Thursday, January 27, 2011

The State Of Our Union? Under Reconstruction.

For all the hype the media usually devotes to the State of The Union - and there is always hype, on all sides - the facts as we see them this morning are pretty much as we said they would be yesterday.

While the seating arrangements at times made the responses seem like an odd version of the stands at a high school football game, overall that was just as we forecast; little more than a weak gesture.

The President's speech, however, wasn't weak. It was a square-jawed look at what America needs to do - and we hope Americans were truly listening.

We applaud President Obama's acknowledgment and insistence that Americans did indeed pick two parties to govern, and that both parties need to govern together, in a shared way. The idea that we move forward together - or not at all - is one we've been promoting for years now.

He also acknowledged some hard truths that a great deal of Americans on both the left and right have been denying for some time. China HAS surpassed America in some important ways. America HAS slipped in some ways, and is in danger of falling further behind. Technology HAS changed the world of work, and our ability to provide jobs.

Long and short, the major topics the President hit on last night all had a similar theme: that we need to stop bitching, and invest in ourselves. In our businesses, in our schools, and in our infrastructure.

Yes, he made it clear that spending cuts - or rather, spending freezes - need to be put into place temporarily. And he also made it clear that health care insurance reform is NOT going to be repealed.

He also made it blindingly, crystal clear, that Americans - especially the wealthiest two percent of Americans - need to pay more in taxes.
"If we truly care about our deficit, we simply cannot afford a permanent extension of the tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans. Before we take money away from our schools, or scholarships away from our students, we should ask millionaires to give up their tax breaks. 
It’s not a matter of punishing their success. It’s about promoting America’s success."
To the President, and to many Americans, promoting America’s success also means taking care of both our military and diplomatic business overseas - as well as our trade and financial business here at home.

We all agree - there does finally appear to be a light in all of our futures that isn't the headlamp of an oncoming train. Some of us might even call it a light of hope.

But if we want to ride toward that light, and build the bridge to a better future for all Americans, we can't do it by yoking ourselves to the same old methods of tackling our problems.

The President may have overstated things when he said the state of our union is strong.

We, at the Daily Felltoon, think Americans are strong - but we believe the state of America's union is still under reconstruction.

That's far better than the state it was in just a short time ago.

It's what happens when we all work together.
It's what's known as "progress."

It's what happens when you live in a country that does "big things."

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