The speech I want to hear on Tuesday is not about taking credit for what went well, although there is a lot of it. It’s not about blaming what went wrong, although there’s a lot of blame to blame and a lot of really bad actors. And I’ve been here long enough to know that all the wonky details above won’t make it into the final speech.
But a Union state that combines explanation and vision is needed, available, and sorely needed in a fractured and capricious America. President Biden can start with what his team has already set in motion toward a clear worldview that his grandchildren’s grandchildren will inherit. A year after a right-wing populist invasion of our own capital, and a week after the outbreak of Europe’s worst war in 80 years, Biden can connect the dots on a vision of global alliances – in Europe and the Pacific – based on shared values and shared interests.
Hard work to make us more resilient economically, to do so in a way that improves racial and gender equity, and to do so alongside all nations who share similar aspirations, is part of our project. broader collective: building a vibrant democracy here and around the world. It’s about voting for everyone. It is about citizen participation and better governance of our institutions, public and private. And above all, it is about social movements that can fight autocracy at home and abroad. As he delivers his first State of the Union, I hope Joe Biden reminds us of what he noted
in December before the representatives of more than 100 nations: “Democracy does not happen by chance. We must renew it with each generation. It is the contrast the president must make between his own work and the efforts of dictators and autocrats, foreign and domestic.
No president wants his first State of the Union to come amid global chaos and domestic mistrust. But these are the cards that Joe Biden received. Today’s crises give the President an opportunity to show what his team has already done that goes largely unnoticed, to do better where it has been slow or absent – and most importantly to inspire Americans to work together to build the alliances, goodwill, positive inclusion, and shared wealth and trust that peace and prosperity require.