It has been clear for some time that the President has a vision for America which finds it’s American roots in the thinking of Woodrow Wilson and the applications of power reminiscent of FDR. What he lacks is the sense of restraint typically applied by American public opinion.
The President is not universally popular and seemingly is growing less so. His issue focus is clearly not in line with public opinion. As he flogs gun control the public wants action on spending and debt. A recent poll has 84% of the public believing that we are weaker than we were four years ago. Psychologists will tell you that the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior; applied to the President we can expect to be weaker still four years from now in a world with ever more and varied threats. Spending, debt and the strength of our military are key points of focus for the public and Conservative criticism.
Despite re-election the President is not in tune with public priorities and thus is defined, the state of our union.
Somewhere between a ‘just barely’ minority and a moderate majority, Americans appear to want to pull the President closer to the center of the political spectrum. Past behaviors tell us that is an unlikely eventuality and will determine the state of the union for years to come absent public uprising.
The President will, no doubt, put a rosy face on the state of the union; from his ideological point of view he may even believe it. There are, however, storm clouds on the horizon, many of his own making. Regulations are being issued at a staggering pace, few if any macroeconomic indicators are in positive territory. Both the President and the House Majority Leader don’t believe spending is the problem and continue their Jihad against ‘the rich’. The sequestration appears to be acceptable to the President as he has abandoned any leadership role in revising what was supposed to be so onerous that both sides would be motivated to find another way. Rumor has it that our military, which the President has paid so much lip service to, may have their pay cut. To abandon leadership over sequestration can only lead to the perception that the President does, in fact, want a weakened military. There is no strong state of our union without a strong military.
We are more separated by race and class than we were four years ago. Charges of racism have become an unthinking response to any variety of situations. Men of God (supposedly) such as Rev. Sharpton exclude mention of God from their public utterances. Religious belief is under attack. Social and cultural change charges on despite majority rejection.
The State of Our Union is, at best, tenuous. No economic growth sufficient to generate significant job growth, no effort to right the economic boat, no appearance of finding middle ground solutions and political internecine warfare the like of which we haven’t seen in years. Leadership failures at every level of the federal government and a growing bureaucracy that continues to separate itself from the citizens it is sworn to serve.
But below it all are Americans that, as Churchill opined; “always do the right thing after they’ve tried everything else.” Do we approach ‘everything else’?