This Tuesday’s call was scheduled for the same time as President Obama’s fifth State of the Union address, so I encouraged listeners to tune into the speech and we talked about it directly after…

“So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do.” ~President Obama, SOTU 2014

Obama’s fifth State of the Union address, his annual major policy address to both houses of Congress, was not only interesting in terms of its actual proposals, but also in how it exemplifies the greater story of the evolutionary movements of our time.

Any future “grand bargain” regarding long-term tax and entitlement reform is off the table. The Republicans don’t want to give him that kind of achievement, and not just for political reasons.

The less-government and more-government forces are too polarized ideologically as well.

Which leaves Obama with foreign policy, executive orders and the “soft power” of the presidency: the ability to convene and galvanize groups in the country who are making a difference. And this is what he talked about.

If Obama can move Syria from a hot war to a cold war, and move Iran from a cold war to a warm-up with the rest of the world, he will have earned his keep. Both seem possible. Add in a wind-down of two wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) and perhaps a permanent security agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, and you have the makings of a top tier foreign-policy presidency.

As for domestic matters, he once again emphasized “the defining issue of our time”: the inequality of income, opportunity and social mobility in the country. He announced that through executive order he had raised the minimum wage of all government contractors. He also focused much of his speech on promoting training and education programs that thinkers on both the left and the right see as being the long-term structural solution for creating to a more equitable America.

As Said Dawlabani, author of MEMEnomics: The Next Generation Economic System pointed out in our call a couple weeks ago, Obama possesses a significantly 2nd tier consciousness, but has had the misfortune of being president too soon: during the disintegration of the orange (modern) economy instead of the rebuilding of the next.

Maybe so, but he is doing what he can for the latter. Add in Obamacare and you have a highly consequential domestic presidency as well. And there are three years to go.

…till Hillary? I ended the call with a confession. I’m having a hard time getting excited about Hillary Clinton for president though I will admit she adds up on paper. I think I’m going to keep my dance card open for a little while longer.

Listen to an excerpt here. The full audio is on Integral Life