(CNN) – This Tuesday, President Barack Obama will tell us that "The state of our Union is strong," as presidents usually do. He will be right: The American people are primed to create what they always have: a more prosperous and promising future.
However, the state of our politics and government is a different story.
CNN's live, comprehensive coverage of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address starts at 7 p.m. ET Tuesday. Go to CNN.com for complete coverage or take it with you on your iPhone, iPad or Android.
For many Americans, Obama's speeches have become songs we used to love but have now heard too many times. We've moved on. Despite his gifted oratory, the President's words will change nothing.
He will propose more laws and programs, as if cranking up the old Washington factory to belch smoke and grind into action was actually the equivalent of solving a problem.
As we've learned, it is not. Are any of us happy with how Washington is governing our schools, our health care, and our economy? Do we actually think our problem is that those ancient men in Washington's temples just haven't yet come up with the right idea? Or that Washington's next 3,000-page law will work any better than their last?
Our government is in an awful state, not just because is too big but because it is too old and is incapable of adaptation. Old, arrogant men like Harry Reid, whom you would not possibly allow to tear apart and rebuild the engine of your car, nevertheless rip apart even more complicated and interconnected systems - our health care and our economy - with a promise to reassemble them for the better.
Obamacare is not the worst Sen. Reid and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi can do - it is the best they can do. Washington needs something better, something fresh.
Listen carefully on Tuesday night. Does Obama propose anything new, rather than the same-old, same-old of more Washington laws, mandates or programs? Does he reach for any device in his toolbox other than Washington-knows-best? Does he say, "Washington has to change the old way it is doing everything"?
Does he defend the status quo and preserve our closed, top-down education system, or does he say, "Let's open up education so every parent can have equal opportunity to choose the best school for their children, just like Michelle and I have."
Does he say, "Let's open up our health care system, so decisions about your health are made naturally and bottom-up between you and your doctor, not top-down politically and artificially by Washington, D.C.?"
Does he bring real change to our economy, saying, "Instead of a closed economy, directed top-down, politically and artificially by Washington's elite, let's move forward to something fresh: an open, bottom-up economy that grows naturally and organically from outside our nation's Capital?"
Our Union needs more from our President than the same old, tired, top-down Washington approach to get the country back on its feet, moving optimistically towards the future again.
At 52, Barack Obama is still a young man. It is not too late for him to bring the change he promised to the place that needs it most - the town where he works and lives.
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