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The State of the Union Is Paralysis

By The Reverend Published: January 27, 2014

No doubt the centrist President Obama will offer up a good speech at tomorrow night's State of the Union address. He's really, really good at giving speeches. But as Obama delivers his speech, he will know, and everyone in the audience will know, that his presidency is basically over.

In a short ad for tomorrow's all day SOTU coverage on MSNBC, Chris Matthews holds up the word "divided", Chris Hayes holds up the word "fractured" and Rachel Maddow holds up the word "polarized." Yes, but I think the most accurate description of the 'state of the union' is.....paralysis. The Union is paralyzed.

The U.S. is paralyzed in the face of unconscionable gun violence. While women in some states are forced to endure a totally unnecessary trans-vaginal ultrasound for their own "health safety", nothing at all can be done to stop gun toters from gunning down more classes of first graders.

The U.S. is paralyzed in the face of man's contribution to global climate change. The only way for mankind's role in affecting rising global temperatures to change is for the most powerful and richest country in the world to LEAD. But we can't because the federal Union is paralyzed.

Recently, there has been a surge of talk by non-conservatives over income and wealth disparity. The charts are hard to dispute. The American rich are quickly capturing all income gains while the rest are quickly losing even more ground economically. But the Union is paralyzed so badly that we can't even extend unemployment insurance checks or have a vote on increasing the extremely low minimum wage....while at the same time we see food stamps reduced.

The Union, it is said by many, has over 10 million undocumented people living inside it's 50 states. Everyone agrees that something should be done to bring order to that confusion. And yet, a bipartisan Senate bill to address the immigration problem will not get a vote in the House this year. Why? Paralysis.

While numerous conservative-led states intentionally keep their poorer, working citizens off of Medicaid rolls thanks to Chief Justice John Roberts, the conservative/corporate Supreme Court has told the Union in their Citizens United ruling that what the Founders had in mind was the freedom of two brothers Koch in 2012 to spend over $400 million on that year's election. The Union is now paralyzed to stop a handful of billionaires from controlling our entire electoral process.

In a Union where one political party is finding it more and more difficult to win elections, we find radicalized gerrymandering and voter suppression efforts by conservative-led states enabling the minority to paralyze the legislative process in D.C.....stopping the majority from passing anything.

With the conservative Supremes ruling that majority-white states are being discriminated against when southern states change their voting procedures and have to submit those changes to the Union's Justice Department for approval.....the Union has, in effect, been paralyzed to stop minority conservatives from gaming our election system to suppress Democratic votes.

So, yes, President Obama will utter many pretty words of unity and hopefulness tomorrow night.....just as he has done many times before. But he...and we....cannot repair a Union whose national spinal column has been tasered into a state of paralysis by conservative forces.

The conservative forces must be defeated. It is the only way our currently-paralyzed Union can begin to walk democratically again. If Obama had anything other than detached pragmatism driving him, he would explain to the Union what I have explained here. Instead, he will again call for unity and compromise and cooperation from the same conservative forces who have been holding a Taser to the nervous system of the Union these past "polarized" years.

I know my words here read all gloom and doomish. But I think they are honest and realistic. The task in front of us is indeed daunting. To save the Union, Americans must patiently remove Republicans from elected election after another....until the "feeling" returns to the Union we care about.

The true State of the Union is not "strong", or "united", or "optimistic", or "rebounding"......the State of the Union is paralysis.



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