Barack Obama's State of the Union: Speech or dog and pony show?

The State of the Union Speech is nothing but a dog and pony show starring the president playing both roles. Photo: AP Photo

CHICAGO, January 22, 2012­­―There is a great deal of buzz over the president’s upcoming State of the Union address. 

It would be way better if the whole nation boycotted this speech, watched American Idiot, Housewives from Hell, or some other trash TV. Maybe we can turn off the idiot box, read a book, and learn something. Better, we could just spend some quality time with those close to us. 

This would, hopefully, end the televised presidential dog and pony show. That’s all the SOTU is, a pure dog and pony show, starring the president playing both roles. 

The president is only required to send a report to Congress. There is no requirement for presidents to address Congress, dominate the airwaves, and cost the media ad revenue. There is no profit in this speech. There is only cost and loss. 

The State of the Union address is a purely political vehicle for the president to make himself look better. Presidents rarely discuss the actual state of the union during the speech. It would be too boring. They use the speech as a bully pulpit and unofficial campaign stump speech. 

President Obama will do the same. When it comes to the State of the Union speech he is no better or worse than his predecessors. He can’t say the State of the Union is better, improved, or moving forward. So he has to campaign and give us that “vision thing”.   

In a preview to supporters, the president indicates he will use this speech to promote programs that make the economy work for everyone and promote fairness and opportunity for all. 

That’s impossible. No free economy can work for everyone. Its operations are impersonal, subject to random forces, good to winners and brutal to losers. There is no fair. There is no fairness for all or fairness from all. Those are not American values. Those are European collectivist values. 

There will always be people who have more, or obscenely more, than others. There will always be people who work harder and/or smarter than others. They will always earn more. There will always be those who risk more than others. They will always reap higher rewards commensurate with their risk. There are also those who do just enough to get by and getting by is all they deserve. 

Those who do nothing earn and deserve nothing. 

There is no such thing as income or wealth inequality or equality. There is only income and wealth. One is earned and one is created.  It is up to individuals to earn income and save, invest, or buy assets and create their own definition of wealth. 

There is no such thing as enough or too much. We all want more and strive for more. That is the American way. The only way. 

There is no such thing as wealth distribution or redistribution. Government has nothing to do with wealth or income, except to insure people are free to take advantage of employment or entrepreneurial opportunities. 

There will always be poverty. Government programs do nothing to alleviate poverty. They just regulate poverty and guarantee it will stay at certain acceptable levels, hopefully out of sight and out of mind. 

It is time to get real. Utopia is fiction. The European collectivist model does not work in America. It goes against all our values, principles, and tenets. 

Our nation was founded on principles of independence and personal liberty. Americans were never meant to be dependent on government for their needs, wants, and desires. Dependency erodes our freedoms. Without independence there is no freedom or liberty. 

True American values are self-determination, self-initiative, self-interest, self-motivation, hard and smart work, and individual responsibility.   

Government interest, government initiative, government determination, or government initiative in the private sector economy are alien values and principles. 

The president plans to present an economic plan built on manufacturing, and energy. Good luck with that. Unless he issues some executive order granting waivers from some of the more onerous regulations, strangling bureaucratic red tape, and Inquisition style enforcement, his plan will fail. 

Our economy has been losing stability and is on the verge of instability. This administration has failed to articulate or implement any coherent strategy for dealing with uncertainty. 

The problem with our government is it rarely, if ever, repeals bad policies or corrects mistakes. It makes no difference which party is in charge. Republicans, Democrats, liberals, or conservatives, it makes no difference. It is easier for man to raise the dead than for God to change or reverse government policies. 

So, on Tuesday, the president can give his campaign speech. It will not be on the state of the union. That report was sent to congress. The speech will be on job preservation. 

His job. 

The only job that matters to him.

Peter V. Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance writer and photographer, cook, and raconteur.  He likes to be the sharp stick that pokes, prods, and annoys.  His opinions are his and his alone. 





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Peter Bella

Peter Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance photographer, freelance writer, budding videographer, and passionate cook.  He aims to be the sharp stick that pokes and annoys.  The Middle Class Guy is a political column written from a center-right point of view.  While concentrating mainly on politics he will stray into culture, entertainment, sports, cooking, and humor from time to time, along with Memories of things Pabst.  All from a middle class perspective.

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