January 30, 2014

Ron Paul on the State of the Union as a Practice in General

By In Politics

Ron Paul had some fascinating (as always) things to say about the State of the Union in general and his mentality of it when he was in Congress.  This is a great insider story! I have transcribed the following from the video on his Ron Paul Channel.  It is only a small excerpt of the total discussion and I would urge you to watch it.  It took place before the actual speech.  I mainly want to look at his take on the nature of the SOTU speech generally, and not on the content of the specific speech.  So the content I pulled out reflects that. Also, remember that this is pulled from a talk, so the grammar and syntax are not perfect.  Although I did make a couple necessary editorial clarifications in [brackets].  Enjoy.

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          Let me tell you a little bit about my personal reflections about the State of the Union message.  You know I was there for quite a few years and I did attend some, but over the years I attended less and less of the State of the Union messages because it really was quite annoying.

[…]

          I got turned off because I never thought I learned anything, I thought it was pure propaganda, there was a lot of partisan stuff going on, and it just didn’t fit into my mentality.  For that reason I read the speeches, the speech was printed and that sort of thing, and tried to keep up with what was happening; but the fanfare sort of turned me off.  On the day of the State of the Union message, there’s no Congressional business [going] on, there might be some minor technical things in the morning, but then everything is cleared out for security reasons and they sweep the chambers and they prepare for a lot of security, a lot, because in that building you have the President, you have the Senate, you have the Supreme Court, and the House, and the viewers there are just huge, the press galleries are filled, the visitor’s galleries are filled as well.
           Now, each member [of Congress] for the State of the Union message would get maybe two tickets to go, spouse and one other one, and once it was found out that I wasn’t that excited about the State of the Union message…. [he interrupts this sentence to make a different point] I would still offer my tickets, but my staff didn’t feel compelled to be part of this “major” event and they maybe took a ticket or two over the years, but most of the time they didn’t use the tickets.  Others in the Congress considered these tickets very very valuable and of course I didn’t put it on ebay, you know we didn’t try to sell the tickets or anything, but I’ll tell you what I was everybody’s best friend on that particular day because they figured it they come to me they might get that extra ticket and really impress some lobbyist or someone else who really thought it was a big deal to be on the floor when the President was giving this speech.
           But I never expected to hear anything brand new and that was one of the problems.  There was too much pomp and too much ceremony, there was the marching in and it was ritualistic.  The Senate would come in, the Congressmen, the House would be seated (there was no special entrance for them) […] then the Supreme Court would come in, and eventually the President and he was introduced three or four times, but it was a little bit more ceremonious than I really wanted.
           But a lot of members really loved it, they loved to get their picture on TV and if they could get in the aisle where the President came down and get an aisle seat and be seen on national TV shaking hands with the President, that was a really big deal. So there was a contest to go over there whenever the doors were open and a member could go down there, they would rush in hours and hours before that and reserve that seat and put their sticker down or even sit there to make sure that they were in that seat in order to get on national TV shaking hands with the President.
           So this will continue and you’ll see it and people will love it and say “this is democracy in motion” and “isn’t this wonderful?”  Well, if you come to the conclusion that the speech is mainly political and it is mainly to fool the people, it is mainly to tell the people where the administration or the party in power [is] doing so well, mainly to hide the problems, they [the problems] aren’t going to come up in the State of the Union, the President’s not going to [state] the economic circumstances that we’re under….
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He goes on to predict that the President will not give any of the truth on economics, foreign policy, the Federal Reserve.  He predicts that there will be no mention of the fact that the Federal Government has been a complete failure in the Middle East over the last “26 years.”  He predicts that there will be no apologies for the deaths, injuries, blunt lies, and wasted money caused by foreign intervention.  No apologies for the wealth destruction, the inflation, the eradication of the middle class. But all these predictions (which turned out correct) were not based on the shallow (and true) fact that Barack Obama is a bad President.  They are based on the fact that the State of the Union speech in general is a complete propaganda move, intended only to deceive and create a sense of undeserved worship toward the executive state.  The SOTU address is what you might call a genius Public Relations tactic that even the politicians themselves swoon over.  Not to mention the Media swarms around the event like stupefied zombies, eager to lavish praise on the rulers and their cronies in D.C. If you watched the speech, you’ll have noticed the way the audience practically tripped over themselves trying to lay hands on the Fascist Ruler and how they stood around and clapped and cheered for themselves.  A bunch of powerful people worshipping their own power.
          No wonder Ron Paul stopped going and no wonder his tickets were so coveted.  Some people would do anything for a chance to spend their evening exalting their own despicable ascendancy, which they happen to see as a glorious omnipotence.  Such is the nature of the speech, as well as the current state of this coercive union.

Written by C.Jay Engel

Editor and creator of The Reformed Libertarian. Living in Northern California with his wife, he writes on everything from politics to theology and from culture to economic theory. You can send an email to reformedlibertarian@gmail.com