The State of the Union is a Fraud and Should Be Canceled

Get rid of this vapid charade, perpetrated each year at the expense of the American people.

By Andrew J. Bacevich

February 08, 2019 "Information Clearing House" -     Let me confess to dozing off during President Trump’s interminable State of the Union address on Tuesday evening. The offense is one that I vow never to repeat. To ensure that I keep that vow, henceforth, I’ll just skip the event altogether. In doing so, this much is for certain: I won’t be missing anything.

When I was a kid, the annual calendar included several televised events that we considered mandatory viewing, among them the Kentucky Derby, the Indianapolis 500, the Miss America Pageant, and the Charlie Brown Christmas special. Watching them was akin to a patriotic duty.

The annual SOTU was similarly classified, its importance unquestioned. We believed—and perhaps back then that belief was not entirely baseless—that the president’s assessment of the nation’s and the world’s condition meant something. It demanded thoughtful consideration. We believed further that his proposed agenda actually had some bearing on the future of American politics.

Credit Trump with exposing the absurdity of such expectations. Granted, I am only able to judge from the speech’s first 30 minutes or so, but what I heard was vapid, cliché-ridden, and embarrassingly devoid of substantive content. Except as fodder for comedians, it was without value. No future compendium of “Great American Speeches,” no matter how inclusive, will incorporate even one sentence of Trump’s 2019 speech to a Joint Session of Congress.

Were those in attendance or those watching at home surprised? I’m guessing not.

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