03 February 2014

Obama’s ‘State of the Union Address’

As we all know, it is rarely that politicians do the off-the-cuff thing.  Some are articulate but even they write drafts and get political aides to take a look before delivering.  The really smart ones, like Winston Churchill carry off their well-prepared speeches as though they are impromptu affairs.  The State of the Union Address by the President of the United States of America on the other hand is serious stuff. It’s a wrap-up of what’s come, laying out of what is and an indicator of what can be expected.  Many drafts precede the final script.  It all begins, as it should, with an honest declaration.  Truth gets first abstracted and deleted from one iteration to the next; the lie rises.  In the end what we get is palatable fiction. This is a first section of the first draft, only available from the considerable archive of abandoned scripts carefully stored in a parallel universe.

I believe this can be a breakout year for America.  Wait, that’s the United States of America.  Let’s just call it USA from now.  Our graduation rate is the highest it has been in more than three decades.   We have the lowest unemployment rate in over five years.  We have a rebounding housing market.  The manufacturing sector is adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s.  We produce more oil than we purchase, and that’s for the first time in nearly 20 years.  We’ve cut deficits by more than half.  And we are the world’s number one place to invest. 

Corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher; those at the top have never done better.  Average wages, however, haven’t budged. Inequality has deepened.  The positives, I must admit, have gone in one direction: to the wealthy. 

But hey, Michelle’s doing her bit to make it appear that we care for the poor, the homeless and the otherwise marginalized, like gays.  We actually remember that we have veterans and they have problems others don’t have to worry about.  Well, she’s trying to hire or train them and also military spouses.  That’s something I picked up from Sri Lanka, by the way. 

Here’s what else I am going to do on the domestic front.  I will help the entrepreneurs and small business owners.  I will use bipartisan trade promotion techniques to protect our workers, protect our environment and open new markets to new goods stamped ‘Made in the USA’.  I will protect more of our pristine federal lands for future generations.  There’s a lot of I-will there of course.  But there’s the other side of it too.

I talk free trade, but do ‘protection’. I want our environment clean and our workers protected, but I don’t care if I pollute the rest of the world and slaughter people in other countries if that’s what it takes to get us our preferred bag of goodies.

I will, as I always have, talk of a cleaner and safer planet.  I believe that talk is cheap and is best kept that way.  I will, as I have and as my predecessors have before me, continue to wreck all initiatives taken to heal our planet.  I will, as I have, and again as my predecessors have done before me, continue to unleash death and destruction on other parts of the world, especially if the victims happen to be brown or black, forgive my blackness. 

Let me put it all in context.  When I took office, nearly 180,000 Americans (of the US) were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, all our troops are out of Iraq.  More than 60,000 have returned from Afghanistan. It’s all about keeping us free, the USA more secure.  We sent Iraq to the middle ages.  We wrecked that country. We made sure that over half a million Iraqi children died.  We’ve displaced hundreds of thousands.  We’ve ensure that Iraq remains unstable.  We’ve bombed the what-not out of Afghanistan.  We made the world aware of a weapon called ‘Drones’.  We killed innocent people in the thousands and displaced hundreds of thousands.  It was worth it.  You like your freedom and you want your country safe?  Well, that’s what I’ve done. 

And rest assured, I will do it to any country I like, whether or not it is a threat to our national security or the freedoms that we are supposed to enjoy.  We will continue to say that we want to free other nations from tyranny and fear even as we terrorize them and turn their populations into slaves and their leaders into puppets.  We will say we promote justice, fairness and equality, even though all we know about those three things is how to spell them. 

We gave democracy to Egypt and that country is now engulfed in fratricide.  We’ve ensured Syria remains a wreck. We protected tyrannies in Yemen and Bahrain and are fully behind the most anti-democratic regime in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia.  You get the drift.   


Aren’t you going to say ‘Thank You!’?
Oh well….but anyway, since I am a firm believer in the idea of pluralism championed by us all over the world, I will not say as I have done before, ‘God bless you and God bless the United States of America,’ for that would amount to leaving atheists out of our splendid story.  In fact, I think I will take out the legend ‘In God We Trust’ on our currency notes.