Wednesday, January 26, 2011

In Search of...the state of our union

The President gave his annual State of the Union address last night, and despite my snarky jibes about Democrats and Replublicans sitting side by side, eating Smoores and singing Kumbaya, it in fact was a different tone than any other State of the Union that I can remember.

Contrary to the catchphrase that the administration wanted to parlay into its choice soundbite, "winning the future," I thought there was a better phrase - "We do big things." Yes, it is hard to say in the face of our current economic hardships that the state of our union is strong. It would be ridiculous to look at our failing public schools and say that our future looks bright. Or that with the recent events in Tucson, that we can feel safe and secure even under the most innocuous of circumstances.

So the President did what he was needed to do - he set out to motivate, encourage, and inspire us to reach for something greater, to aspire to big things. And though I have been in a bit of a funk lately, I found myself wanting to soak up his optimism. I'm not sure whether it's because I believed him when he said that America was "not just a place on a map, but a light to the world," or because I merely wanted to believe him. But I believe that he believes it, and for now, that must be enough for me.

I don't pretend to think this new era of faux civility will last in Washington. I don't pretend to think that John Boehner will be enjoying a happy hour with Nancy Pelosi any time soon - although I do imagine that John Boehner has enjoyed many a happy hour. Yes, I can only hope that some increment of statesmanship will find its way back to what used to be a truly civil enterprise in Washington. I hope that somehow, somewhere we can find common ground for the sake of our common good.

So it's a new day, and here's hoping that it's one of untold promise and unexpected opportunities. Here's knowing that the state of our union is as strong as its people are resilient, and to that extent, it could go either way. Here's to a day when we sit side by side, not for show, but because we really want to. Yeah, yeah, I know...Kumbaya, love is all you need, and God Bless America.

Thanks for stopping by.

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