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The president's speech, and American destiny

Date published: 3/3/2013

The president's speech, and American destiny

Listening to the State of the Union address, I pictured my granddaughter, now 3, who loves books, already knows her letters and numbers (attending preschool just as her parents planned) and I turned to my husband, shouting "Yes!" The Democrat in me, finding a leader's sense of dedication and hope--and "destiny," "the future," ideas we Americans hold sacred still possible.

I watched Obama cover everything, or almost. Education, employment, climate change, health care, immigration and infrastructure, job-training, manufacturing, technology--yet even this list is incomplete. The Republican in me, noticing a buzzing bumblebee-in-my-ear, thinking "yes"--but with what dollars does he intend to buy all that moon he was asking for?

I listened to the dissenting viewpoint--fair is fair--by Sen. Marco Rubio (¡y en Español!), except his speech caused not the heart but the blood pressure to rise: Oh, I am so sick of hearing that your tea is taxed!

The American in me perceived that the president was asking also for my help. Yet how can I, given big government, big business, the powers that be? The phrase "public-private partnership" came to mind. What a superb idea! Take space exploration: For decades a federal government venture, but in 2012 the first private-sector firm entered space.

In 1961 the government had the resources, mainly military, to (by 1969) "land on the moon [and] safely return," "Government," made sense. NASA, within the next 40 years would utilize, even spark, private industry's ongoing progress.

The president-as-EMT does triage. Who then drives the ambulance to the hospital doesn't matter. That it arrives there, does.

Deborah S. Snyder