"Instead of a credible assessment of the state of the union, which is not good, the president delivered a slightly toned down campaign speech. We heard more of the same about how “the rich” aren’t paying their “fair share” in taxes.
There was an unserious nod to government overspending to which he has massively contributed." - Cal Thomas
This quote can't really be said to be the heart of Thomas's column. In fact it can't really be said to have a heart. There's none of the fire that Thomas shows when he's warning us about the looming gay Muslim apocalypse. This is no more than boilerplate opposition from the opposition and that's fine. A man needs to make his bread, and in this case the use of 'unserious' was just a snarl word. Unseriousness is bad. Obama is bad. Still it got me thinking about the authoritarian concept of 'seriousness'.
'I know this may sound harsh, but...' This is a common formula to begin a statement and you've probably heard it at some point in your life, and it's just as artificial and coy as most formulas. Generally the people who say such things believe that what they're saying is true because it is harsh. And they generally consider any position based on some softness; humility, compassion, empathy; to be fanciful, naive and 'unserious' not because of any facts it may disregard but precisely because it is humble, empathetic, or compassionate. A true, fatherly leader must assume that the solution to any problem is one of condemnation, deprevation, struggle, and punishment. For other people that is, this goes without saying.
As a side note, there is nothing innately good about seriousness. In fact a posture of infinite, unwavering seriousness can make you appear to be the perfect opposite of wisdom and maturity.