Unified Patriots by Vassar Bushmills
On paper the State of the Union Address has been from the President, the Chief Executive, to the other branches of Government, telling them how the country was faring.
The People, the object of the Constitution, (don’t forget) only learned what the President had to say about the State of the Union through the Media, who, for most of those years, served as a go-between the People the Government. A quaint notion, I’m sure.
For the longest time, into my lifetime, the print media, newspapers, were the sole means of communicating to the People what the President said.
Then came radio (1920s) and now television, since the 1950s.
I can’t say when the SOTU became little more than a banquet speech by the company president to his board of directors, but for the most part it was rarely directed to the People as a vehicle to either encourage, persuade, or fire them up. Ronald Reagan stands out in this regard because in his eight years in the White House, every thing he achieved with Congress’ help was done with the opposition wing in charge of the Congress. Reagan’s only ally was the People, and he encouraged them to encourage, or threaten, their Congressional representatives to give the President what he asked.
It largely worked, for it took the Democrats 20 years to undo most of what Reagan accomplished, while it took Trump only two years to undo the bulk of Obama’s handiwork.
In retrospect, Reagan’s was a kinder, gentler time.
I haven’t watched a SOTU live in thirty years, since Reagan, although I have seen many of the snippets of past presidents. I had no intention to watch this one, except my son encouraged me to because he thought something big might happen, you know, like a 5-car pileup at Richmond Raceway. With casualties[…]