The State of the Union – The Big Picture

A couple of nights ago, I stayed up half the night to digest our President’s first State of the Union Address. I watched intently as President Trump took to the podium to give the American people his first official update on how things are going.

Immediately following, I hopped on the blog to do a quick summary of some of the key points of the speech and I went to bed. No deep thought, no analysis, I wanted to let it all sink in.

I wanted to find the big picture.

A couple of days later, now that I have had a second to digest what I heard, I want to share what I think is the big picture from that night.

As President Trump was announced and started walking in, I knew I was in for a treat. I knew America was in for a treat. And honestly, I knew the world was in for a treat.

Whether you see it or not, we are living in a time that will go down in history. I was witnessing history and trying to take in every moment I possibly could.

When the President started his speech and started to boast about his accomplishments over the past couple of years, I couldn’t help but notice his demeanor. I couldn’t help but notice how he carried himself. I couldn’t help but listen to how he spoke.

Flash back to the State of the Union Addresses’ from President Bush and Obama. What did I see? I saw Presidents who were passionate about their success and passionate about their Country.

President Trump showed none of that. As he delivered his accomplishments, he was almost waiting for recognition. Waiting for those from his left (right side of the aisle) to stand in exuberant applause.

And that’s exactly what he got.

You may make the argument, however, that this is how all State of the Union addresses go. The party of the President in power loves everything that is said and the opposite side sits there silent.

But, knowing this, I wanted to close my ears to the cheers and applause and watch the President speak, my leader.

As I continued to watch, I noticed that as he delivered his words, he held his body pointed to the left, as if he was addressing his fellow Republicans. As if the Democrats of the room didn’t even exist.

This is the big picture.

This is the problem with our politics, our economy, our immigration system, and our seemingly failing moral obligations as Human Beings.

None of our elected officials want to talk to each other. None of our elected officials want to open their ears and discuss issues for the betterment of our Country and our people. No one wants to have good old-fashioned debate.

In my opinion, all of these issues start with the leadership, or lack thereof, from our President.

As he stood there blocking out elected Democrats to his right, he showed me a lack of leadership, a lack of any desire to bridge the gap and reach across the aisle to pull both sides together for compromise.

All I saw was a President who would stop at nothing to get what he wanted. No compromise, no debate, this is just how it has to be.

This is why our Government shut down a couple of weeks ago; this is why nothing can get done.

Maybe I wouldn’t have such strong opinions on this if bills were not getting passed party line.* Maybe I wouldn’t have such strong opinions on this if, what seems like, every law and policy the Obama Administration put into place wasn’t immediately removed.

This is the big picture. I’ve always been taught that the best laws have the thoughts and opinions from both sides of the aisle mixed into them. What’s so wrong with taking policy that already exists and debating solutions on how to improve it?

All in all, the Republicans don’t have to agree with a single thing that the Democrats believe or want. But, shutting them out and leaving no room for compromise is not the answer.

A President who seems to encourage this does not help.

This is the Big Picture.


*Party line – When all members of one side of the isle vote Yes and all members of the other side of the aisle vote No.

Blake Tarmann