How much longer can we go like this?


The White House, Public domain - Wikimedia Commons

President Joe Biden’s 2023 State of the Union Address left the GOP clamoring Tuesday.

Caleb Weingarten, Columnist

You begin to wonder, after the same stagnant and recycled delivery, how long it will be until we experience utter collapse. 

Although this may seem hyperbolic (and it partially is), I am not speaking about the type of apocalyptic/nuclear ending that many foresee. The social decay – an incremental breakdown of social tethering – is more of what I am referring to. I’ll let you decide which decline is more concerning.

If you happened to watch President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, you might have seen more of what I’m talking about. I couldn’t help but wonder how so many elected officials could act like complete children on the highest stage in the land. Isn’t it fascinating how they divide the two parties? They are merely separated by an invisible ideology, where even acting united is beyond them. 

One may point to the segments of bi-partisan clapping and agreement. This should be encouraging, but everyone already knows it’s a facade. Momentary spurts of unity are precisely what is required from a political standpoint, and it is easy to understand why. As Americans, we feed off the political divide. The proof is everywhere. This is human nature, sure, but what is important to pay attention to is the level of continuity it has. 

Prior to the advent of modern technologies, it was very easy to train a disconnected society, and only in the revolutionary types was the ideology inconsistent. However, a constant connection doesn’t seem to improve the state of affairs. In fact, we may have delved into a deeper hole than the one we were previously in. While technology undoubtedly improves many aspects of our lives, this alone is enough to limit the scrutiny these forms of power have. 

With deeper connection comes increased surveillance and government/corporate interest. More advertising and marketing are both far more relevant in the technological age, where it is far easier to grab your attention. Neither era should be endorsed but purely recognized as having an abysmal effect on the minds of the young particularly. 

What do we see from politicians, though? And I mean this beyond the simple complaint that all politicians are corrupt. Why do we continue to vote for them, then? It seems to be a heavily trained society where 100+ million people participate in the lateral movement between Democrats and Republicans. The true downfall is this alone. It feels wrong to admit it because we are always told that voting is the right thing to do or it’s our duty, when in fact, it should be the reverse. We do our part, and those elected have the duty to represent. 

This is not an indictment on the people. I believe we all do the best we can, and all of us are guilty of not doing enough. It is troublesome, though. The fight for good requires cohesiveness, active and direct democratic participation, and the intense questioning of structures of domination.

I believe that most Americans also believe this fact is true, and they also believe in the possibility of engaged participation. 

Until then, do you agree with me that what is currently happening is unsustainable?


As Ezra Pound said in his poem Meditatio,

‘When I consider the curious habits of man

I confess, my friend, I am puzzled.’