President Joe Biden’s speech to a greatly diminished Congressional audience was viewed on TV by millions of people. But, even then, the global audience was smaller than similar addresses by other presidents.

Part of that discrepancy could be that Americans mostly agree with President Biden and did not need to be reminded of things that they favor.

For the most part, his scripted speech focused on the things that Americans agree on. Jobs? Check. Climate change? Check. Free community college? Check.

For the most part, he spoke of those things that polled well.

But, he lost me when he spoke of global competition. Did this poll well?

While his remarks were mostly about China and how we need to get ahead of them, what was he talking about? He gave no specifics about America being in second place, nor did he devote much time to what happens if we remain in second place.

I, for one, do not really care if we are in second place or tenth. Actually, I do care because the things that President Biden insists that we need to do to get ahead of China involve more reliance on fossil fuels, fewer and smaller natural areas, more dirty manufacturing, more dirty water and other matters, which various organizations, representing millions of Americans, have fought against.

Other things that make us a great nation, President Biden did not mention: Low childhood death rates; long life expectancy; clean air; national and state parks.

Again I come back to what are the repercussions if we remain behind China — or India, Germany, France and other “advanced” countries? Will we be sent to the corner? Will other countries place sanctions on U.S. exports. Will the United Nations countries snicker when our ambassador enters? Will we be sent to the principal’s office? Who is the principal, anyway?

Then, Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, gave the GOP response or rebuttal, depending on which TV station was watched. His presentation dwelled on the matters that the Republican Party stood for back in the bygone days. The one issue that he discussed that the media and others have focused on, is his statement that this country is not racist.

Well, maybe not when it is considered that the Ku Klux Klan is a shadow of it once was. It is also true that blatant racism is on the wane. But when the number of unarmed black men are shot and killed by local law enforcement personnel keeps increasing, the response from Sen. Scott’s party is one that defends police actions, even if the actions appear to place minimal value on Black lives.

Sen. Scott was correct in one sense: Blatant racism is not tolerated. However, to bluntly state that we are not a racist nation overlooks hidden racism. It is everywhere, including South Carolina.

Sen. Scott did not mention global competition. But, when he competes with President Biden’s remarks, he loses badly.

About opinions in the Missourian: The Missourian’s Opinion section is a public forum for the discussion of ideas. The views presented in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Missourian or the University of Missouri. If you would like to contribute to the Opinion page with a response or an original topic of your own, visit our submission form.

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