Watching the State of the Union address brought me back to the mandatory junior high assemblies of long ago. Here too the class mean girls, now wearing woke white, formed a single glowering unit, daring the loathsome principal to lecture them. They didn’t have the floor or even the majority, but they were in charge. Heaven help the loser who thought otherwise.
It began well for them. The speaker, sporting team colors, introduced the president, pointedly omitting the usual honorific titles. When he ignored her regal wave, her media acolytes faithfully gasped, “He didn’t even shake her hand!”
He launched the address with a litany of statistics illustrating just how well the country was doing. The girls in white and their Bernie brohs, playing for the cameras, alternated between rolling their eyes and checking their nails. National statistics and boring facts carry even less weight in woke world than they did in that of junior. In fact, the more it appeared that Team Red was running up some impressive statistics for America, the more Team Blue smoldered.
Then the President paused and drew back the curtain. We met a 13 year old future astronaut and a little girl who just wanted to go to a choice school. We smiled with a young mother carrying her health child who had been born prematurely. We shared the heartbreak of a mother and father who had lost their daughter, of a military wife who had lost her husband, and of a citizen who had lost his brother, all to thugs and terrorists. We honored an ancient airman and a young sergeant, an aging talk show icon and a young border guard, all who had devoted their lives and, in some cases, sacrificed the joys of family and home in the cause of freedom. We realized that neither liberty nor justice is ever free.
Their tragedies and triumphs told the real story of America. There were few dry eyes in the house, except for those of the speaker, who stood, and dramatically ripped up the speech, lest any of her team be moved to break ranks. Sadly, in the vote for impeachment taken the following day, not a single one dared to vote for justice.
But I, and I suspect most of the nation, was moved. I thank the President for challenging us to rise above the partisan games and do the hard work that it takes to be one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Art DeJong, Sheboygan