Di is our hostess for Truthful Tuesday while Melanie continues to recuperate. Her question today:
The world watched our Queen’s funeral yesterday and throughout the country’s state of mourning, there have been some protests and comments against the monarchy. I am not asking my overseas readers how you feel about the British Monarchy, but how you feel about your own country’s traditions and customs. Do you think they still hold a place in modern times?
From what I’ve seen of the Queen’s funeral, it was a fitting tribute to a woman whom a lot of the people in the world admired and held a great affection for. Even those of us who live in the US, who told the monarchy to “bugger off” back in 1776, liked her and recognize that she was a great friend of this nation.
Being the US, we ditched most of the pomp and circumstance that the British are so good at, but we still have our customs and traditions. For example, Thanksgiving is a whole set of traditions in one: college and pro football games all day on TV; the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade (complete with the arrival of Santa Claus); a meal consisting of dry turkey, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, and that godawful green bean casserole; and, a relatively new tradition, standing in front of Walmart at midnight, ready to kick, scratch, bite, push, and fight anyone who stands between you and one of the fifteen 65″ HDTV’s that each store has to sell at a ridiculously low price.
Keep in mind, not everyone participates in the same way. Mary and I might have ribs or lasagna instead of turkey, and other households will have their own variations. Some will have tofurkey, tofu shaped to look like a turkey, while others will have turducken, a chicken stuffed into a duck, which in turn is stuffed into a turkey.
Every holiday has its traditions, of which you can use all, some, or none of them. For example, we don’t decorate the house for Christmas, primarily because we had an unruly pack of cats for many years, but also because we’d have to store all that stuff the other eleven months out of the year.
As for traditions that this nation can do without: The State Of The Union Address.
Article 2, section 3 of the US Constitution says:
He [the President] shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient…
Does it say how this should be accomplished, or when? Of course not. Until radio and TV came along, the President wrote a letter to Congress (“Dear Congress, How are you? I am fine…. Love, The President of the United States of America”). Now, we pre-empt all the TV shows on all the national networks and hold a pageant. As the President speaks, the TV cameras are scanning the audience, looking for the Congresscritter, Senator, Supreme Court Justice, or Cabinet member who’s falling asleep, picking their nose, reading the paper, doing the crossword puzzle, or playing Candy Crush on their phone. Who needs it?
I never watch the State of the Union address because it’ll all be on the Internet tomorrow. That’s the perfect place for it. Write the letter to Congress, support it with a PowerPoint, maybe have the President make a YouTube video, and tell the world that it’ll all be on The White House website at 7 PM Eastern. Send a copy to the Speaker of the House and the Vice President, as required. Everybody else can download it and watch it at their leisure.
See? Problem solved.