By John F. Di Leo -
Reflections on a State of the Union Message
“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
“Mr. Gorbachev: Tear Down This Wall!”
Every politician, when making a speech, hopes to hit a few major themes, and hopes to include lines that are as descriptive and memorable as the quotes above from Presidents Lincoln, Kennedy, and Reagan… but it’s a lot to hope for.
In recent years, the State of the Union message has largely become an annual laundry list of spending proposals, some with great likelihood of passage, others slight reaches… and often, some with no chance whatsoever, mentioned only for an applause line or a signal to some desired demographic, subtly saying, between the lines, that “I’m on your side, see? I mentioned your impossible policy desire.”