David Hall 0

Mix It Up: Random seating for State of the Union Address!

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As a gesture of goodwill in this era of bipartisan rancor, we, the undersigned, request all members of the United States Congress, aside from the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House, to relinquish their traditional party aligned seats during the President's next nationally televised State of the Union Address, and instead consent to a randomly assigned seating configuration within the Chamber of the House of Representatives. By "mixing it up" and  literally crossing the aisle in this way, our elected congress men and women will show their willingness, if just for one day, to rise above what we believe is a tenor of toxic political intolerance and embrace the political, physical, and philosophical diversities that exist within their ranks. Our nation seems to be at a political and philosophical crossroads. Such an act of civility and tolerance by our elected leadership is desperately needed. The current practice of seat assignment during the Address, in which House Representatives "give up the best seats in the House" to their guests from the Senate, is based solely on tradition. There is no law stating that the Representatives must sit behind the Senators, or that the Democrats must sit on one side of the chamber while the Republicans sit on the other. It has only evolved in this way due to the personal choices of each and every member of congress. It is this same personal choice that we ask you to exercise when we call upon you to mix up your seating chart at the next nationally televised State of the Union Address. As we see demonstrated in every kindergarten classroom across this great nation, sometimes you have to sit next to someone you do not like. To do so amicably is a true testament to one's character. It is therefore our sincerest hope to witness, through this simple call to action, the ultimate measure of courage, character, and self-control within our esteemed elected officials.


David Hall private citizen Portland, Oregon


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