President Biden will deliver the State of the Union speech tonight at the nation’s Capitol. Every President since Ronald Reagan has stated that “the State of the Union is strong.” If he is honest with the American people, he will say the State of the Union is in peril. However, there is hope. For the state of the American character is strong.

President Biden needs to heed history for the past is not just “lessons of consequences” but “lessons of character.”

The year was 1938. The order of geopolitical alliances was threatened. Sovereign national strategic decisions ultimately meant the difference between war and peace. The collective governments of the world were in debt facing financial collapse. Partisan internal political disputes were vicious and personal in nature. Comprehensive national identity approached dissolution.

People had lost confidence in national institutions. Extremism, hatred, and violence were on the rise. Crime was increasing.

National borders were under assault and breach. Wars, rumors of war, and surrogate acts of regional war were prevalent.

Sovereign governments were adrift in impuissant cowardice to make the tough choices required to ameliorate the existential threats of the times.

Nation-states could not define their eternal principles encompassing the basis of societal disposition. Therefore, government policy wandered indiscriminately, aimlessly, and irresolutely from special interest group to special interest group energizing the coterie of national identity politics.

Initiatives embraced and governance pursued were metaphorically like a pinball in a pinball machine recoiling off of disconnected bumpers of interest lighting them up and gaining points of engagement. Even though points were scored, no strategic unity of purpose was achieved. The entire process was an exercise in futility. Sooner or later, the pinball inevitably succumbed to gravity, defaulting into a lost hole. The entire game was exposed in its design to be unsustainable and productive only in the context of passing time.

Change the verb tense in the above paragraphs from past to present, and the year is 2024.

World governments are now experiencing suffocating debt. The funding of even essential government services is strenuous.

Like Hitler, Putin invades a peaceful neighboring country under the ruse of a moral mandate to rescue oppressed citizens of his homeland. China, like Japan, seeks to manipulate financial resources and markets for their own failed economic imperialistic system. Iran, like Italy, surreptitiously sponsors non-state terrorist groups to attack legitimate governments to promote a selfish national agenda.

Iranian sponsored Houthi rebels attack shipping lanes with basic drones that cost $10,000 each. U.S. forces shoot them down with sophisticated missiles that cost between $1.5 million and $4 million each. The costs are draining the American treasury.

The crisis and tragedy in Gaza are primarily an Arab, Persian and Jewish problem. Arab nations have a responsibility to not sit idly by and expect America by itself to enforce the peace.

Seventy-five percent of U.S. citizens have lost confidence in Congress. Extremism, racism, bigotry, and crime threaten the peaceful order of society. The southern border of the United States has been openly breached to the point that it is now a matter of national security.

Citizens continue to emphatically declare they do not like either choice of the major parties for the next President of the United States. Yet rather than honestly converse with the public to determine the basis of their malcontent, elites live in the denial of reality that their intellect is superior. The more national leaders defy the collective wisdom of the citizens, the greater the disconnect and contempt of the people for their national leaders.

In this disconnect, the American people today question themselves in reference to eternal cultural principles that are the foundational unity of generational values. Many citizens are unaware that the general population is overwhelmingly proud to be American. Why? Because no national leader emphasizes the cultural identity that binds us.

The two statues adorning the National Archives building in Washington, DC are the Past and the Future. On their bases are the inscriptions “Study the Past,” “What is Past is Prologue.”

It is not just the comparison of current events that are similar to the past that is important. It is lessons that leaders fail to learn from the consequences of poor decisions in addressing the current threatening circumstances. In 1938, leaders were reluctant to make the tough choices to hold Adolph Hitler accountable. Appeasement was preferrable to a second world war. World War I had left governments in debt, without clarity of vision for the future, and broken in national spirit.

Neville Chamberlain, returning home from Munich on September 30, 1938, declared “Peace for our time.” By the Munich Agreement, Hitler stated for the record that Germany had no further demands on other sovereign nations’ lands. One year and one month later, Great Britain and France had declared war on Germany as Hitler’s word was proven to be beguilingly mendacious.

