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Obama's State of the Union PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, February 24 2016 09:44

You and I most likely did not get a seat at Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech in Washington earlier this month. But, from my television point of view, those words still offered us some fine rhetoric and no little wisdom.

However, most of the Republican office holders did not think so. Most of the time they stayed in their chairs and failed to value good things coming from the president.

Their newly crowned Speaker, Paul Ryan, later said of the speech: “Obama’s State of the Union degrades the presidency.”

I consider this statement both nasty and wrong.  The speech, Obama’s last in this format, presented a great many things important for us Americans to know.

Here are a few of the many subjects mentioned by President Obama in the course of his speech. He chose four major items.

But before beginning with item number one, he mentioned a few current matters worth notable attention. The first was “protecting our kids from gun violence.”

This item is of special concern to Obama, given the terrible group murders committed against adults and children across our country. The president has recently been seen given to tears as he appeals for protection against guns.

He also took this occasion to speak of a notable social change. “it’s how we secured the freedom in every state to marry the person we love.” This startling development surely merited mention for the good effects it has brought to our nation.

In his section on the economy, Obama indicated the importance of many subjects.  One that caught my attention came when he urged lawmakers to “strengthen, not weaken, Social Security and Medicare.”

When you discover how many Americans, especially older people, depend upon these two benefits you must make them available.

As for other notable remarks he said;  “Food Stamp recipients did not cause the financial crisis; recklessness on Wall Street did.”

The issue that drew virtually universal applause was the President’s statement: “Let’s make America the country that cures cancer once and for all.” Joe Biden is to be leader of this effort, one that all of us have reason to hail.

Another subject that I welcomed was an effort to deemphasize Americans worries about ISIS and other attackers.  “They do not threaten our national existence,” assured Obama.  

I welcome this approach instead of the exaggerated fears that make us would-be victims of terrorists. More than fifty percent of Americans are supposedly worried about being attacked by ISIS members.

In our country, people do not normally need to expect others to go after them.  Only once did it happen to me.

Surely Barack Obama has every right to cite the recent gathering of two hundred of the world’s nations for the battle against climate change.  Despite the certainty of my not living through this achievement, I am glad to support its prospects.  It can surely be listed among the great achievements of Barack’s presidency.

Before coming close to the end of his speech, he spoke in strong terms about respect for the religious views of other people. In doing so, he quoted Pope Francis who had spoken similarly in the same House of Representatives chamber.

“When politicians insult Muslims,” Obama insisted, “it’s just wrong.”

At the conclusion of this one-hour experience I felt supported by this unusually fine speaker.  Obama knows how to use his voice and, at the same time, present important information and conclusions.

To those supportive of his views he presented effectively. And to those often, if not always, opposed, he did his best to please.  Often in the course of this speech I felt moved by the speaker’s important words.