by Brandon Musick
While it may seem a bit like a sporting event with all the clapping every 5 seconds (except from John Boehner of course), the State of the Union is one of the most important presidential speeches every year. President Obama has dealt with the rigors of the State of the Union process before, and had little trouble galvanizing the masses this year. This was the president’s seventh time giving the speech, and his last round will be next year. Now, to high-schoolers, the speech probably seems pretty pointless and quite boring. But not to fear! The speech is a great source of laughs and examples of just how down to earth our current president seems to be. Yet it also is important because President Obama must set goals that can be agreed upon by the Republicans that now hold the majority of both houses of Congress following the recent elections and also agree with his own party’s agenda.
Well, let’s get the boring stuff out of the way before moving on to the fun bundles of humor. The president, consistent with his party and previous Democrat presidents, has proposed tax reforms that would target the wealthy and give to middle-class workers. The great push to get more money to the middle-class has been circulated many times, and there is great debate about how it should be done. The president offered his view and plan for reaching this goal: taxing the rich.
Also important is the emphasis President Obama put on the current, seemingly positive times, saying
Tonight, after a breakthrough year for America, our
economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest
pace since 1999. Our unemployment rate is now lower
than it was before the financial crisis. More of our kids
are graduating than ever before; more of our people
are insured than ever before; we are as free from the
grip of foreign oil as we’ve been in almost 30 years.
Tonight, for the first time since 9/11, our combat
mission in Afghanistan is over. Six years ago, nearly
180,000 American troops served in Iraq and
Afghanistan. Today, fewer than 15,000 remain. And we
salute the courage and sacrifice of every man and
woman in this 9/11 Generation who has served to keep
us safe. We are humbled and grateful for your service.
America, for all that we’ve endured; for all the grit and
hard work required to come back; for all the tasks that
lie ahead, know this:
The shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of the
Union is strong.
Bold words for a president entering his “lame duck” period in office? Perhaps. But the power placed in these words is undeniable. Job creation, pulling troops out of Afghanistan, the honoring of the service members that sacrifice everything, the allusion to past hardships already endured and future issues that can be solved. These things all show the potent successes of the Obama administration and how the compromises between the GOP and Democrats are having positive effects. This may be the most important excerpt from the entire speech. It speaks to every American; rich, poor, man, woman, Republican, Democrat. The confidence in the economy and government is crucial to the success of the country, and the president makes clear the positive position in which the United States sits.
Alright, you’ve been patient, time for the fun stuff that you actually care about. President Obama had proven not only to be a charismatic and intelligent leader, but also a down-to-earth, affable, friendly president not afraid to challenge the typical conventions set upon the office of president. For many years, the president has displayed his wit and good nature through jokes and playful banter with Republican and Democrat alike. While commenting on Scott Kelly’s impending year-long stay in space, President Obama remarked “In two months, to prepare us for those missions, Scott Kelly will begin a year-long stay in space. Good luck, Captain — and make sure to Instagram it.” Well this is obviously the reason Mitt Romney was not able to win the election in 2012, and the reason President Bush still gets yelled at. If they had only mentioned Instagram! This goes back to the president’s habit of breaking normal social conventions placed upon the president. His apparent obsession with Instagram is something pretty much everyone in the US can relate to, and again shows how much Obama can relate to the common American citizen.
Now, many of us know of the drastically differed opinions of our nation’s president. Well, apparently so does he. After mentioning that this was his last term as president, a small round of applause broke out. Well, being the suave man that he is, President Obama coolly replied “I know because I won both of them.” Oh snap, son! The president was rewarded for such a remark with a loud, much larger round of applause. The ones who applauded about this being his final term were immediately rushed to the hospital for treatment of severe 3rd degree burns (not really, don’t worry).
Obviously, one can’t cover the entire State of the Union address in one article, and neither would one want to read such an article. But the ramifications of this powerful State of the Union could prove to be a great boon for the people and the economy of the United States. The president’s words should echo in the minds of all Americans: “there wasn’t a liberal America, or a conservative America; a black America or a white America — but a United States of America.”
The full speech can be found on: http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/20/politics/state-of-the-union-2015-transcript-full-text/
Or for those of you who don’t like CNN for whatever reason, you can also read the speech here: