Tuesday, January 30, 2018
President Anne Johnson's First State of the Union Address
Members of both houses of Congress, the United States Supreme Court, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sitting members of the Cabinet, diplomatic corps, and my fellow Americans,
My name is Anne Johnson. I have been appointed to serve out the remainder of the term of presidency that would have fallen to Donald J. Trump. This is my first State of the Union Address.
I am going to ask you to do something, Congress. For this one bright, shining moment, none of you know anything about me. You have no idea what my policies will be or how I will act in office, and therefore in this one brief click of time, none of you know whether you will cheer me and shower me with standing ovations, or sit on your hands and scowl.
Wouldn't it be nice to keep that moment and live within it for awhile?
Because that, my friends, is exactly what we need. We've got to step back, acknowledge philosophical differences respectfully, and dedicate ourselves to working together for all citizens.
Nothing will ever get done if two sides both entrench and legislate by fiat when they find themselves in power. All you'll have is a sea change in policy every four years.
How about we try a new tactic? Let's bring some sanity and decorum back to this chamber. Let's take a deep breath and see if we couldn't possibly work together for the greater good.
Look at that! You're all applauding! It's a good idea, isn't it? I like it too.
Now, here is the part of the speech where the president gets down to brass tacks and starts crowing about last year's accomplishments and planning next year's, with an eye to the voting base and the party. I'm not going to do that. I'm a blank slate, remember?
Here's a novel idea: Go put your heads together and bring me some good ideas! I have no voting base to please, because I wasn't elected! I'm open to any reasonable, judicious, thoughtful, and sober suggestion, so long as it will make Americans better off than they are now.
There's one word I want to leave you with, my fellow Americans. That word is temperance. This past year, we have been sadly lacking the temperance and reserve necessary to do the important job of running the country. We are going to dial down the drama and look at this task as something that professionals do.
Temperance. If there's anything I've learned from my previous work experience as a school teacher, it's that nothing gets done when the heat is turned up and the voices go shrill. But if we keep things reasonable and respectful, if we converse with humility, we can restore this democracy to health.
Thank you, and Gods bless America!