02 February 2011

The State of the Union

Agree with the ideology or not, the past two State of the Union addresses have made me considerably less...squirmy since we elected a more eloquent president. Two things that did kind of make me squirm though:

1) I really didn't like how Obama kept insisting that America was a family. Some people like their families and some people don't. Some people treat their family members with respect and compassion and some people don't. When you really boil it down, the only thing I can really associate with family across the board is that you can treat them like garbage and they'll still keep coming back. That isn't exactly my vision for the American populace. We are a community, on rare occasions even a tight knit one. But we are not a family, nor do we need to pretend to be.

2) What the hell does it mean to "win the future"? I don't know that anyone really wins the global economy, right? Don't you just aim to be a full participant in it? This seems very aggressive for an administration that has aimed quite a bit of international policy at reconciling with the enemies made in the last decade. I've seen the data on quality of education and healthcare costs and all, but how can you insist that this is the best country in the world and then imply that we're "losing" right now. An ugly and vaguely jingoistic expression.

Those criticisms aside*, Obama really hit the issues I think are important: education, healthcare, and infrastructure. I realize that these things are easier said than done, but it's pretty inspiring to have a president that cares about what I care about.

*Also heard lots of complaining about the lack of specific plans in the speech. What were you people expecting, a budget meeting with power point slides?