Now that American Gladiators is over (go, Wolf!), we are sitting in the living room watching the State of the Union Address. For us, this has become an Event, like the World Series or the Olympics. It is something bigger than our family, something that we share with our kids and try hard to help them understand its meaning.i.e., it’s a marathon of parental footnoting! It is a prime example of the art of Rhetoric, one of the classical Liberal Arts and, as Danielle Allen argues in Talking to Strangers, a necessary practice for “political friendship” and the development of a healthy, just democracy today.
The American Presidency Project keeps a record of every State of the Union address, as well as the opposition responses. Click on over there if you missed this most recent speech, and be sure to visit the NPR News Blog entries posted this evening as part of “Fact-Checking the State of the Union 2008.” And if your appetite for great speeches has been whetted, you can look up Ted Widmer’s two volumes of American Speeches!
Gotta go — did Dubya just crack a joke about the IRS!?