By Alberto Pupo
Yes tonight has definitely defined the State of our Union. While one speech dealt with Climate Change, a $9.00 Minimum Wage, Immigration Reform, and Gun Control. Another speech touched upon the finer points in life such as beleaguered rich people, no taxes, and another rote defense of the “ 2nd Amendment. Today’s State of the Union speeches have shown two clearly different visions of our times. The evening has also clearly shown that not only are there two different visions but there is one path that is completely out of step and out of touch not just with America but with reality in general.
Tonight was a night of ideology. President Obama was but a simple mouthpiece of what could potentially be something greater. Yes we all know that this President is not the “harbinger of Progressive change”. Yes its true his foreign policy is a nightmare (mainly because it a replay of the Bush Administration). Yet tonight at least in rhetoric a couple of interesting themes emerged. Climate Change! The words sounded alien at first and we all half expected a third eye to appear on the President’s forehead. Climate change has not been acknowledged in Washington nor discussed in centuries. Yes the words free market solution were unfortunately tied to it. Yes the Green Capitalist engines are already licking their chops to make money off saving the Earth, but all cynicism aside to hear the words Climate Change coming from an American President was an astounding moment. (that sure enough was downplayed by the Corporate Media) still it lays out an idea which will gain more traction in the coming years and if a more Progressive Administration can seize the day in 2016 it can be something truly special.
Another interesting pathway to the future is a $9.00 minimum wage increase. Now granted this far from perfect but it would be a great immediate boost to stagnant wages. This will also pressure the states into raising their own minimum wages which end up raising overall salaries of all workers involved. The second interesting point is to potential for future purposes connect the Minimum wage increases with the cost of living. This is interesting in that if such a proposal would have been enacted, the income gap we see today would have never occurred. The bold attempt at some gun control is also a positive path for future change as is the long coming immigration reform which will help create a path to citizenship for many.
With every point there is a counterpoint. Enter Marco Rubio. The rising star and apparently very thirsty for power. Rubio once again showed more of the same a Cuban Mitt Romney with a faux hardluck story., the perfect way to humanize a Republican. Unfortunately the man lacks any speaking ability, contradicted himself numerous times first by railing on government, then praising it when it helps (surprise) his family or himself (the typical I got mine screw you mentality). The New Messiah failed in just about every aspect. He did not speak of any ground breaking progressive ideas, instead filled his speech with the same rhetoric of ,save the wealthy, kill the government (but not before you live off it yourself) oh and Business Uber Alles. Marco Rubio is nothing more than a Spanish Speaking Romney. The people of this Nation have been presented with a vision alright, that the Conservatives in this Nation have no vision nor do they care for the future generations to come. Instead they are too busy trying to get theirs while they can.
So there you have it Ladies and Gentlemen. The State of our Union. Two competing speeches. Two competing agendas for the heart of the Nation. Yet only one agenda showed any progress, only one agenda dares to take a correct path. The Conservatives in this Nation have failed once more and their path towards Regression continues full speed ahead.