State of the Union 2015


Jessica Park / Chief Illustrator

Jessica Park / Chief Illustrator
Jessica Park / Chief Illustrator

The State of the Union on Jan. 20 elicited so many diverse responses from the Editorial Board that we had each member write their own thoughts on the speech and the country as a whole. The State of the Union is…

Deirdre Kerins- Fluff. Too much applause. And Ruth Bader Ginsburg nodding off in the middle of the President’s speech.  She clearly has her priorities in the right place. Sleep > SOTU.

Ryan McKinley – The State of the Union is concerning. A nationwide protest movement has been mobilizing for the past six months and our President still can’t talk candidly on race. I appreciate mentions to equal pay for women and the acknowledgement of trans people, but as a country we still have more work to do to make honest dialogue possible.

Joshua Connelly – The state of the Union is in flux, in both good ways and bad. On the positive side, nationwide unemployment is at a six-and-a-half-year low; the nation is moving rapidly toward marriage equality; and the president is finally starting to show signs of the man who promised change back in 2008. On the negative side, current tension between civilians and police may be the highest since the 1992 LA riots, and a good portion of Congress still does not believe in climate change (or at least denies human responsibility for it).

Katherine Kelliher – The state of the Union continues to take one step forward and two steps back.  While the rate of the economy continues to increase and foreign relations progress, immediate changes need to be made regarding tensions amongst the American people.  Before the state of the Union can truly progress, this country needs to understand the importance of equality among people.  Specifically, women deserve equal pay and racial profiling must end.

Paul Brunkhorst – The state of the Union is one of a constant battle between words and actions. Our current government seems to be developing a dangerous precedent; governing nowadays is more about what is said, not what is actually done. Instead of proposals, policy speeches, and limited executive orders, it would be nice to see actual lawmaking.

Lexie Vasos – The State of the Union is a dream killer and an ego contest between the elite of the nation. The address continues to prove that the pride of the parties comes before the people of America as Barack Obama pitches his ideas to improve the country and the Republicans sit with blank stares.

Maggie Needham – The state of the Union is inconsequential.

Kyle Smith – The State of the Union is the Oscars of American politics. For one night, Congress becomes the venue for an annual “Who’s who” of our nation’s capital, complete with seemingly endless applause, mildly amusing punchlines, and–if we’re lucky– an embarrassing gaffe. And, much like the real Oscars, I say: skip it. I’ll just read the recap in the morning.

Tim Wilhelm – The state of the Union is one of crippling fatalism in the face of an era mired in catastrophes (whether real or overinflated) at every turn. There seems to be a kind of reveling in a sense of national doom: employment, education, foreign affairs, environment, economy and onward in litany. In the shadow of an uncertain future we steep in nostalgia for a bygone past. A focus on unity as opposed to faction seems to be the only thing capable of solidifying security in the present moment.


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