My State of Mind on Tonight’s State of the Union Address

By Edward M. Bury, APR, aka The PRDude

In around 5 minutes, President Obama will deliver the 2012 State of the Union address to Congress.  This kind of thing happens every year, you know.  But these days, I think it’s more appropriate to call it the “State of Confusion” address.

Not that I’m picking on the President or any particular member of Congress.  Given the challenging times we face today — and will for perhaps generations to come — there’s a lot of blame to spread around.

The big question:  How did this nation, without argument the most dynamic, prosperous and progressive on earth, trip, stumble and fall?

It’s because we’re confused.

We’re confused about what got us into this mess.  At least, that’s what I read and hear from the leaders of both major political parties: “It’s because of the (fill in the blank, which ever party you don’t like).”

“Bipartisanship?”  I don’t think so, although I did read that Democrats and Republicans will in essence have a “date night” at tonight’s address by sitting next to each other when the President delivers his address.  A nice gesture, but hopefully they can sit next to each other at the negotiation table and compromise on legislation that brings the United States back on track.

So, how should lawmakers address the confusion?  Here’s a few thoughts:

  • Engage in dialogue.  Look up the word if you’re not sure what it means.
  • Be open and transparent.  Hey, it’s what drives effective public relations, should work in Congress.
  • Set realistic, measurable goals.  It took a long time for the nation to fall into this mess. It will take a long time to get back on course
  • And, above all: Put the values of the American people — not the 100 Senators and 435 Congressmen or their lobbyists and special interest groups — at the forefront. We’re the ones who elected you.

What else should we do to end the confusion?  Share your thoughts.

Or, listen to the address live from this site hosted by the New York Times.   I’m taking a break for dinner.



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