My fellow Americans,

Tonight I stand before you to say that the state of the union is good. Well, pretty good, or at least kind of solid. You know what? It’s not great. I don’t know—what do you wanna hear? It’s bad, and things are very bad.

But I’m proud to say that we’re turning this ship around! Slowly, though, because the waves are very high, and this is a very old boat, and nobody on board can agree on anything, and actually, it looks like we’re taking on water. In fact, you should put on a life jacket. Never mind—we don’t have any life jackets left.

And yet hear this: do not fear! Together as a nation, we will weather this storm, and I believe the clouds will soon part and give way to sunlight—brief sunlight, followed by more clouds, apparently, and then just a series of storms with no end in sight, pretty much forever, storms in perpetuity.

So what are we going to do? We’re going to move forward! And also a little bit backward. Two steps forward, one step back. Make that three steps back. So that’s one step forward, six steps back. We are now just walking backwards, as I speak.

At the very least, I can assure you that we remain strong… ish. Not jacked, by any means. But pretty fit. Meh, kinda tired and weak, actually. Have you ever gone to the gym and tried the bench press and forgot to adjust it from the last person who used it, and it turns out they were some massive bodybuilder using the highest setting, and even when you gave it everything you had, nothing budged, not even an inch? That’s what it’s like here, every single day.

Now, things may look grim—but I believe in you, the people of this great nation. I mean, I’m not sure I believe you can make it through all this, but I believe you exist. Mostly. I believe most of you exist. But if I can’t see you in this room right now, I don’t actually have proof that you’re real. Actually, none of you are real. This is a simulation.

But I promise you this: we are here for you, and we will not abandon you. We might duck out for a few minutes, but we’ll be right outside if you need us. We’re gonna get in the car, just to stay warm. We actually can’t be parked here, so we’re gonna drive around the block, then down the street, then out of town, and never come back. Goodbye.