Why I Might Watch the State of the Union

I typically like to be as plugged in as possible to what’s happening in the world. (Well, as plugged in as *reasonable,* which is a different thing, I suppose.) I’ve watched the State of the Union for the last decade at least. And it’s irritated me most of the time. It’s full of a lot of promises that don’t end up doing anything, and I can’t stand the endless traditional applause.

But in the run up to today’s State of the Union, NPR has been playing a promotional piece, including sound bites from many of the past States of the Union. And listening to all those presidents say some of their famous lines has had me dreading Trump’s performance this evening. I felt like I should watch it, just because that’s what I’ve always done.

And then I asked myself: why? Why in the world would I want to subject myself to whatever he’s going to spout off about? There are three alternatives to how tonight will play out. In the first, Trump sticks to his teleprompter, feeding out lie after lie, distortion after misrepresentation, all while every Republican in the room interrupts him constantly with applause. It’s tailor made for Trump’s ego, and it’s sickening that Republicans in Congress will do it.

This is the version I’m really dreading, and it’s the one that’s most likely going to happen. And if this turns out to be the way things are playing out, I will most likely shut off the speech and go do something more productive, like jabbing myself in the eye with a fork.

But part of me (the naive part) is holding out hope that one of the two other possibilities happen. The least likely is that Republicans don’t put up with Trump’s garbage. That they don’t applaud him continually. That there are lines where Trump pauses for applause, and all he gets is a few hand claps. This is what *ought* to happen, and I wouldn’t want to miss it if it did. (A guy can dream, right?)

Then there’s the third possibility. That Trump, despite being drilled on the importance of staying on message and not going off the teleprompter, just can’t resist ad libbing. I think there’s actually a fairly good chance of this happening. Surrounded by all those sycophants, all of them pumping him up with more and more applause, I could easily see Trump reverting to one of his campaign-style rallies. He’s practiced that schtick often enough, after all. And if there’s one thing I learned playing an instrument, it’s that you perform in public the way you’ve practiced.

Trump has all those years of reality television under his belt. I think he thinks he’s still on a show. One where he can be the bad idiot at times, and all that really matters is the ratings at the end of each episode. Knowing he’s got such a big audience, I have a hard time thinking he’ll be able to resist throwing in a few zingers.

Which leads me to hope that some of the Republicans might come to their senses, though I won’t be holding my breath.

Really, the State of the Union under our former presidents has been dated and pompous, but not really disturbing. Under Trump? How can it look any other way than dictatorial?

People keep telling me to ignore what Trump says and focus on what he does, instead. On the policies he’s trying to pass. Folks, even if I agreed with all of his policies, the way he behaves would make me unable to support him as President. The end most definitely does not justify the means.

So anyway. We’ll see which version plays out, and we’ll see how long I last watching at 9pm this evening. How about you? Are you planning on watching? Why or why not?


Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. I’m looking to get to $10/month to justify the amount of time I spend on this blog. I’m at $6/month so far. Read this post for more information. Or click here to go to Patreon and sign up. It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out.

Leave a comment