President Trump will give the annual state of the union address on February 5th this year. A week delayed due to some brinksmanship by Speaker Pelosi over the government shutdown but it is now ready to be delivered. For those of you who are interested in the political partisan spectacle of half the room standing and not standing, clapping and remaining silent this year’s state of the union address should live up to your expectations.
The speech should be lengthy; an hour to two hours is the norm. My prediction is that it will be filled with platitudes that speak to the Presidents base, campaign promises that have been kept, records that have been broken and blame for politicians who do not support his agenda. Like every speech given before, Trump will say we have more work to do. If the address has a tone of unity and not divisiveness he may be able to accomplish some of those goals.
The President loves to speak in hyperbole. Everything is the greatest, biggest, best, fantastic and huge! Look to hear him repeat himself to get his point across. Think of Jimmy Two Times from the movie Goodfellas. For those of you that don’t remember that character, there is a scene in the movie when Henry Hill (played by Ray Liotta) is walking thru a bar introducing all of his associates. He walks by Jimmy and says, “And then there was Jimmy Two Times, who got that nickname because he said everything twice, like: I’m gonna go get the papers, get the papers.” Every time Trump repeats a sentence or phrase I always think of him.
I have watched many state of the union addresses. The purpose of them is not so much to give a financial audit of the nation’s economy but, more so a macro view on where we are, how we did over the past year, the general state of affairs and what the Presidents vision is for the future. Ultimately, the goal of the speech should be to keep in line with tradition, unite the republic and motivate the country. If the President remains positive and stays away from blaming the Democratic Party for everything that is wrong with this country he should receive a positive response from his critics and those who support him.
There are two key messages that are necessary for delivering a successful state of the union address: hope and prosperity. Hope for the future in every meaning of the word and prosperity for our country and its people. Through good times and bad, a President’s job is to assure the republic that regardless of where we are and how we got here the future will be bright. After all, ‘it’s all about the economy.’ Fortunately, the U.S. economy is on the rise and unemployment for many demographics is at fifty-year lows. There is always room for improvement and Trump will do himself well to stick to what is working and stay away from negative attacks. There will always be critics, people that will find fault in any achievements made. If he uses the speech and the remainder of the year to deliver on his campaign promise of “Winning” and not name-calling we will all be in a better state next year.