Liz Marsh

The State of the Union is Tuesday. Anyone else exhausted already?

As far back as I can remember, I have never missed a State of the Union address. Watching it was non-negotiable when I was a child. We were a deeply political family, and it was the bare minimum participation required. When I was older, I watched George W. Bush’s addresses because my friends were in the military, 9/11 was only recently in the rear view mirror and I was about to graduate into a crumbling economy.

Barack Obama was someone I had fought for and supported. I watched his addresses looking for validation that his priorities were still in line with my own and justification for why the things I hoped he would accomplish hadn’t happened yet. The Obama days, for me, were the glory days. He wasn’t perfect, but he was my president. I remember my friends and I would order food, gather around the TV and have a State of the Union party. We would cheer when he said something we liked and boo when John Boehner refused to clap.

Now things are different, and not just for me. If anyone else were president right now, including any other elected Republican, I would be planning to watch the State of the Union. I would get together with my friends, and we would order Indian food and pour wine. We would make my sister’s kids sit on the floor, and we’d lecture them about how Grandpa made us watch when we were little, and that one day they’d thank us! Most likely we’d boo for some things and cheer for other things. We’d make bets about which Supreme Court Justices might fall asleep, or which ones might make a forbidden partisan statement with merely a glance or a well-timed smirk.

But I can’t do it. I just can’t do it.

At best, it will be an hour’s worth of bloviating by a self-indulgent madman. At worst, it will be the catalyst for an international incident of nuclear proportions.

I understand the importance of knowing one’s enemy. But I also understand the importance of checking out when you need to. So I’m going to check out. I’m going to go have a happy hour, meet up with my friends for a beer, listen to some live music, and stay away from Facebook, Twitter and CNN. I will occasionally remember what’s going on, and I’ll hope that he focuses on faking his own accomplishments rather than insulting Kim Jong Un, admitting to collusion, or otherwise putting Americans at home and abroad at risk. But for the most part, I’m going to cross my fingers that the rational people of the world are also not listening.

And when, on Wednesday, Trump inevitably claims to have the largest number of viewers in State of the Union history, don’t count me among them.

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