The State of the Union in 2022: unsupported optimism

U.S. PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN delivers the 2022 State of the Union address. Shawn Thew – Pool/Getty Images

Cassidy O’Toner | Writer

March 6, 2022

On March 1, United States President Joe Biden gave the annual State of the Union address to the 117th Congress. Flanked by Vice President Harris and House Speaker Pelosi, Biden addressed the American people in a lengthy hour-long speech.

With the absurd amount of clapping and the tendency for melodramatic slogans, it seemed a bit like an overly formal pep rally, especially when the crowd spontaneously erupted into a chanting of “USA! USA! USA!” in the midst of the speech. The unbridled passion American citizens apparently have for infrastructure and foreign supply chains was fascinated.

Covering a vast array of topics, Biden addressed subjects ranging from our ally-ship with Ukraine to cutting the cost of medicine. But, over the course of the speech, there appeared to be a recurring trend regarding his chosen talking points. 

Of the many issues he covered, one of the most frequently discussed topics was decreasing prices. Prices of what? According to Biden, just about everything. From prescription drugs to child care to insurance and on and on and on, everything under the sun seemed perfectly achievable for his administration.

PRESIDENT BIDEN DELIVERING HIS STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH flanked by VP Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Market Watch

There was a lot of “let’s do this!” followed by an overzealous smattering of applause and hollers of approval. However, there was often very little commentary on how exactly many of these objectives were to be accomplished. I wouldn’t have been surprised if Biden had proposed a mission to colonize Mars with nothing to support this feat besides ‘American dreams’ and the crowd would have erupted into cheers of unwavering support. 

It got to a point where he just started naming issues that have needed to be dealt with for years. In one instance, he proposed to “take on mental health” and then proceeded to list the origins of declining mental health, like bullying and social media.

This appeared to be his approach to just about every issue he brought up. “He did talk about fixing prices,” senior Ella Davis shared, “but he didn’t say how he was going to do it or what his plan was.” Did President Biden think that if he named so many problems in a row we would become so overwhelmed that we wouldn’t think to ask about the solutions? Or maybe he has another hour long speech planned later this week to go over those instead. 

And sure, it would be one thing if his agenda was clearly laid out and it seemed like he had a clear vision for what he was fighting for. But oftentimes his agenda clashed from one point to the other. “I’m a capitalist,” President Biden had said with pride, “but capitalism without competition is not capitalism. It is exploitation.” Absolutely President Biden, but what are the processes in place to facilitate this?

“His policies regarding medicine appear heavily socialist, but he’s too afraid to de-stigmatize socialist policy,” senior Sage Brislen commented. Whether you agree with capitalism or not, the fact remains that this is simply not how any of this works. Wishful thinking isn’t going to lift families above the poverty line and keep our businesses afloat. 

I suppose the greatest takeaway from this event was that our current president has a gift for optimism. Considering I’ve never heard the words “over a million” and “for the first time in history” so many times within the span of one hour, I’d say he’s at the very least doing a great job of promoting himself and his administration. And while I personally didn’t feel all that auspicious afterwards, I certainly hope Vice President Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi got a good workout from the amount of times they stood up and sat down to clap after every breath taken by the president.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.