To Go or Not to Go


by Karen Topakian

President Trump will deliver his State of the Union address on Tuesday, January 30. Should U.S. Congressional members boycott or attend?

The U.S. Constitution states the president, “…shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”

However, it doesn’t require Congressional members to attend.

If a Congress member has spent the last 12 months opposing everything the Trump administration has presented, voted against every bill, championed the opposition should s/he attend?

What does attending mean/imply/infer/signify? Does attending equal complicity with or support for this administration? Does it only show support and respect for the executive branch of our government, regardless of who’s in the White House?

Does boycotting tarnish our democratic institutions? Does it indicate disrespect for the presidency or just the current president? Does it indicate an unwillingness to comply with a 100+ year tradition to register public opposition to the president and his administration?

I hope those who don’t attend will issue a public statement and defend their position. Not cower or offer excuses, i.e. my dog ate my invitation, I had to wash my hair, I had to prepare for a colonoscopy.

Each Congress member should decide for her/himself based on conscience, principles, values and the ability to stomach the bloviating rhetoric that will spew from the Liar-in-Chief.

What should they do?

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