The State of the Union speech (SOTU) is the current president’s summary of where we are as a nation and where he (or someday she) hopes to take us. I usually avoid it as a boring and often partisan speech that is continued out of tradition rather than necessity. It is one of the few times when members of both Houses of Congress are gathered at the same time. For the most part it is marked by dignified behavior and polite applause by the president’s opposing party and often raucous applause by his own party. In recent years that polite behavior has been disrupted by outbursts and refusals to stand or applaud. I don’t ever recall the degree of childish and outright rude behavior that was on display last night for President Trump’s SOTU address. The President did not address the impeachment issue but it was painfully obvious that it was on everyone’s mind. When he handed a copy of the speech to Speaker Pelosi he ignored her outstretched hand in an attempted handshake. It is possible that the President didn’t see her extended hand, but I believe that it was an intentional snub. Nancy Pelosi only recently rejoiced in victory over the process she set in motion on September 24, 2019. She initially was against impeachment unless bipartisan but was nonetheless happy that he was impeached in the House saying Trump will be impeached forever. Of course the House is heavily Democratic and their investigation was biased and pre-determined for a vote to impeach. In the House not a single Republican voted to impeach while three Democrats did not vote to impeach. The final vote in the Senate to remove the President from office will be today. It is a forgone conclusion that the President will be acquitted by the Republican majority Senate. I can certainly understand the President’s resentment and anger toward Pelosi. The final disgraceful display was Speaker Pelosi tearing up Trump’s speech in plain view behind the President. Perhaps as payback over the snubbed handshake or her final “dig” at the President before the Senate vote. Our country is seriously divided over what has been an almost totally partisan issue.
It is still difficult for me to understand the level of hatred that Democrats have for this President. Democrats neither stood nor applauded during the entire speech and some walked out during the speech while others did not attend at all. I was never a fan of the previous president but made no public displays of my dislike. We have elections and if we are unhappy with the person in office the civilized response is to vote him/her out at the next election. The entire impeachment process has fiercely divided the country and wasted time and money in the process. It has divided families and friendships when few other issues could have done so. We desperately need term limits because those in office have forgotten why they are there. As a former federal employee myself I have seen first hand situations in which some no longer need to “work hard” because his/her position is secure. There is “bad blood” on both sides and the only cure is a fresh transfusion of new blood with renewed enthusiasm and fresh ideas.