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Is the State of the Union Address Irrelevant?

Last week President Obama gave his State of the Union address. Presidents do this partially because they are charged to in the constitution:

Article II Section 3:

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient

They also do it as a tradition passed down by their predisessors. Washington started it of as an annual event. Most Presidents have followed suit. But has the practice become antiquated?

Has technology changed such to make a State of the Union address irrelevant. After all, it’s very easy to know how this nation is doing, on many fronts. The data is out there. We can watch news on TV, follow Twitter, or search Google and get instant feedback.

Interestingly, for about half of its history, the annual State of the Union was written and given to Congress instead of spoken. The flexibility is there to adapt to this requirement. The White House has started doing Google+ Hangouts. Has the SOTU turned into a long-winded campaign speech meant to trumpet Party values? Would we be better off without it?

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Corey McCarren

Obviously there’s political motivation like promoting a platform or reelection. However, that doesn’t make it useless, if nothing else it gets people to be at least a little bit involved by watching it. And hey, if it is just promoting a platform, you get to hear Boehner fire back right afterwards and get both sides of the story.