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Don’t Watch Political Speeches

I was a political addict for a very long period of time, and one of the symptoms of political addiction is watching every POTUS speech. From about 1995 or so through around the end of Obama’s first year in office, I watched every State of the Union speech, plus whatever other speeches and press conferences I could.

It was a total waste. Could I tell you anything about any of those speeches? No, with the exception of Bush II’s “Hear all of us soon” speech at Ground Zero. Otherwise, nothing. Political speeches, especially in America, approach the theoritical limits of vapidity.

The State of the Union of especially insipid. Anyone can produce a laundry list, throw in some glittering generalities and enjoy the applause of the sycophants who belong in your party. Antonin Scalia gets this right, don’t watch, don’t bother with the State of the Union. I take this even further and tend to avoid paying any attention to the rhetoric of any politician, regardless of party. And this has changed my life for the better. I feel just as informed as before (I still read the news, as long as it has some substance to it) and I don’t feel any pressure whatsoever to let some suit-wearing confidence man sell me intellectual smegma.

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