I remember when I was a child the SOTU was a family affair. Families would gather around the TV and watch as the President addressed the nation. We would talk about it in school and my grand parents would talk about it at home. Now with thousands of options on TV many will choose to watch a silly reality show than the Presidential address. With that being said, as I sat down to watch the SOTU address here are my initial reactions.
Big Government vs. Small Government
There is a philosophical battle going on in the Nation’s Capitol. That battle is the war of big government vs. small government. From my initial review of the SOTU, President Obama believes that the answer to many of America’s problems is more government programs. While those who oppose the President believe that government is getting in the way of businesses and “the people” from solving the nations issues.
My question is this, why are we surprised that President Obama wants to install or further fund more government programs? President Obama was elected on the platform that government programs can help the nation’s problems. The people that elected him to that office believe that he should keep his word. I believe the President believes he is doing what is best for the country. But is he?
That really depends on what side of this philosophical battle you stand on. If you believe that government can solve our nation’s issues, then you were happy with last nights speech. But if you believe too much government cripples growth then you were dissatisfied and left the SOTU feeling there was promises made with no substance.
Republican vs. Democrat
Another clear theme from last nights SOTU address is that the divide between the two parties that dominate the Capitol is large. As a nation we have become spectators of a philosophical war that just appears to be getting worse with time. As we watched this chess match play out to a stale mate many times, one thing was very clear last night, President Obama will use executive order to get things done and push his agenda.
On more than one occasion, President Obama referred to getting things moving through executive orders. Which I will be honest, makes me nervous, Why? For several reasons but here are a couple. When the next President is elected he can come in and erase the executive orders and where does that leave the nation? President Obama erased some of President Bush’s and President Bush did the same to President Clinton. So in three years we can be back where we are today.
Second, if we are as President Lincoln said “a government of the people, by the people and for the people” then those in the government are required to sit down and discuss and be willing to compromise for the good of the nation. Our elected officials are to represent those that elect them. With our nation being so diverse, we should expect a diversity of ideas in the Capitol. Our representatives should take the best of those ideas and implement them for the good of the nation, even if it means that a Republican gets the praise, a Democrat gets the praise or God forbid, an Independent or Tea Party candidate get the praise. One party or one person deciding what direction the nation will go, is not the government President Lincoln had in mind or the Founding Fathers. Of course there are exceptions, as was the case with President Lincoln and the issue of slavery.
So Where Do We Go From Here?
Here is some quick advice
* Pray for the elected officials (yes even the ones you don’t like)
* Study the issues and be informed. Don’t become apathetic.
* Write and call your Representatives and let them know where you stand
* Get out and vote
* Join the campaign of someone you would vote for
* Run for office