State of the Union Time -- Let's Play a Word Association Game!

obama state of the unionInstead of watching one of the seemingly countless Republican debates tonight, we get to enjoy a whole new type of spectacle. The State of the Union address is only a few hours away and I'm sure President Obama and his team are hard at work putting the finishing touches on Obama's third speech of this kind. All eyes will be on him for obvious reasons; it's certainly an opportunity to win back some of his waning supporters and to refocus or realign his agenda for the year, which, coincidentally, features an election.

But beyond that, I think this speech is a chance for Obama to either succeed or fail in letting us know how in touch he is with what's going on outside of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Because, news flash, people are pissed. No one's really happy with the way things are, and we want change. I hope Obama checks the answer of this poll that asks people to describe the state of the union in one word because it really shines a light on just how bad people think things are.


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The poll on USA Today has so far gotten responses from hundreds of people, and of all the words they used to describe the state of the union, maybe only two or three were positive. The rest were not only negative, but kind of sad.

"Divided" came up a lot, so did "broke," "lost," "bankrupt," and "screwed." I can't say I can argue with any of those, either. I especially like "divided" as a description -- seems to encapsulate so much. There's the haves and the have nots, the donkeys and the elephants, the occupiers and the tea partiers, etc. I'd also use "on edge" (two words, I know) because there's so much uncertainty that a lot of people, myself included, are just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

If Obama fails to recognize who he's talking to, i.e. a nation that's so overly dissatisfied, it's only going to make things worse. If he focuses too much on his campaign themes and disregards this mess we're all in, I'm afraid some ish will hit the fan. Maybe there will be another heckler this year who blurts out something far worse than 2011's "you lie!" If the poll is any indication, it sure looks like people are peeved enough to start yelling at the president.

What one word would you use to describe the state of the union?


Photo via borman818/Flickr

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