the President of the United
States give a State of the Union
address is often like watching a peacock strut. Its
head projecting forward with each step, and its splayed
feathers saying “Look at me. I’m tall. I’m beautiful.
I have it all. I did it all.” The President usually lists
an embellished log of accomplishments and forecasts a
list of unreasonable - if not unachievable - expectations.
Then Congress comes back and peacocks what it has done.
The President and Congress, like the peacock, claims it
can do everything - but fly. In fact, the peacock struts
because it can’t fly. Well, this week, the President flew
as Congress attempted to strut. President Barack Obama
laid out the reality of our nation, his accomplishments
despite obstruction, in front of Congress and the nation.
He did it in real time, in virtual reality, in jaw-dropping
2012 State of the Union offered a vast contrast to the picture of the nation the Republican
candidates running in the GOP primaries have painted.
The President offered a different picture of the nation’s
political and social realities than the Congress has held
up. The American people don’t know what to think about
the state of its nation and the mental state of its leaders
because they get a different spin from all directions.
Nothing is good enough. Nothing is right. The other party
is always wrong. Reality is never real. And as the nation
witnessed in 2011, the Congress is delusional.
the week…the nation got a true dose of reality. Now, I’m
not saying that I agreed with everything the President
laid out…particularly about the Iran
piece. I believe he’s being walked into a trap on that
tip…but I do believe he is trying to construct a virtual
reality for the type of government we currently have and
the limitations its poses when you have ideologues and
millionaires running the government who have distorted
realities about the socio-economic conditions in which
most people live in our nation.
President held up a mirror to Congress this week. Hopefully
it was as ugly to them as it has been to the rest of us.
Congress has painted itself into a corner, largely because
the ideologues don’t understand the role of government
beyond self-interested motives and rhetorical retraction.
retraction simply means they think they have to move backwards
to take the nation forward. We know its empty rhetoric.
They know its empty rhetoric and the President showed
it was empty rhetoric.
politics of political gamesman was really the subject
of the State of the Union. That is
the state of the union, virtually. In a very literal
sense, the President laid out what has been, what is,
and what could have been had Congress not played with
the lives of the American people.
asked Congress what reality are they looking at - what
reality do they really see? Is it the same one as the
American people, or is it a contrived reality for the
privileged and the socially impolitic. Both, of course,
represent what the GOP is presenting as their best options
to Obama in Romney and Gingrich. The
President called for Congress to be fair to the American
people. The GOP wants to just be fair to the rich. What
they are calling “class warfare,” as the President noted,
the rest of the nation calls “common sense.”
most us, common sense is virtual reality, what is in the
here and now…not a contrived one. What Americans need,
here and now, is a more responsive government to address
problems specific to the needs of its citizens. Hopefully,
the nation heard the President and will return to its
virtual senses and a common reality of what’s best for
all of us. Not just a few of us.
Dr. Anthony Asadullah Samad, is a national columnist,
managing director of the
Urban Issues Forum
and author of
Saving The Race: Empowerment Through Wisdom. His Website is AnthonySamad.com. Twitter @dranthonysamad. Click
to contact Dr. Samad.