State of the Repeating Union

A president, embattled with public opinion against him, stood up at the podium of our nation’s capitol and proceeded to give a speech talking about opportunity, hope, and bringing American’s back to work. He spoke of a wounded veteran, renewable energy being the future, and affordable healthcare for all. He was given many standing ovations as he talked about difficult times, expanding the war on terror, a recovering economy, and a brighter future because of the last 4 years of his hard work.

You may be thinking of President Obama’s speech yesterday – but no, this speech was given by President Bush at the State of the Union in 2007 and it bears a striking resemblance to this year’s State of the Union. Not only is the general theme the same, but both presidents declare recovery is at hand and opportunity is the most important task on their agenda as leader of this country.

On health care:

BUSH: A future of hope and opportunity requires that all our citizens have affordable and available health care. When it comes to health care, government has an obligation to care for the elderly, the disabled and poor children. And we will meet those responsibilities.

OBAMA: One last point on financial security.  For decades, few things exposed hard-working families to economic hardship more than a broken health care system.  …. That’s what health insurance reform is all about – the peace of mind that if misfortune strikes, you don’t have to lose everything.

On renewable energy:

BUSH: When we do that, we will have cut our total imports by the equivalent of three-quarters of all the oil we now import from the Middle East . To reach this goal, we must increase the supply of alternative fuels, by setting a mandatory fuels standard to require 35 billion gallons of renewable and alternative fuels in 2017.

OBAMA:  I’ll cut red tape to help states get those factories built, and this Congress can help by putting people to work building fueling stations that shift more cars and trucks from foreign oil to American natural gas ….  The all-of-the-above energy strategy I announced a few years ago is working, and today, America is closer to energy independence than we’ve been in decades. …. An autoworker fine-tuned some of the best, most fuel-efficient cars in the world, and did his part to help America wean itself off foreign oil.

On unemployment:

BUSH: A future of hope and opportunity begins with a growing economy, and that is what we have. We are now in the 41st month of uninterrupted job growth, a recovery that has created 7.2 million new jobs so far. Unemployment is low, inflation is low, wages are rising. This economy is on the move.

OBAMA: The lowest unemployment rate in over five years.  A rebounding housing market.  A manufacturing sector that’s adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s.  More oil produced at home than we buy from the rest of the world – the first time that’s happened in nearly twenty years.  Our deficits – cut by more than half.  And for the first time in over a decade, business leaders around the world have declared that China is no longer the world’s number one place to invest; America is.

On opportunity:

BUSH: Our job is to make life better for our fellow Americans, and to help them build a future of hope and opportunity. And this is the business before us tonight.

OBAMA: …a rising America where honest work is plentiful and communities are strong; where prosperity is widely shared and opportunity for all lets us go as far as our dreams and toil will take us – none of it is easy.  But if we work together…

The list of examples goes on and on. Even the feel of it is almost identical if you listen to both speeches. Either speech could have been given and it would be appropriate as it seems nothing has changed: the economy is still doing poorly, we’re still at war, we still have companies fleeing over seas, unemployment is still high, the deficit is at the highest it’s ever been, and the list (again) goes on and on. Despite hearing this speech twice now, once in 2007 and once in 2014, I’ve yet to hear any actual information about the current state of the union. No hard facts or charts. No admissions of mistakes we’ve made. Nothing but a lot of chest-beating about America, empty promises, political rhetoric, and a huge amount of self-aggrandizing.

It’s become obvious that these are not, nor have been for a long time, about the actual state the union is in as directed by the constitution (that document we rarely follow anymore). They have just become another time to spew political propaganda at the masses without doing one bit of informing them. It shouldn’t be a surprise to you, dear reader, that both Bush and Obama gave similar speeches – after all, their war on liberty has been nearly identical.

Welcome to the new, old age.