Simon Black – If you’re not watching it purely for the entertainment value, sitting through a State of the Union speech ranks somewhere between a colonoscopy and a root canal.
Every year I opt for the former (entertainment value, not colonoscopy).
But because I live overseas, one of the added entertainment benefits is that I’m surrounded by foreigners who are seeing this highly ritualistic propaganda for the first time.
The absurdity starts almost immediately.
The Sergeant-at-Arms introduces the President of the United States, and he receives a massive, five minute standing ovation as he walks across the water to the podium.
The applause finally dies down briefly, until, immediately after, the Speaker of the House formally introduces the President. And then the applause begins anew.
Try explaining that to a foreigner who’s never seen it before.
Foreigner: “Why is everyone clapping again for the President as if they weren’t just clapping for him 30 seconds ago?”
Me: “Because that’s just the way they do it.”
Foreigner: “But why?”
Me: “… ummm… because they’re all trained monkeys?”
But it is at this point that the real propaganda begins, where the President of the United States tells his fellow Americans that they are prosperous and free.
He cited, for example, the 14 million jobs created since he took office. Continue reading