2022 State of the Union: Right Perspective


Courtesy of Politico

Biden’s State of the Union Address left many right-leaning Americans unsatisfied.

Steven Makino, Staff Writer

This month brought arguably one of the most anticipated State of the Union Addresses to date. Many Americans, myself included, were anxious to hear President Joe Biden’s plans moving forward to combat various global and domestic issues.

However, in my eyes, his address did not paint an accurate portrayal of the state of the nation. Biden’s initial promise of a presidency of “unity” has manifested only through mostly empty words, as his actions and policy have only served to foment division in the country that has been increasing in recent years.

The first and best part of his speech was dedicated to condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin’s horrific and unjustified attack on Ukraine and its people. Biden clarified his previous rhetoric on the matter and strongly solidified the United States’ commitment to helping the Ukrainian people.

He advocated against U.S direct military involvement in the process, as this would only escalate the conflict and its devastating global consequences. Biden also announced decisive action against the Russian oligarchs by assembling a task force dedicated to upholding the sanctions against Russia.

I believe this is the right call by the commander-in-chief, as it will ensure that these sanctions are felt by the Russian economy in the long-run.

However, it would have been better if sanctions were enacted months ago—preemptive toughness on Russia would have likely deterred Putin from an invasion in the first place. Also, even after sanctions were imposed, the Nord Stream 2 Russian pipeline was unaffected as Biden continued to import Russian oil for fear of sky-rocketing gas prices.

Notably, though, Biden did recently ban Russian oil imports, and even though some past decisions are certainly susceptible to scrutiny, it’s better late than never to adhere to this effective, strong policy.

Biden’s speech derailed as he spoke on the issues of inflation and COVID-19. In regards to inflation, his messaging took a downturn once he unveiled his plan to combat inflation, saying that he would “lower your costs, not your wages.”

While the sentiment is one that everyone wishes to be true, this idealism only serves to stoke the flames of the inflation crisis.

His proposed policy harkens back to the Build Back Better legislation, which he claimed would reduce the national deficit. However, the Congressional Budget Office itself estimated that this would lead to nearly $3 trillion over 10 years that is added to the deficit.

To be fair, I do not believe Biden is solely responsible for the rising prices we see now, as this seems to be partially due to major corporations like Amazon using the veil of inflation to price gouge, as displayed by their record profits in 2021. Even so, the president not taking some accountability for policies that exacerbated the inflation dilemma is something worth noting.

           Biden’s remarks on COVID-19 were arguably the worst part of the speech because he took no responsibility for harmful or unnecessary policies.

On top of the attempt to implement an unconstitutional vaccine mandate for private businesses, his executive order calling for a mandate for healthcare workers served as betrayal to medical staff (praised as heroes for their work in 2020) that chose not to get the vaccine for personal or medical reasons.

The President’s vaccine rhetoric shames about a quarter of the country, undermining his calls for unity. His actions may have been rooted in good intentions—the vaccines have undoubtedly helped many—but this only served to reinforce national political division.

          Finally, it is worth noting that there was barely anything to be said about the botched  Afghanistan withdrawal, which was touted at the time by the administration to be mostly a success.

There was also no mention of the 13 American soldiers who were killed during the evacuation effort. I felt it would have been important for the president to pay tribute to these soldiers reflecting back on his first year in office. The withdrawal was a major foreign policy decision and event of this presidency, but it was notably absent from his address.

           Overall, while this was not a good State of the Union Address, it was also not utterly terrible. There were definitely commendable aspects of the speech even beyond Biden’s condemnation of Putin.

For example, the bipartisan Infrastructure Law is set to provide much-needed funding for public transportation, allocate money for road and highway repair, provide high speed internet for all Americans and more. In addition, increased funding for cancer research and the goal of decreasing the cancer death rate by 50% is one that I hope becomes reality.

However, much of this speech did not represent the current struggles that we face as a nation, with much of it being self-inflicted by Biden’s words and actions.

Hopefully, the current administration reflects on the last 14 months and its low approval ratings and actually begins to adhere to the unity agenda promised in this speech.