I didn’t watch the State of the Union address. I just couldn’t. The SOTU address has become nothing more than an annual campaign speech from atop a national soap box. It has nothing to do with the actual state of the union and is pretty much just a chance for the president to promote his partisan political agenda.
I am not interested in watching the president be interrupted by partisan applause over and over. I am not interested in the camera shots of other nationally known politicians. I am not interested in imagery of the FLOTUS doing her best to try to appear to adore her husband. I am not interested in seeing meme inspired guests/props from Newtown, the Sandy ravaged Jersey Shore or some green energy business. It is all political kabuki and I am just not interested.
So I read it. It was a laundry list of big-government, job-killing, tax-raising, liberty quashing socialism. Proposal after proposal flew past me as I read. It was like watching a long freight train go by, every hopper car brimming to overflow with centralized, statist bureaucracy.
Over and over he spoke of “investing” when he really meant “spending.” Again and again he said we must have a “balanced approach” to debt reduction and then explained that meant tax increases. Over and over he talked of new “initiatives” which turned out to be nothing more than new central planning of the economy, our communities and our lives.
It was just another of hundreds of speeches in which Obama attempted to portray himself as the only reasonable man in a dysfunctional city full of straw-man opponents trying to undermine the economy. He assured us that, if we only work together, “smart” government will educate our our children, protect the elderly, feed the poor, reduce our student loans, fix our infrastructure, increase our paychecks and deliver a socialist utopia of satisfied and self actualized citizens.
Sadly, a very large percentage of Americans lap this offal up with relish. They want to believe that, if the strawmen would stop blocking Obama, he would do for them what they should be doing for themselves. A growing percentage of Americans seem to see themselves as passive agents who’s lives are subject to the policies and programs devised deep in the halls of a massive bureaucracy in a far off capitol city.
These people don’t see limited government as the means to freedom, growth and better lives. They see proponents of limited government as a cadre of villains who exist for no other reason than to keep Obama from delivering the socialist dream that he constantly promises. We are increasingly a nation of Peggy Josephs.
Obama’s rhetorical approach is to promise Americans wealth, health, education, security and happiness and to proclaim that the only thing that is preventing this utopia is dark, evil obstructionists who want nothing more than to steal their birthright. It is a politically effective approach with a tried and true history in the 20th century history of Europe: Promise the people a new order, a new nation, a new happiness. All that must be done is to vanquish those who are stealing the vitality of the nation. Then, when America is fully and fundamentally transformed, there will be the hope and change of a new era.
It is as effective as it is terrifying.