Gene Healy Says Most Americans Shrug at State of the Union Spectacle

My fellow Americans,
the State of the Union is … irrelevant. As the speech has
become less important, presidents’ rhetoric has grown more
frantically stentorian. Presidential scholar Elvin T. Lim notes
“increasing rhetorical assertiveness” and “an increasing lack of
humility” in the language of the SOTU over time. Modern presidents
speak more often of “reform,” while “references to (and hence
concern for) the Constitution and constitutional in the annual
messages have declined.” Gene Healy writes that, in its modern
form, the SOTU is a meaningless ritual that rarely even does the
president—let alone the public—any good.

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from Hit & Run

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