Wednesday, February 01, 2006

the State of Two Unions

President Bush will be in Nashville today, giving a mini-version of his State Of The Union speech. Much has already been written by now on the SOTU, but let me offer this Tennessee perspective.
Both supporters and detractors of the President watching last night's address were not surprised by what they heard.
Supporters heard a positive upbeat message from their Party's leader - we're winning the war in Iraq, the economy is strong, and we are a compassionate, decent, hopeful society. Republican candidates on the ballot this election cycle also received some talking points on select issues they can comfortably run on - more investment in math and science education, health savings accounts, curbing our nation's addiction to oil, winning the war against terrorism.
Detractors on the other hand saw a President offering up a sort of "Kool Aid" of optimism in the face of an alternate reality - a war with no end in sight, wealth and prosperity increasingly out of reach for most American families, a lack of any true commitment to developing alternative energy sources, and a government that is simply unable to afford what programs currently now exist for its citizens, much less adequately fund any new educational initiatives.
The fact that both Bush supporters and detractors can witness the same event but see a different result underscores a greater concern on my part. Our nation is more polarized than it has ever been in my lifetime.
And this President has neither the capacity or the integrity to bring our nation together again.
The fact is that it was the Bush operatives who set in motion and who now fuel the current political partisan agenda in Washington, and who also have worked to push that polarizing mindset into communities all across our nation, including our state.
As Air Force One makes it way into Middle Tennessee bringing the President to deliver his road trip version of the SOTU, I wonder if the President will even know that he is flying over a number of economically distressed counties whose citizens have to drive many miles to find work.
As the presidential limo heads from the airport to the speech destination, I wonder if the President will consider for one moment the plight of the other drivers his motorcade will pass on the interstate who struggle each day just to pay for the gasoline for their vehicles so they can get to and from work.
And as the President speaks to the Nashville audience that has been hand picked and screened by his advance team, I wonder if the President will look into the faces of those who made the approved list and believe in his heart of hearts that he is speaking to all Tennesseans.

5 Comments:

Blogger bubba35 said...

I couldn't agree more. We two America's and it is only getting worse. The poverty numbers continue to rise and nothing is being done in a serious way.
I vote for George Bush both times but without a doubt it was a huge mistake.
The fact is if you look throughout history mosy great empires fall from within and not from outside forces. Americans have this crazy belief that this country will never fall. If it continues in this direction it very well may.

7:29 AM  
Blogger Tom said...

Caught some of the Opry show today. I long for the days when a president didn't need graphics behind him to be understood.

11:31 AM  
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