Friday, January 29, 2010

Response to the State of the Union Address

Being not inclined to be interested in or knowledgeable about politics made being engaged throughout the entire State of the Union Address quite a feat. I could only judge the President's speech upon what I think politics should sound like, rather than how it really is. It seemed to me that Mr. Obama talked quite a bit about all of things he has accomplished already during his term, yet I know that it seems to many people that not much has been done to effectively improve their situation. Compared with the tone some news articles take when addressing the recession, Mr. Obama was able to make the current situation sound so good and hopeful which made me suspicious about whether he painting everything to be better than it really is. It also bothered me that the President seemed to be judging progress and a need for reform on stereotypical and dramatized anecdotes. By the end of the address, I was tired of hearing about the imaginary small business owner or farmer in Alabama whose house is being foreclosed and who is trying to raise their kids on their own and who is worried about being laid off. Life is not that simply summarized, and policy shouldn't be formed shouldn't be formed simply because of these "heart-wrenching" stories. The President even specifically stated that he took on health care because of the stories he heard. That seems like a very un-political way to go about forming opinions on very political issues.

I apologize for all the negativity, but praise requires a connection with personal opinions, and I have no opinions or knowledge on many of the matters discussed.

Also, I thought all the applause was absurdly overdone. I do not believe I've ever seen a State of the Union Address before, because I don't think I've ever seen so much clapping for such a simple presentation (as in a single speaker and no music or special effects).

The only question I can think of for the President is "Do you blame yourself for any problem or continuation of an existing problem in present society?" I hope it is not too harsh of a question, but it seemed like Mr. Obama was blaming other administrations and outside forces for problems that might have been created or exascerbated during his term. I don't want to blame him for anything, but I thought it was odd that he seemed to be saying that everything wasn't his fault.