President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address tonight which gives me an opportunity to express a pet peeve—the vociferous cheering and standing ovations versus the sitting on the hands of the rival political factions during these presidential speeches. I guess I have to admit to being old-fashioned or just old but I don’t recall such carryings-on at major presidential speeches a couple of generations ago.

I suppose its naïve to wish that the president make a policy speech and then members of congress comment on the policies after. But with the jumping up and cheering or, to the contrary, sour expressions offered by political opponents, the speech and reactions to it becomes more like performance art than policy debate.

Now these speeches are played as political dramas. Presidents bring in audience members to make a point and members of congress do the same all to get attention to their differing points of view.

Trump has already offered a list of guests he plans to sit in the box with the First Lady and no doubt will refer to his guests to emphasize a position during his speech. The president’s guests include parents who lost children to the MS-13 street gang.

Members of the California congressional delegation also intend to score political points with their invitees. The Los Angeles Daily News’ Jeff Horseman and Kevin Modesti list some of the invitees of local L.A. congress members. In addition, Senator Kamala Harris has invited a DACA recipient and Congresswoman Jackie Speier offers a seat to the president of the National Women’s Law Center.

Offering a place for guests to support a position is fine compared to the cheerleading that happens on the floor of the self-styled great deliberative body.

In these tense, polarized times one fears a disruption will occur like the one that happened during President Barrack Obama’s health care speech in 2009 when Republican South Carolina congressman Joe Wilson yelled, “You lie!”.

Wilson was criticized by members of both parties for his outburst and he later apologized. The issue that prompted the heckling dealt with illegal immigrants and health care, two issues that could light the heckling fuse again.

Even if the reactions from the floor of the chamber don’t reach that elevated temperature, still the back and forth cheerleading seems out of place.

The State of the Union report from the president is ordered in the United States Constitution. Article II, Section 3, Clause 1 states that the president “shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”

Of course, the State of the Union address is a policy speech and opposition to policies offered by the president are ripe for disagreement and disapproval. But Americans who watch the speech rightly expect some decorum from elected representatives.

While George Washington and John Adams made their annual address to congress, Thomas Jefferson ended the practice. He sent a written document that was read by a clerk. In 1913, Woodrow Wilson once again began the practice of delivering he speech in person.

Over the last couple of decades opposition, to the sitting president has led to less dignified proceedings. I assume such a performance will continue tonight. Perhaps we should go back to clerks reading the state of union messages.