Maybe We Should Try It

Thanks for this, Jim Nathan

Final Comments of President Biden’s State of the Union Address, February 7, 2023

“And finally, to my Republican partners I say – and this is from the heart – no joke: cut the crap.

“Stop the brinkmanship over the debt ceiling. Not even you are dumb enough to pull that stupid default stunt again. I hope. Besides, Americans are locked and loaded to blame you for the consequences if you dummy this up.

“You want to talk policy? Great. Let’s go. We need to talk about spending and taxes. We need to talk about immigration. We need to talk about education and global warming and national defense. We need to find the best solutions to these issues and more so that we deliver for the American people.

“But if instead of developing policy that will help our nation and our people, all you want to do is to spread hatred, to demonize and to stoke culture wars – you know: the malignancies you grow – you’re no partner at all. In fact, you’re an enemy of the American people.

“But you don’t have to be.

“Choose whose side you’re on. I’ll be pulling for you to choose the side of America and Americans. Here’s a good way to show you’re on the right side.

“The Founders declared this to be a democracy. So, put on your originalist hat and reverse all your voter suppression crap. All of it. Pass laws that make that happen all across this land. And no, we’re not going to negotiate that.

“Oh, and that balloon thing. We couldn’t have learned anything about its capabilities, what it surveilled or how it worked if we had blasted it out of the sky as soon as it crossed into our airspace, making it crash on land. It would have become an unintelligible pile of junk. That’s why we shot it down over water. We want the counter-intelligence. Get it? So, get a grip, join Team National Security and cut the tough guy bombastic crap.

“We have big challenges to tackle and big opportunities to champion. And there is nothing, nothing beyond our capacity if we do it together.

You believe that, right?

“May God bless America and God bless our troops.”


There are many zealots on the right, especially the far right, who attack the fundamentals of our democracy. Some openly promote autocracy. They assault our institutions that are designed to protect this experiment in self-rule and, in doing so, they establish themselves as the enemies of democracy. Yet we have to look at this as a system.

Can this be a democracy when in 2010 the Supreme Court, through gross manipulation of the Citizens United case, gave unlimited power to corporations and wealthy people? The Court has allowed and even encouraged them to have dramatic influence on our elections. Those big money spenders have vastly more power than you do. So much for one person, one vote.

Can this be a democracy when state legislatures practice and the Supreme Court encourages gross gerrymandering, such that elections aren’t elections at all? Those gerrymandered districts take the vote right out of your hands. They take away your voice and your power.

Can this be a democracy when before every election more and more citizens are cast off voting roles so that only the voters chosen by those in power are allowed to vote?

Can this be a democracy when polling places and early voting ballot drop boxes are located in such inconvenient locations that some people, chosen by those in power, are physically unable to vote?

Can this be a democracy when formerly incarcerated people are told they can vote, but they can’t exercise that right until they pay fines and fees they can’t afford? Note that the Constitution doesn’t make the right to vote contingent upon one’s state of freedom or the payment of fines or fees. The franchise is wholly independent from such restrictions.

Can this be a democracy when a political party has, at best, made itself subservient to White supremacy and at worst has promoted hatred so as to intimidate our citizens to keep them from voting or working in election related positions?

This list could be longer, but surely you get the point that we have institutionalized the practice of limiting who gets to vote and selecting who gets outsized election influence. We have thereby predetermined who has power and who does not. That’s our system. It’s as heinous as poll taxes or a jelly bean jar at a Jim Crow polling place.

Democracy is a lovely idea. Maybe we should try it.


Abba Eban, Israeli statesman and ambassador, addressed the United Nations in June, 1967, saying,

” .  .  .  men and nations do behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.”

Often attributed to Winston Churchill,

“You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.”

Perhaps we have at last tried enough failed paths and can resume the originally intended course.


  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

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One Response to Maybe We Should Try It
  1. Jim Altschuler Reply

    You’re right, of course, President Biden.