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Political Conventions - The State of the Union

Political Conventions - The State of the Union

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Published by Allan Bonner

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Published by: Allan Bonner on Jan 23, 2012
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01/23/2012

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T
HE
S
TATE OF THE
U
NION
197
The State of the Union
Since this book had to go to press immediately following  American polling day in November,I took the liberty of writing the new president’s first State of the Union address early.This constitutional duty is often discharged soon after the January 20 
th 
swearing in,but sometimes the speech is only delivered several months later.What follows is based on precedent—what presidents have said in their addresses since Washington’s time.It also takes into account the times we live in and the issues that will face the new president.It’s short enough that new modules can be added right up to delivery time to address issues that may arise.
Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, members of the Congress, my fellow  Americans.On this Hill which was my home, I am stirred by old friendships.Though total agreement between the Executive and the Congress isimpossible, total respect is important.In 1765, nine assembled colonies first joined together to demandfreedom from arbitrary power.For the first century we struggled to hold together the first continentalunion of democracy in the history of man. In 1865, following a terribletest of blood and fire, the compact of union was finally sealed.But the unity we seek cannot realize its full promise in isolation. For thestate of the Union depends, in large measure, upon the state of the world. We renew our commitment to the continued growth and the effective-ness of the United Nations. We want to grow and build and create, but we want progress to be theservant and not the master of man.I propose that we begin a program in education to ensure every  American child the fullest development of mind and skills.I propose that we launch a national effort to make the American city abetter and more stimulating place to live.
 
I propose that we increase the beauty of America and end thepoisoning of our rivers and the air that we breathe.I propose that we carry out a new program to develop regions of ourcountry that are now suffering from distress and depression.I propose that we make new efforts to control and prevent crime anddelinquency.I propose that we make an all-out campaign against waste and ineffi-ciency. We will continue along the path toward a balanced budget in abalanced economy.I will ask for funds to study high-speed rail transportation betweenurban centers. We will begin with test projects between Washingtonand Boston. On high-speed trains, passengers could travel thisdistance in less than 4 hours.I will propose reforms in the Electoral College. A president’s hardest task is not to do what is right, but to know whatis right.Occasionally there comes a time when profound and far-reaching events command a break with tradition. This is such a time.New knowledge and hard experience argue persuasively that both ourprograms and our institutions in America need to be reformed.Because of America’s overwhelming military and economic strength,because of the weakness of other major free world powers and theinability of scores of newly independent nations to defend, or evengovern themselves, America had to assume the major burden for thedefense of freedom in the world.Neither the defense nor the development of other nations can beexclusively or primarily an American undertaking. We act not as Republicans, nor as Democrats, but as Americans.It is time to quit putting good money into bad programs. Otherwise, we will end up with bad money and bad programs. We have a tragic example of this problem in the Nation’s Capital, for whose safety the Congress and the Executive have the primary respon-sibility. I doubt if many members of this Congress who live more thana few blocks from here would dare leave their cars in the Capitolgarage and walk home alone tonight.
198 T
HE
S
TATE OF THE
U
NION

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