Tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, President Joseph Biden will give his second State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress and numerous guests. Among the guests will be Row Vaughn and Rodney Wells, the parents of Tyre Nichols who was brutally beaten to death by police in Memphis, Tennessee, on January 7th.
For a number of reasons, there are additional security concerns this year. The magnetometers have been removed from the entrance to the House chamber, one of the first moves the Republicans made once they gained the majority in the House. Also, according to a Capitol Police bulletin …
“… recent incidents targeting politicians and law enforcement agencies within the past month indicate that there is a heightened threat toward government officials.”
Lest you think this is just so much hyperbole, I would remind you of the vicious attack on Paul Pelosi, husband of then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and then I would further remind you of the violent attempted coup at this very same Capitol on January 6th, 2021. There can be no doubt that there is a danger brewing under the surface in this country, and further that there are far too many fools with guns out there – some whose offices are in this very same Capitol building!
Capitol Police have constructed a non-scalable fence around the Capitol grounds, and are taking other security measures, no doubt fully remembering January 6th. Will it be enough? Today, there are a number of representatives sitting in Capitol offices who played a role in one way or another in the events of January 6th. They should be disqualified, but somehow they escaped the 14th Amendment that prohibits anyone who has previously taken an oath of office (Senators, Representatives, and other public officials) from holding public office if they have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States.
I admit to being … concerned … about tomorrow night’s events. I still feel the horror of January 6th, still see the hatred that is festering in this country, hear the voices chanting “Hang Mike Pence”. Not a single one of the plotters and schemers behind the insurrection are in prison, but are all free men & women, free to plot further rebellion, and relatively few of the ‘foot soldiers’ of that day are in prison. So yes, I am concerned. I hope that my concerns are ill-founded and that the events of tomorrow evening will go off without a hitch.
Now, about that State of the Union …
It’s probably just as well that I wasn’t invited to give the speech, for I’m sure President Biden will do a far better job than I would. The “state of the union” seems to be, in my ever-so-humble opinion, a disaster. This nation is more divided than at any time in the past 150 years, perhaps longer. Fully half of our elected officials no longer remember their oaths, no longer care about this nation as a democracy but rather would turn it into an autocracy at the first opportunity. And outside of government, thanks to the divisiveness of our leaders, thanks to their lies and corruption, We the People are also divided … in a way I’ve never seen before, not even in the days of Jim Crow or Vietnam.
The current state of the union is that it’s a bloody mess. This is not the fault of President Biden, who has been quietly getting the job done, has managed the impossible in a number of areas, but is rather the fault of We the People. It was US who elected the corrupt politicians who now sit in Congress and make decisions every day that are ruining our lives. It was US who were so poorly educated that we fell for the rhetoric spouted by the likes of Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy, Matt Gaetz, Marge Greene, Ron Johnson and so many others. It is US who have opted for the entertainment value rather than the seriousness of purpose, have voted for the clowns rather than the intellectuals.
I have no doubt that the President’s message tomorrow night will be one of hope, one that highlights the positive rather than the negative, and that’s as it should be. The response from the Republican Party will be given by none other than former Press Secretary under Donald Trump, and current Governor of Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders. I hope that the night does not turn into a three-ring circus of the sort the Republican Party is known for. At the least, it will be interesting … let’s hope that’s all it is.