A Nation of Listeners

UPDATE:  While pundits called the speech “boring,” polls (CBS News, left) say people listened for something other than the entertainment factor.

Tonight the President will deliver The State of The Union.  He will have the opportunity to use the media to make a difference on issues that really matter to us — and possibly transforming our national dialog.  Part of that responsibility lies with the President and the words he will choose to speak; and part of it lies with us — the nation of listeners.

The President speaks.  Then a representative from the “opposing” party — in this case, the Republicans — responds.  And because today there is more than one opposing party, a further response will be given by a representative from the Tea Party.  And then the media will interpret the speech and responses.

What will the news reporters, pundits, and polls say about what just happened?  Will the coverage be about the serious issues our country faces?  Will there be new conversations springing forth out of our commitment to make a difference — to address problems, explore solutions, and take care of our people?  Will there be some kind of midterm miracle where people put aside their differences to work together?  Or will the Democrats and Republicans symbolically break tradition and sit together during the speech, only to immediately afterwards launch political attacks of who’s right and who’s wrong?

And, as all this is presented to us, we have a choice:  Who are we going to be, and how are we going to listen?

Watch the speech at www.whitehouse.gov/state-of-the-union-2011 with an “enhanced viewing experience” that includes charts, graphs, and other related content.

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Categories: News, Online, TV

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