A new take on a historically political event: President Donald Trump will give his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night. The event will draw the attention from both his supporters and critics.
Article II, Section 3, Clause 1 of the Constitution commands the president to “from time to time give to the Congress information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” Past presidents have traditionally brought special guests and used the address as a chance to highlight policy wins and goals for the coming year.
Most state constitutions and many cities now have the same requirement.
A new version of the State of the Union
With that in mind, I’ve been joking with my wife that we should have a state of the union update on our family. In other words: a state of the union with a twist. We would invite extended family members and neighbors to our kitchen instead of the United States Capitol Building. Think family breakfast bar with coffee pot and large mahogany wood table instead of the House Chamber or the Capitol Rotunda. We’d all circle around the kitchen. We could bring in special guests, maybe a few friends, instead of teachers, EMTs, and everyday heroes that presidents have brought in the past.
I can picture it now. My wife would step up to the lead seat at the kitchen table. She’d shake a few hands and nod her head waiting for everyone to stop clapping. (My wife would obviously give the address. I’m not stupid, best to keep family harmony then blow up my own ego putting me in that president’s spot. Plus, she’d make a better president then Trump, Obama, or anyone else that you could suggest.)
When everyone had settled down, she’d start her address, focusing on the family’s highs and lows from the previous years, the challenges we see coming ahead, and how we’d plan to address them.
The highs: “Friends, family, my fellow countrymen, we’ve had a great year, two kids in college, a third in middle school, we have interesting jobs, but we’re looking forward to an even better 2018.”
The lows: “We faced our share of challenges in 2017, Brian and I’ve gained ten pounds ferrying our two kids back and forth to college, but we expect big things this year. And not just fewer pounds.”
She’d go onto highlight a few of the upcoming events we have, vacations, birthdays and anniversaries, and then she’d finish off with the kicker. “I expect everyone to write their mother once a week, call her every Sunday – not just text, texts are for middle school kids who spend all day on Snapchat – and everyone to be nice to your father and all have a great year.”
A reality check
Yes, I know my idea is crazy. The founding fathers would be shaking their heads, but when you listen to President Trump or see news reports on the State of the Union, tell me then that you don’t think a family state of the union wouldn’t be a great idea.
I’ll certainly be thinking about it so that I don’t get too caught up in the negativity coming from both the Trump supporters and the Trump critics. What do you say?