The Constitution, Article 2, Section 3, “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…”

The State of the Union has become a phrase we use to refer to a speech given by the President. However, it’s more than that.

What is the state of the Union? In other words – in what particular condition is the United States of America as a country? The SOTU is the President telling Congress how healthy or sick he believes the country to be, then giving Congress recommendations on how to improve that condition.

So what is the state of the Union? What is our particular condition at this moment in time? And what can be done to fix it?

In his speech this week, Trump laid out his opinions on the matter. By most rational accounts, it was a good speech. However, I think the condition of the Union can be summed up a little more succinctly.

The State of the Union is Divided

One side says tax cuts will result in Armageddon. The other side says tax cuts will results in you being able to keep more of your own money.

One side says that illegal immigrants should be rewarded for breaking our nation’s laws. The other side says that we need a secure border and legal immigration of people who love this country.

One side says that guns are the problem and should be regulated. The other side says that we have a 2nd Amendment for a reason and government has no authority.

One side says that an unborn child is just a clump of cells, has no rights, can be murdered at will, and have its body parts sold for a profit. The other side says that an unborn child has all the rights of any other human and that those rights must be protected.

One side says that socialism just hasn’t been “implemented correctly” and that we ought to give it a try here in America. The other side says that socialism is a danger to liberty and will result in the loss of freedom.

One side says that humans are destroying the planet through global warmi….I mean climate change (sorry, can’t keep track…is it global cooling now?). The other side says that regardless, it’s not government’s job to crush innovation based on an unproven hypothesis.

Need I go on? America is divided.

And even worse than that, we’re no longer debating, we’re just screaming opposite opinions at the top of our lungs while freedom suffers.

Can We Agree on Anything?

While our Union remains this divided, it’s hard to have much hope. It’s hard to see us getting much done or making much headway. But with that in mind, we have to ask ourselves – what is the goal?

America is synonymous with freedom. The goal of this country is to promote and protect freedom. Ask any Republican, Democrat, or Independent “Do you want more or less freedom?” The answer you get will nearly universally be “more”!

More freedom. This ought to be something we can all agree on. The problem is, we often disagree on how to get there. This goes to the fact that conservatives have done a poor job explaining the concept of limited government.

Let’s break it down – our freedoms are wrapped up in our God-given rights. Government is put in place for one reason – to protect our rights. With Trump in office and the Left having a daily freak out regarding that fact, now is the best opportunity we’ve ever had to explain the need for limited government.

When talking to the Left, Trump is the best argument there is for limiting government. They are terrified of what he might as POTUS. They were fine with expanding government powers under Obama, but they need to realize that by doing that they also expanded those powers for the next guy.

The Constitution puts a lot of limits on what government can and can’t do. The Left needs to understand that these limits are put in place to preserve freedom. We need to show people a new way of looking at government. It has to do less. Just like the Right wanted government limited to protect us from Obama’s overreach, we need to explain to the Left, that government needs to be limited to “protect them from Trump”.

They need to see that as government does less, we have to do more. We have to show them that the problems we face need to be solved by us, not the government. We must show them that government is not the solution. It must be limited in order for freedom to be preserved.

It might be a stretch, but if explained right, we just might be able to find something we can all agree on. And if we do, we can start healing the divide and the State of the Union can finally be improved.