Paying attention to our state

There was a time, now long ago, when the American people might have listened to the president’s State of the Union message huddled around the family radio. Now, many more Americans will be watching (no longer listening to, of course) basketball’s Toronto Raptors take on the Phoenix Suns.

The State of the Union address, once the president’s primary vehicle for telling Congress and the American people of his take on our country’s current situation and priorities for the future, is now generally considered little more than a pro forma snooze. There are plenty of other communication vehicles available to the president that don’t carry all the ritualistic baggage.

That said, I’ll be watching, and watching carefully, with a group of people who might still appreciate the event for its potential seriousness of purpose. Like voting, paying attention to our elected representatives as they go about their work is an obligation of living in a democracy – which I, for one, still like doing.

If you’re so inclined, and don’t have a bet on any NBA games, you can watch the president’s address here.

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