Has The State Of The Union Jumped The Shark?

posted by Jon Keller -

donald trump congress

President Trump during last year's joint session of Congress. (JIM LO SCALZO/AFP/Getty Images)

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Tonight is President Trump’s State of the Union address, and while I hope you will listen in when WBZ airs it live at 9 p.m., along with the Democratic response from Congressman Joe Kennedy, I realize many of you will not.

And in all candor, there’s no reason why you should.

The thing has been a waste of everyone’s time for years, and I suspect tonight’s event will be no exception.

The State of the Union was envisoned by the Founders who wrote it into the Constitution as an informational message from the president to Congress, laying out facts and recommendations for action. The first two presidents delivered it in the form of a speech, but Thomas Jefferson, offended by the royalist trappings of such an address, turned it into a written communication.

And that’s how it stayed until 1913 when President Woodrow Wilson decided to deliver it in person. And that proved to be a mistake.

The State of the Union Address has become a pointless piece of political theater.

Presidents use it to brag about all their accomplishments. Accordingly, their partisans jump to their feet in applause at every dubious claim, while their enemies sit and stare.

This yo-yoing gets worse every year, and is an off-putting spectacle to all non-partisans.

The partisan nature of the event was cemented in 1966 when the networks began televising an opposition response, as if we couldn’t survive one evening where just the elected president holds the floor.

Apparently the Democrats will offer three other targeted rebuttals tonight in addition to Kennedy’s remarks, an embarrassment of worthless calories.

I will watch tonight because I have to, but I don’t blame you if you choose not to.

That’s 90 minutes of your life you will never get back.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio. 

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Keller @ Large

Keller @ Large

Jon Keller is a WBZ TV & Radio political analyst. Read more

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