Spinning a State of the Union Address

Published 9:08 pm Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I’ve always enjoyed the subject of politics and have been all over the political spectrum. When I was younger, I was more liberal in my thinking than I am now. I am reminded of the Ronald Reagan quote to ABC News’ correspondent Sam Donaldson.
“Mr. President,” Donaldson said, “In talking about the continuing recession tonight, you’ve blamed Congress and mistakes of the past. Does any of the blame belong to you?”
You all probably have heard President Reagan’s retort. “Yes, because for many years, I was a Democrat.”
For many years, I was independent in my political views and hope that I still am. I would prefer the policies of our nation to be right (not a political right) and not wrong. It doesn’t matter to me whether the politician is Republican or Democrat, so long as the decision is a good one for our country.
I have also been an active participant in the political processes of our nation. I’ve been a voter and have enjoyed listening to presidential speeches and hardly ever missed a State of the Union. I will try to hear the one that comes this week.
Many of the people I know, however, have seemed to grow weary of the political game in our country and I know why.
Once again, it has nothing to do with colors, red or blue. It is simply a lack of trust or confidence in either of the persuasions.
This week, the President will try to rally the country around his agenda. I think he will have a tough time doing that. He spent a lot of capital this past year on the failed introduction of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. In my opinion, that’s not the only thing that hurt him, but it surely cost.
Part of my job as a pastor is to visit with folks and listen to them.
It may be that my visits are among people who already think like I do, but most of the time, people are honest and open with their thoughts. Here are a few observations.
Despite the statistics of a declining unemployment rate, jobs continue to be scarce; particularly good paying and fulltime jobs.
The rate of unemployment has declined because many people have simply stopped looking for work.
As far as the economy is concerned, it might be described as a mile wide and an inch thick. In other words, it is still very fragile. Within the last two days, I have heard of two “mom and pop” businesses that may close their doors.
Just as a matter of opening eyes and standing in a grocery line, I see many more people using food stamp cards. More and more people are becoming more and more dependent upon government assistance.
Not a good sign for the future.
In general, I hear that we, as a society, are declining. Just about every institution that we used to hold up for respect; like the courts, the schools, businesses, governments, hospitals  and even churches are just “not what they used to be.”
Finally, on the international stage our country is a shadow of what it once was.
Our President offers to us a State of the Union and he hopes that it inspires. He’ll need to be a Rumpelstiltskin. You may have to look that up.

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