State of the Union

By GotDesign
Well, unless you're dead, you know that last night President Bush gave his fifth State of the Union address. By now, there are already no end of analyses and even more analyses will crop up over the next several days. I'm not going to give you my analysis -- I do have my opinions about what the president said, but they probably won't differ significantly from some of the conservative voices.

What did get my attention was the way the president embodied the heart of what America stands -- freedom. I was first truly taken by the presence of Safia Taleb al-Suhail -- the Iraqi democracy and human rights advocate. While she tried to fight back tears about what has been accomplished in her country, she alternatively held up the "peace" hand gesture (although it also can be read as a 'victory" hand gesture) and the symbolic ink-stained finger that draws our minds back to the historic events of this past Sunday. Ms. Suhail truly represents the gratitude of the Iraqi people.

I didn't think it could get much better than that. I was wrong. President Bush paid homage to the spirit of honorable sacrifice made by Marine Sgt Byron Norwood in Iraq and the pride and patient suffering of Sgt Norwood's parents. In that moment of honor for Mr. & Mrs. Norwood, more honor was given. When the cameras turned to view the honored parents, we saw Ms. Suhail hugging the mother of the fallen Marine. Ms. Suhail was saying with her embrace, "My country is free because of your son's sacrifice. Thank you." I was moved almost to tears. But I'm sentimental that way. Ask my wife.

The only black mark on the evening was the response of the Democrats to social security reform. The impending demise of Social Security has never been in doubt. The only thing open to interpretation is when it will collapse. The Democrats would have us continue to throw money at it. But it is time to fix the system. As President Bush said, "We must pass reforms that solve the financial problems of Social Security once and for all." Until such reforms are passed, the Democrats are the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dyke.

I think that the reason why Democrats are against fixing the Social Security is that they realize that if it is done now, under the leadership of President Bush, they will continually lose more and more of the senior citizen vote. If Republicans fix Social Security for future generations, those future generations will be Republicans. This is one more area where Democrats are more concerned about maintaining power rather than doing what is necessary for America. While I would prefer a Democrat Party that is a respectable adversary to the Republicans -- keeping dialectical politics alive -- but it seems it will be necessary for the Democrats to suffer a complete collapse and then a rebuilding. Maybe this is the Democrats taking a path towards oblivion, joining the likes of the Whig Party. Hopefully, a worthy replacement will come in place of the fallen Democrat Party.

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