, is strong.
Now, let's make it stronger...together.
Be well my friends,