If we need another example of how upside-down our culture has become, we only have to look at the hype leading up to tonight’s State of the Union address by soon-to-be Former President Barack Obama. Even as the pundits all agree that the speech will be largely irrelevant and predictable, they can find little else to talk about.
Mr. Obama is expected to tell us how wonderful things are, how many of his goals he has achieved, and how much the quality of our lives has improved since he took office. The success of such an approach depends upon one of three factors:
- that his claims are actually true;
- that he can convince the people that his claims are actually true;
- that he can pound home the message (with the cooperation of an obsequious media) until people think there must be something wrong with them if they don’t believe it.
Whether the president succeeds or not remains to be seen. But it’s illuminating to compare his style to other presidents and presidential hopefuls, past and present.