What is the State of the Union?

The State of the Union is a speech that the President of the United States is required to make before congress at least once per year. The speech is long, usually involves proposals, and tracking of progress. Supporters and detractors can be distinguished because the speech is frequently interrupted with bouts of applause, during which detractors purposefully remain silent. Depending on the condition of the country, the President frequently concludes the speech with the line, ‘The state of the Union is strong,’ which is supposed to inspire optimism.