I used to really geek out for the yearly State of the Union Address. I’d cheer and boo and deliver a running commentary to the television the same way some of you guys will watch the Super Bowl this weekend. Now there’s a better than average chance I’ll be asleep not long after the president delivers the near mandatory, if almost farcical, assessment that “the state of our Union is strong.”
It’s a subjective assessment. I mean I’m not sitting here expecting Civil War 2 to break out on Thursday, but we hardly feel as unified and well put together as we were, say, in the heyday of the Eisenhower Administration.
Now if President Biden walked into the well of the House and proclaimed the Union “stranger” than ever, he’d be on to something. Between the current oddball economic conditions, Russia flailing around in eastern Europe, China doing China stuff, and the modern Know Nothing Party being determined to wreck the institutions of government for shits and grins, strange feels like the more apt description.
Wrap everything up in the bow of a 24-hour news cycle that’s obsessed with views, and clicks, and clout and even the smallest fire can give off the illusion of burning out of control. With all that in mind, I’m sure I’ll watch the opening number, but there’s really very little that this president or any other could say to convince me that the state of the Union is far stranger than it is strong.