Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News
What President Joe Biden described as progress, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders referred to as dystopia during her rebuttal to the 2023 State of the Union.
Where Biden spoke of a nation replete with “possibilities,” Sanders spoke of an America that has become a hostage to the left wing.
If it sounds like the current president and first-term governor were describing different realities, it’s because, in a certain sense, they were.
The president described a fairly rigidly defined version of America, one where: Republicans and Democrats can put aside their differences to help pass liberal-friendly legislation, rampant inflation and spending has no noticeable effect on the economy, blue-collar workers take center stage (until they want to organize against a rail company), and only Biden’s positive attributes count toward his final grade as commander in chief.
Sanders described the parts of Joe Biden’s America that Joe Biden would prefer Americans either forget or think about in entirely different terms.
In a speech that lasted just under 15 minutes, the Arkansas governor zeroed in on the whittling away of freedom, inflation, chaos at the border, and what she perceives as a regression of America’s reputation on the international stage.
“In the radical left’s America, Washington taxes you and lights your hard-earned money on fire, but you get crushed with high gas prices, empty grocery shelves, and our children are taught to hate one another on account of their race, but not to love one another or our great country,” Sanders said.
Sanders laid the blame for most of America’s woes on Biden, who she described as “unfit to serve as commander in chief” and a president who has demonstrated a weakness that “puts our nation and the world at risk.”
America, Sanders argued, was not the happy and optimistic place Biden described in his State of the Union speech. It was, instead, a nation in which liberal thought experiments were decimating the lives of everyday people.
“While you reap the consequences of their failures, the Biden administration seems more interested in woke fantasies than the hard reality Americans face every day,” Sanders said. “Most Americans simply want to live their lives in freedom and peace, but we are under attack in a left-wing culture war we didn’t start and never wanted to fight. Every day, we are told that we must partake in their rituals, salute their flags, and worship their false idols…all while big government colludes with Big Tech to strip away the most American thing there is—your freedom of speech.”
She also stated, “The dividing line in America is no longer between right or left. The choice is between normal or crazy.”
But Sanders did not focus exclusively on Biden. Indeed, she spent a portion of her speech calling for a “new generation” of Republican leaders.
“At 40, I’m the youngest governor in the country, and at 80, he’s the oldest president in American history,” Sanders said.
It would be inaccurate to say Sanders’ speech was wholly negative. Sanders also spoke with optimism about the future of the nation, albeit a future in which Biden was no longer president.
“America is the greatest country the world has ever known because we are the freest country the world has ever known, with a people who are strong and resilient,” she said.
Later, she added, “A new generation of Republican leaders is stepping up, not to be caretakers of the status quo, but to be change-makers for the American people. We know not what the future holds, but we know who holds the future in His hands. And with God as our witness, we will show the world that America is still the place where freedom reigns and liberty will never die.”
It remains to be seen how Sanders’ performance on Tuesday night will impact her political fortunes. The person chosen to deliver State of the Union rebuttals is typically an emerging star in their party.