July 25, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Reflecting on the State of Union Speech:

President Barack Obama gave a great State of the Union speech this year – great in that he presented himself as statesmanlike, reasonable, sane, intelligent, and a consensus builder. However, it was not, I believe, very courageous or inspiring. Of course, I realize I am in the minority and come from my usual vantage point out there in left field.

What was missing for me in the speech was a call to action on the most serious problems of the globe and of our country. The speech was brilliant politically; it gave his opponents little to quarrel with. Who could argue with the virtues of unity, winning the future, and giving all Americans an opportunity for education? So in terms of positioning himself for 2012, it was a masterful speech.

I had a running argument with my wife and several friends during Bill Clinton’s first four years. I would ask why doesn’t he deal with poverty in America, with global warming, and with the growing disparity of wealth in the U.S.? They would reply by telling me to just wait until his second term. “Then you will see” they would say. I did wait, and I saw that it was the same as the first four years. And now I am having the same discussions with many of the same people.

“Just wait for Obama’s second term,” I am told. Sadly, I don’t expect anything different. I do expect more middle-of-the-road compromises, which are really not compromises but capitulations to the corporate powers that be and with their paid employees in the legislature.

A recent study showed that 1 -in -5 children in the United States is living in poverty. Yet in the State of the Union speech, the word poverty never came up. How is that possible? One in five is not a crisis? Allowing ROTC recruiters on college campuses is important enough to speak of but eliminating child poverty in the U.S. is not even worth mentioning? How about global warming and America’s carbon footprint: Not worthy of mentioning?

Here is a partial list of other serious issues not mentioned:

1. The Arms race

2. Bank Regulations

3. Gun Regulation

4. Inequality of wealth

5. Juvenile Justice

6. Nuclear proliferation

7. Oceans – pollution

8. Prison reform

So while I think the President’s speech was brilliant, I also found it sadly negligent and, consequently, not the leadership challenge to us all that I would have hoped to see.

in Opinion
Related Posts

Food, Water, and Energy Part 2 of 4

July 21, 2024

July 21, 2024

Last week’s S.M.a,r,t, article (https://smmirror.com/2024/07/sm-a-r-t-column-food-water-and-energy-part-1-of-3/) talked about the seismic risks to the City from getting its three survival essentials, food,...

SM.a.r.t. Column: Food Water and Energy Part 1 of 3

July 14, 2024

July 14, 2024

Civilization, as we know it, requires many things, but the most critical and fundamental is an uninterrupted supply of three...

Letter to the Editor: Criticizing Israeli Policy Is Not Antisemitic

July 10, 2024

July 10, 2024

In the past several months, we’ve seen increasing protests against Israel’s actions in Gaza. We have also seen these protests...

SMA.R.T. WISHES ALL A VERY HAPPY 4TH OF JULY WEEK

July 7, 2024

July 7, 2024

We trust you are enjoying this holiday in celebration of Independence. Independence to be embraced, personally and civically, thru active...

SM.a.r.t Column: Santa Monica Under SCAG’s Boot

June 30, 2024

June 30, 2024

Four years ago, our esteemed colleague Mario Fonda-Bonardi wrote the prescient essay below when much of the legislative development juggernaut...

SM.a.r.t Column: The Up Zoning Scam (Part 2)

June 23, 2024

June 23, 2024

Last week’s SMart article  (https://smmirror.com/2024/06/sm-a-r-t-column-the-up-zoning-scam-part-1/)  discussed the ambitious 8895 units (including 6168 affordable units) that Santa Monica is required to...

SM.a.r.t Column: The Up Zoning Scam (Part 1)

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Over the last few years, the State of California has mandated a massive upzoning of cities to create capacity for...

SM.a.r.t. Column: Shape Up – On Steroids

June 9, 2024

June 9, 2024

Nine years ago, SMa.r.t wrote a series of articles addressing the adaptive re-use of existing structures. We titled one “Shape...

SM.a.r.t Column: The Challenge of Running a City When City Staff Have Different Priorities

June 2, 2024

June 2, 2024

Living in a city has its perks, but it can be a real headache when the folks running the show...

SM.a.r.t. Column: A Path to Affordable Ownership in Santa Monica

May 27, 2024

May 27, 2024

[Note: our guest author today is Andres Drobny, a former Professor of Economics at the University of London, the former...

SM.a.r.t. Column: A Path Forward for Santa Monica: Part II

May 19, 2024

May 19, 2024

As referenced in Part I of this article, the state’s use of faulty statistics and forceful legislation has left a...

SM.a.r.t. Column: A Path Forward for Santa Monica: Part I

May 12, 2024

May 12, 2024

To quickly summarize, California grapples with an ongoing housing crisis spurred by state implementation of over 100 policies and mandates...

SM.a.r.t. Column: Where Will Our Huddled Masses Sleep? Navigating California’s Affordable Housing Mandates

May 5, 2024

May 5, 2024

Just as Lady Liberty beckons the “huddled masses” of immigrants to America, cities like Santa Monica have an ethical obligation...

SM.a.r.t Column: SMCLC SPEAKS

April 28, 2024

April 28, 2024

SMart (Santa Monica Architects for a Responsible Tomorrow) periodically invites guest columnists who have made a significant contribution to the...

SM.a.r.t Column: Building Modern Boxes Lacks Identity

April 21, 2024

April 21, 2024

In the relentless pursuit of modernity, cities worldwide have witnessed the rise of so-called architectural marvels in the form of...