Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Obama's SOTU and GOP response are measured, moderate

President Obama’s State of the Union Address on all the networks was indeed more principled and less about specifics.

The most interesting part of the speech was his criticism of hyper-partisanship.  He noted that average Americans feel they will not be heard, and must live with policies set by people and for the advantage of people with many more economic resources and much more social and political power.  He seemed to be taking a stab at conservative ideas of morality, where you have to be local “to  your own” first, before you are heard.

He also talked about science.  He mentioned Biden’s intended role in cancer research, looking for revolutionary treatments and tests.  He mentioned Sputnik in 1957, and said that nobody argued about science then the way they do now about climate change. He mentioned the idea of a “Dreamer’s science project” and the teachers who support her.  But it isn’t hard to expand this comment to noting that much of our most revolutionary technological progress seems motivated by the work of relatively few prodigies, some of them minority related or in immigrant families or otherwise minorities.   Some of the science and technology prodigies include Mark Zuckerberg, both Andraka brothers, Param Jaggi, and Taylor Wilson, to name a few.  Compare the mentality behind their work with that of Wall Street, where people use their talents just to manipulate finances.

South Carolina governor Nikki Haley provided a moderate Republican response.  She talked moderation on immigration, humility before God in the face of a violent incident in Charleston in 2015 from a right-wing terrorist, common sense in supporting the 2nd Amendment, and even reconciliation of religious freedom with individual right to marry a partner of one’s choosing.

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