The state of our union is strong. Yeah, yeah, we’ve all heard that one before. But this time it is, actually, true.
Despite a struggle in the fourth quarter of 2018, the U.S. stock market is rebounding well in 2019. Employment remains high, and wages continue to grow.
America remains one of the freest countries in the world, with thousands of people still trying to find their way into our country for greater opportunities and chances at success. At the very least, we can still walk our dogs down the street.
With so much to be optimistic about, it begs the question about why Americans aren’t feeling more satisfied with the direction of our county. According to Rasmussen, just 31 percent believe the United States is on the right track. And while there’s no way to know for sure why exactly so many people are pessimistic about future, coming up with a reason or two isn’t particularly difficult.
We’re sure there’s a Trump factor. If a person you disagree with, especially someone you disagree with vehemently, is in power, it can be difficult to see bright days ahead. And with a second government shutdown looming on the heels of the longest one in U.S. history, our country’s leaders aren’t exactly inspiring faith.
None of this is helped by the echo chambers of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, where every day a new crisis begins, and every hour more people appear with their “hot takes” on what everyone else is doing wrong.
While these are problems, the more important question than how to fix them might be, how did they become problems in the first place?
In Federalist 45, James Madison argued that the function of government is to promote the people’s happiness. But rather than promote happiness through social welfare, government services and entitlement programs, Madison argued this would be accomplished through a system of federalism, where the states would be in charge of the protection of life, liberty and property, while the federal government would have a few, well-defined powers that would mostly not interfere with a citizen’s day-to-day life.
Sound familiar? If not, you’re not alone. Think back to the last time you heard the words “Mueller investigation,” “AOC” or “Notorious RBG.” Far from not interfering in our daily lives, it seems the federal government is often on our minds on a minute-by-minute basis.
It may still be up for debate whether or not that is healthy for the state of our union. But there’s little doubt that it’s not what our founding fathers intended.
So dig deep to find your inner civic duty and watch the state of the union speech given by our President. It is the one speech he is constitutionally-obligated to give. But then, turn off the cable news. Give yourself a break from the pundits, the politicos and the professional commentators. Go to work and have real conversations that don’t involve the words “Russian meddling.” Spend time with your family without checking for the latest from @RealDonaldTrump. Read a novel, not a newspaper.
Celebrate the state of our union, for it is good.