Mr. President, you say the State of the Union is strong. After seven years of your regime, working people know otherwise. We’re still in an ill-gotten war that is bankrupting the country. We’re working harder for less, struggling to keep our homes and get health care. Our civil liberties are eroded. Our planet is at risk.

Despite all this, hope is in the air. The prospect of an end to your Robin Hood-in-reverse policies has inspired an outpouring of young people, and people of all ages and backgrounds, to vote in the primaries.

Mr. President, the majority in the nation wants a change in direction, not more of the double-speak in your address.

You praise the surge in Iraq and warn Iran. We want all our troops home from Iraq with no new war.

You say “no child left behind” and offer pennies for private school tuition. We want fully-funded quality public education. At the very least, we want the health care for 10 million children you vetoed twice.

You say make tax cuts permanent. We want to repeal your tax cuts that benefit the highest incomes. We want real relief for the rest of us, and a stimulus including the unemployed, and those on food stamps and Social Security.

You say “immigration reform” and carry out inhumane raids. We want legalization, a path to citizenship and no exploitative temporary worker programs creating an unequal class of workers and lower conditions for everyone.

Congress has a heavy load in the next eleven months. Hopefully, the voice of the voters and the mobilization by labor and others will help Congress make progress despite all the dirty tricks you’ll try in your last year.

Your administration’s extreme right policies are supported by the most aggressive corporate interests. The Republican presidential candidates represent a continuation, and in some cases, a deepening of these policies.

The best answer to the State of the Union is a massive turnout in the primaries and a landslide in November that sweeps Bush supporters out of Congress and the White House. A people’s victory for a fundamental change in direction will indeed make the State of the Union strong.