The State of the Union and the State of American Pride

In his 2014 State of the Union speech, Obama captivated his viewers by saying that America was now the place to invest. Not China, but America. I’ve watched the State of the Union addresses since I was 10 years old. I can say now, with a fair amount of certainty, that the president always tells us that we should be proud to be American.

I am proud to be American, I guess. But why do we need to be told to be proud? I don’t think the majority of the presidents are actually interested in the public’s American pride; at least, not as much as they say they are.

I’ve also noticed that, after telling Americans to be proud to be who they are and to live in the country they do, the president will list all of our country’s problems. He says that these things can be resolved and he tells us why all the things he supports will make our country better. It’s nice that the president has a plan, and I’d be concerned if he didn’t. However, in all the State of the Union speeches I’ve heard and all the ones I’ve read, especially this one, I haven’t learned much about the actual state of the Union.

I suppose that’s not true. I know now that there’s been a debate about the appropriate size of the federal government. I also learned  that that debate isn’t important enough to be a concern. I learned about all the booming industries and the industries with potential. I was also informed that Obama supports industry, but I’m  not sure how he he plans to support it.

Now, let’s compare Obama’s State of the Union speech to George Washington’s. I found Washington’s speech to be filled with information, plans and ideas. He had few “be proud” statements. He knew, or he thought he knew, how to fix the country. Washington had a plan and he made sure that the people of the US knew what he planned to do. Obama talked about his plans, but not in a way that made them seem realistic. Obama’s plans were more “I want to do this, if Congress would do this”. That’s not very helpful.

I think that, now, State of the Union addresses don’t tell us as much about the state of the Union as they do about how important it is to be proud to be American. Why would I be proud to be American, if I don’t know what is happening in my country?

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