The State of the State of the Union

So what’s the state of the union? Confused. You’ve got compassion and tax breaks on one hand, phony environmentalism and war mongering on the other. Looks like a mixed bag. I’m not big on politics. I don’t really like the whole mess. But I do like to stay up on things. I just don’t get why everything has to be so muddled.

Apparently giving the enormously wealthy tax breaks creates jobs and stimulates me to spend more money. I’m not quite sure how that works.

Apparently drilling for oil in a nature preserve is how you reduce your reliance on foreign oil. Funny he didn’t mention the details of that plan. Though the research money for hydrogen powered cars is a good step. It’d be nice to see the government help that technology get to consumers faster, though from what you hear from car companies the technology is already there.

And health care for all by some restructuring of Medicaid and stopping frivolous law suits. Granted I’m no health care professional, but I don’t see how that provides patient-selected health care for all.

AIDS in Africa. Now that was encouraging. It sounds Bush intends for America to lead the way and stop a continental holocaust. Rock the house.

And then we come to Iraq. Now I’m not big on war, but I bristle every time this issue comes up. I sympathize with the protesters, but I also see the danger of a rogue nation. It just seems like we’re treading on thin ice when we become the world’s cowboy, even if we are pursuing peace and justice. Unfortunately, the entire world isn’t looking for American peace and justice. Pissed off people fought back on Sept. 11th, and we’re going to create a lot more of those foes by storming into Iraq and kicking the crap out of a wounded animal. It seems like we should evaluate some of policies and make sure we’re a little more protected and understood in the eyes of potential terrorists. Don’t forget that we started Saddam Hussien on his little chemical weapons collection during the Iran/Iraq war in the ’80s. Just because we’re the biggest country in the world doesn’t mean we can do whatever we want.

That’s what I find so difficult. It’s probably necessary to go to war with Iraq eventually. I just wish we had all the right motives and the right justifications in doing so.

In the end, I find politics pretty lame. Right now just about every state is making essential cuts just to survive the fiscal year. Yet we don’t see anything addressing this budget catastrophe. I just get fed up sometimes.

Watching George W. Bush, I’m inspired by the display of world leadership this backwater governor from Texas has been able to muster. The guy has really done an impressive job. But then I look at some specifics and I’m not so sure. He’s trying to curtail abortion. That’s good. He’s killing the environment. That’s bad. He cares about AIDS in Africa. That’s good. He wants to give tax relief to billionaires. That’s bad. In the end, where do we stand? Do you go with the guy who agrees with you on as many issues as possible? Or do you go with the guy who isn’t going to look like a pansy on the world stage? And sometimes, you just can’t know.

Another thing that makes me a little uncomfortable, is the statement that freedom is a gift from God to humanity. Bush was referring to democratic freedom, but I can’t figure out where he gets that idea. American Christians love to hail democracy and freedom as God-given rights, but I just don’t see that in the Bible. God told us to pray for our leaders, to seek out peace, justice, and mercy, and to spread the kingdom of God throughout the world. Maybe that’s accomplished through democracy, but if that’s the case I don’t think democracy is the value you want to herald. I think it’s love, peace, mercy.

Random thoughts from a random American on the state of the State of the Union.

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