WASHINGTON—Though presiding over a country hampered by war, an economic recession, dramatic cultural upheaval, and a partisan divide at the highest levels of government, the man responsible for shielding American citizens from reality declared tonight in his annual address to Congress that the state of the union is strong.

In a roughly hour-long speech Tuesday, the man burdened with the task of systematically projecting an image of false security to 311 million American citizens affirmed that America’s future is brighter than ever. The man who must never, ever let us know how bad things have really gotten, or how bad they will soon get, also referred to a number of unique challenges ahead, the depth and scope of which he methodically obfuscated and evaded in accordance with the requirements of his elected position.

“My fellow Americans: As I begin my second term in office, I am not only confident but certain that we are on the right path, prepared to confront the obstacles before us,” the human being charged with downplaying the insurmountable multitude of problems plaguing the United States on a day-to-day basis said from the pulpit of the House. “From natural disasters and conflicts overseas to tragedies at home, the past year has brought challenges that none of us could ever have imagined. But as we work together to write the next chapter of American history, we go forward knowing that our best days are ahead of us.”

“The state of the nation is strong and it will only get stronger,” the prevaricating man added.

Speaking to an audience of approximately 40 million television viewers ignorant to the full magnitude of economic and ecological catastrophe that almost certainly awaits them in the swiftly encroaching future, the man whose professional livelihood wholly depends on desperately maintaining the illusion of national progress carefully laid forth a trajectory for his next four years in office, touching on themes ranging from gun control and women’s rights to unemployment and economic expansion.

In a particularly memorable moment, the man elected in large part on the strength of rhetorical skills that allow him to deftly and assuredly propagate an adulterated version of reality told the story of one Chicago family that, just days before, had lost their teenage daughter Hadiya to gang-related gun violence.

“Hadiya Pendleton was a young woman in the prime of her life who was tragically killed when she found herself in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said the person surrounded by a team of skilled speechwriters paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to contextualize stories and events within a larger political and sentimental narrative while omitting any facts or figures which would in any way contradict said narrative. “Hadiya Pendleton was a victim of gun violence that is all too prevalent in our society, and one that Americans all across the nation are working hard to eliminate.”

“These are Americans I am immensely proud of, and ones I am eager to join as we continue to make this country safer for our children,” continued the person who, in essence, sort of has to say such things, doesn’t he?

After setting forth a long list of proposals for the next fours years, all of which imply the absence of extensive and deep-seated problems that would paralyze Americans citizens with overwhelming despair and hopelessness, the individual whose livelihood depends on banishing these fears from the public consciousness expressed confidence in the American people and their ability to build a better and stronger nation.

“Each of us is moving toward a brighter and stronger future, and, more importantly, each of us is moving there together,” the man concluded to applause from colleagues who are likewise tasked with concealing the horrible uncertainties at the core of the nation. “If we keep moving in the same direction, as one nation united in a vision of progress and purpose, the state of our nation will only continue to grow stronger.”

“God bless you, and God bless America,” the man who knows it is too late added.