Charlotte aptly described the rather depressing experience of watching the President's State of the Union Tuesday. There was the rerun of standby progressive proposals (how many trillions must be appropriated under the guise of “shovel ready jobs” before our sorry, crumbling infrastructure will ever improve?) and disconnect between descriptions of those suffering in our economy (such as the unemployed) and policies that make it even less likely they'll find jobs (raising the minimum wage).
The President's opening—with descriptions of Americans going about the simple, noble business of life—ought to have been encouraging, but somehow it wasn't. Perhaps I'm just too cynical and opposed to the President's policy agenda to believe that he truly shares the view that it is individuals acting with kindness and initiative that provides the real strength of America. That picture seemed used as a convenient rhetorical device in a speech that was desperate to distract from the big policy stories of our continued sluggish economy and the self-inflected disastrous health care law, rather than stemming from a sincere belief that it the people—not the government—that is the key actor in the American story.
That's why I found this story of employees from Chick-Fil-A, handing out free sandwiches to those stranded on a highway in Atlanta, particularly timely and refreshing. It's a good reminder of the goodness of people, and that businesses large and small are made up of people, and are capable of acts of great kindness and humanity. There is hope after all.