- - Tuesday, January 12, 2016

On Monday, the White House tweeted out: “The #EmptySeat in the State of the Union guest box will speak for those who no longer have a voice.” As expected, people took quickly to Twitter with their interpretations of that comment:

“Pro-democracy Iranians?” 
”Christians in the Middle East?” 
”The American People?”
 And of course, the most obvious … “Aborted babies …?”

We live in a era of selective outrage — this will likely be illustrated well and often during the SOTU speech by the president. The #EmptySeat gimmick is just one more example of President Obama assuming a falsely righteous indignation, while purposefully turning his back on reality.

If we look at the most recent data available, we find that while there are roughly 88 gun deaths in the U.S. a day, there are 34 times as many deaths by abortion. That is an estimated 3,000 beating hearts stopped every day. How many chairs should that represent?

How many empty chairs should there be, representing the lives of police officers and other first responders lost in the protection of our community? How many soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines died today, this week, this year … sacrificing their lives for the protection of this nation?

I wish the president in this, his last SOTU address, would have the courage and integrity to call it like it is. To address the real state of the Union over which he has presided since 2009. To paint the picture of what results from the politics of hypocrisy, the exploitation of crises, the abuse of executive power, and above all, a policy of divide and belittle.

So what is the real State of the Union? Right now, it’s looking rather bleak. We live in a country where the First Amendment is under attack by the very institutions created to promote higher-learning and free thought. Where the Second Amendment is subjected to executive order, and the 10th Amendment is laughed at as a relic of antiquity.

We live in a country where it’s acceptable to speak out for a cause — as long as the cause is politically correct and has a trendy hashtag. I am happy that my neighbor may spend her time and energy to #SaveTheSeals, but why am I hater of women’s rights when I seek to #SaveTheUnborn?

We live in a country where it has become the public school norm that concerned parents must opt out of controversial programs taught during school time and using tax dollars, instead of opting in. Why is “progressive” the default mode in our schools?

We live in a country where Obamacare has been a disaster since its inception. Despite the Obama Administration’s best efforts to make the American people think otherwise, health insurance still does not equal health care — not in any variation of fuzzy math used to justify the march toward a single-payer system. The Affordable Care Act has proved to be anything but affordable or caring—leaving thousands of employers stuck between a rock and a hard place. Why should they have to cut back on hiring to afford federal mandates?

We live in a country where an avowed Socialist is a semi-credible contender for the Democratic candidate for president, competing with an irresponsible and dishonest ex-Secretary of State, currently under investigation by the FBI.

We live in a country where, with a Syrian refugee crisis and the rise of ISIS ever-looming, climate change is actually purported by some to be the greatest threat to national security.

It boggles the mind. Worse still, it discourages even the most positive among us.
But in the words of Winston Churchill, we must “never, never, never give up.”
As long as there are courageous men and women who volunteer — willingly — to put their lives on the line to defend our liberty, the state of our Union will be strong. As long as our Constitution still stands, and we elect leaders who are willing to remain vigilant to threats against it, the state of our Union will be free.

What is equally as true about the state of the Union is that there is still reason to believe that this ship can be turned around and the course of our country righted. In 301 days, we have the opportunity to elect a president bold enough to address the real problems facing the nation, and with enough integrity to be honest with the American people. Only 301 days remain to work for candidates who seek to decrease the size of government, lower taxes, and promote liberty and opportunity for the people of this nation. With our nation deriving its just powers from the consent of the governed, whether or not we choose to admit it, the State of the Union ultimately falls on all of our shoulders.

It’s a responsibility we can shirk no longer.

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