The title of this post is a little strange, and if you are familiar with Twitter, it will make some sense and not just look like gibberish and random symbols. #SOTU is what we call a hash tag, and it’s how you indicate a trend in what you are tweeting about. “SOTU” is shorthand for State of the Union, which is this big fancy speech the President of the United States gives every year, just in case you are reading this from outside the US. The other part of the title, @awesomejen, is how you mention a user on Twitter, and @awesomejen is my super awesome little sister Jen, well youngest sister Jen. Really not that little anymore. She is currently a college student in Bakersfiled, California, and just being pretty awesome. As you will see, she aspires to punditry, maybe seriously or not, but I think she will be awesome at whatever she ends up doing. Alright, awesome was used enough in that paragraph.
Earlier today, Jen put this up on Twitter: “I was interviewed by @bakersfieldnow regarding the #SOTU but it didn’t air, I was going to parlay it into a political show, what to do now?” We proceeded to have the following conversation over Twitter:
Me: Are you the only liberal in Bakersfield? Maybe why you were cut
Her:Tthey didn’t show any #SOTU coverage…I probably blew their mind with my crazy liberal ideas regarding bipartisanship though.
Me: I enjoyed the #sotu except for the part about simplifying tax codes. Could put me out of biz b4 I start
Her: There will always be people who need someone to do their taxes…your job would be easier. I’m pretty mad that we can’t file taxes yet because the last minute changes…why should it be so difficult?
Me: Some folks are trying to push legislation that laws affecting tax code can’t be passed after October to limit this in the future.
Her: That’s good…there are few reasons out there that prevents congress from getting their shit together a little sooner!
Me: This new congress has some work to do for sure. Otherwise it will turn over again in two years.
Her: Americans are fickle. Most don’t get that it takes years to climb out of a grave we spent a decade digging.
Me: Agree completely. And many remain ignorant and only listen to talking heads when making a decision.
Her: If only I was a talking head.
Me: Never too late. Punditry is a great vocation. Just need something to help get noticed.
With that, inspiration struck, and I decided to do this post. Or as I said on Twitter: “I think today’s blog post will be about #SOTU with interviews with B’field talking head @awesomejen,” with which she responded “sweet #dreamsdocometrue.” That’s how we got to this point. A bit long-winded, but I thought it was important.
Later on, I asked Jen if she wanted to contribute her thoughts on the State of the Union, so I asked her if she would provide me with 300-400 words about her thoughts on the speech from last night. I was going to integrate my thoughts with hers, but I think she did a pretty good job and I probably couldn’t say it any better. After getting this from her, I’m a little sad that she discontinued her blog, but maybe I can make her a guest blogger her on mine every once in a while. Not often, but every couple weeks or so. We’ll see what she says.
This is what she said:
300-400 words is hard when you have a lot to say…
The State of the Union was what was expected, but it was also enlightening. It was filled with fluff, but also substance. In short, it was exactly what our nation needed our leader to say. If you turn of Fox News, you might hear something different, but overall, I give President Obama 5 stars. Out of everything addressed, I was pleased to find that President Obama addressed what I feel is one of the most pressing issues that our nation is facing currently. While things like the economy, health care, green innovation, and education are all worthy of our attention, none of this issues will be effectively addressed until we can get past the partisan arguing that has divided our nation. Within the first 5 minutes of the SOTU, President Obama touched on the divide we see, mentioning that while it is important that the legislators were sitting together at the address, without regard to party, the true test would be if they could work together tomorrow. Over and over, the President elaborated on this theme. “I am prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders…”, “I am asking Democrats and Republicans to simplify the system.”, “If you have ideas about how to improve this law by making care better or more affordable, I am eager to work with you.”. This is a noble and important goal for our nation’s leaders to strive for, unfortunately, talk is cheap, and in the current political environment I am unsure if bipartisanship can exist.
But I don’t think all is lost, and I hope that I am proven wrong, but in the event that I am not, I am not too worried, because we are the future. No offense to Tom Brokaw and the great men and women who lived through the great depression and served our nation during WWII, but we are the “Greatest Generation”. This is a bold statement, especially as we are still waiting for our chance to prove ourselves. But as I watched and discussed the State of the Union address with a very right leaning republican classmate, I realized that our generation is what our nation needs. Most Americans are so apathetic towards politics and government because the constant hate and vitriol that is spewed. But we can get past that and what I think, and hope, is that our generation is different. I hope our generation, when we are in the position to lead and make the decisions, is still so idealistic that we can look past part lines and ideologies and come up with the solutions needed to move our nation forward into the future. We have to get through the next 15-20 years, but America isn’t going anywhere.
Pretty good if you ask me. If somebody sees this post that could use a super-intelligent young liberal, let me know and I’ll get you in touch with Jen.Until next time…