February 4, 2020-
As is my wont, I watched the State of the Union Address, and part of the “opposition response”. I paid close attention to what was said, to the enthusiasm of the speakers’ supporters and to the reactions of the speakers’ critics.
President Trump’s speech was fairly good on specifics, with regard to what he considers his administration’s accomplishments and bullish on what he sees ahead-should he be re-elected. There were fine moments: Carl and Marsha Mueller, from Prescott, honoured in the sacrifice of their daughter to the IS mayhem; Rush Limbaugh, with whom I often disagree, but who has been generous to the people of the Midwest and who is now in the fight of his life, against cancer, receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom; the mother and children from North Carolina, re-united with their soldier husband and father; the young man from here in Arizona, honoured for his interest in space exploration, alongside his great grandfather, a Tuskegee Airman, who himself was promoted to Brigadier General, earlier in the day. General McGee is 100 years of age.
There was also the hubris, which has been associated with this President, but has also been expressed by several of his predecessors, in their own detailing of accomplishments. In the end, though, Donald Trump shared a thought with which few can realistically argue: “America’s best days are yet to come.” In truth, mankind’s best days are yet to come.
Both speakers, (Governor Whitmer, of Michigan, being the respondent), appealed to our sense of history and to a semblance of decency. Both expressed pride and confidence in the ability of our nation’s youth. Both faced rudeness from opponents, and ebullience from supporters. More’s the pity.
Our best days are yet to come. This will happen, when we stop seeing our leaders as mere extensions of ourselves; indeed, when we stop seeing other people as mere extensions of ourselves, in terms of what we think they should think, say and do. When the dreams of each person become worthy of consideration, when they are validated in their goodness, when they are challenged and lovingly corrected in their elements of error or destructiveness, then will Humanity realize its true greatness. When we truly learn to listen to each other, to link arms and celebrate one another’s humanity, then will our nation, and our planet, begin to truly shine.
Our best days are yet to come.