RandomSpotter is somewhat amused by the President’s State of the Union address this evening. Perhaps amused is the wrong word. It’s more like I am like a child who knows a secret and finds it comical to be in the presence of those who don’t know it. What is this secret? I’m afraid it’s only a secret to those who choose emotion over intellect, and by now you should know that I make every effort to NOT do that.
Here it is: When someone makes emotional appeals for anything from quality, early childhood education, to revitalization of cities hit hard by manufacturing movement offshore, to not hurting those who need federal entitlement programs, there is no real opposition to the statements. All of these were made tonight by Mr. Obama. It’s like saying America should be the home of the free and the brave. Only a fool would take an opposing position to statements that espouse positive values and human prosperity. And, if you’ll forgive some honesty here, there is no courage in these statements.
Courage is found in those who don’t just form attractive ideas in their mouths but who actually do the difficult work of identifying the painful sacrifices that must be made. At a time like this, with another sequester threat looming, the President chose to continue to present mostly hollow, emotional pleas, as usual. We again heard that Mr. Obama has many big ideas that will solve all of our problems. But those of us who need a little more meat with our potatoes can’t just agree robotically and sing Yankee Doodle. First of all, as offensive as the logic of this statement may be to the weak thinkers among us, Mr. Obama had four years to create the harmony that he promises will soon be upon us. However, I give his first four years failing grades, and the logical conclusion – again, our emotion-driven counterparts will object – is that we will get plenty more of the same in this next term. Secondly, if he is to be an activist President, I would expect to hear a deeper commitment to compromise and even a little bit of acceptance of responsibility for certain failings from Mr. Obama. A strong sense of mission and humanity can spur great admiration in a people. Instead, we got the same threats that, if we don’t do what he wants us to do, he’ll continue to issue Executive Orders to get his way.
So, Mr. President, I say that you were a coward this evening. Not the kind that runs from a fight, but a coward, nonetheless. Tonight you elected to expound cheaply and to lead weakly. No collaborative cost-reduction strategies that could accomplish real economic change. Instead, you dug in your heels and said that any cuts would be unacceptable and that flat spending is good enough. Where’s the brilliance, sacrifice or leadership in that? But, I’m still grinning. Unlike so many who fall victim to the empty poetry of your emotional appeals, I can see right through you.