Winston Churchill had warned prior to 1940 that the only way to deal with Hitler was to confront him at his own border, contain him, and resolve the problem on German soil. He was accused of being a warmonger and exiled to Chartwell, his country house in southeast England. Churchill warned that refusing to make the tough choices by trusting that appeasement would render a great national price. At the end of World War II upon the knowledge that 72 million people had lost their lives, Churchill said he had no idea how great that price would be.

In times of great challenge, many leaders are reluctant to make the tough choices. This timidity is partly through misguided compassion assuming citizens are not prepared to meet the sacrifices necessary to avoid greater disaster. In 1941, what history has labeled England’s darkest hour, 300,000 British troops were pinned down on the beaches of Dunkirk. Churchill, now reinstated as Prime Minister, was lobbied by government leaders to “sue for peace.” His own cabinet was in full concert with this decision. Churchill, as the rarest of elites and intellectuals, sought the collective wisdom of the people. It was from respect of their counsel that he delivered the famous speech to Parliament to never, never, never give up.

His trust to include and defend the public’s sentiment in the existential decision of the country’s future saved Western civilization from capitulating to defeat before sacrifice could embolden victory.

It is not that tough choices cannot be made. It is the lack of courage in leadership to tell the people the truth, give them their options, and ask for their partnership in solving the problems. Elected officials must now state, without subterfuge, the necessary sacrifices that must be made to protect the generational axioms of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The citizens of America do not expect leaders to solve these problems by themselves. Americans want to partner with government to solve America’s problems.

President Biden in the State of the Union message must show confidence that he trusts the American people and theircollective wisdom to direct government and sacrifice for its success. If he truly had this confidence in the personal tenacity of the American citizen to agree to make every sacrifice necessary to save their freedoms for their children, he would ask for that sacrifice in partnership now making no claims of victory, no guarantees of outcome, but only the determination to never, never, never give up.

Regardless of recent Supreme Court decisions allowing President Trump to remain on the ballot or Congress’s inability to pass a long-term budget, Americans have not lost faith in their country.  The American people will rise in the courage of their character to defend the values of self-determination that unifies 94% of Americans in agreement of cultural identity and individual purpose. They only need to be asked.

Ignoring the collective wisdom of the people in 2024 is the equivalent of declaring “peace for our time” in 1938. Casting the fate of nations on the whims of dictators’ characters is reckless hopeless vision that somehow, if we would only appease our enemies and decline to solve our own problems, tranquility will prevail through random occurrences of non-existent self-healing crisis. Crisis left to its own means always leads to chaos. Reliance on such outcomes is not ignoring the lessons of history, it is defying them.

The President in his address to Congress tonight should lay out the key decisions that must be made to stabilize the world.

What are these decisions?

In domestic policy: balance the budget; secure the border; respect family values; educate the children; respect parental authority; depend on local government authority; enforce freedom of speech, particularly on college campuses.

In foreign policy: hold Iran directly accountable for surrogate insurgencies of the Houthis, Hezbollah, and Hamas; establish the organization of free enterprise/free trade states; establish an international peacekeeping force in Gaza composed primarily of Arab nation-states; isolate Russia from the world’s banking system; offer China financial help in reconciling their failed banking system; convene a Bretton Woods Conference of the Western nations to recalibrate world debt through a global workout agreement.

Avoiding the tough choices will render a great national price, the consequences of which we should never forget manifested from the lessons of 1938.

Now is the time for America’s leaders to be faithful in the confidence of our national creed, in God we Trust. In this trust, call on the greater inherent character of the American people restlessly dormant, yet remnant from their ancestral spiritual DNA exhibited in 1776 and 1941.

When the call is made, the world will be amazed at the American people’s response.

My name is Marc Nuttle and this is what I believe.

What do you believe?