President Obama takes the podium, facing the collected Congress of the United States of America with John Boehner, Speaker of the House, and Joe Biden, Vice President, at his back. He begins his speech by contributing the success of better education and business stats to those middle-class teachers and small business entrepreneurs whom helped the nation achieve these end.
Starting off this way lets the nation know that the middle class has a high place in President Obama’s workings. He continues this type of introduction citing an auto mechanic, a farmer, a rural doctor, and a general graveyard-shift worker. Attributing the nation’s successes to its majority population gives strength to the Democratic political party and may gladden those who may otherwise feel they have gone unnoticed. Obama’s introduction ends in applause after he comments on soldiers coming home from a war lasting 12 long years, and it finally coming to an end.
President Obama lists many positive successes, attributing these to Congress; making sure to remark that they represent the citizenry on the United States. After announcing the success, he quickly goes on to plead for progress in spite of the government’s debate over its own size and authority. The argument over the size of the government is one that has remained in the foreground ever since the founding of this nation; a major aspect of the views dividing the
Republican and Democratic parties. By asking for progress through this argument, President Obama is inviting bipartisan collaboration and
cooperation. Obama cites the wills and wants of the people and the American Dream as reasons for needing Congress to act wholly and together; Congress needs to act, and President Obama makes it clear that 2014 is a year of action. He also informs Congress, that if he can act without them, he will. This may be construed as too much use of his powers and authority, however, in a nation fraught with inaction, perhaps that is what’s needed.
Throughout the body of the speech, President Obama touches enthusiastically on subjects such as tax code reform, improving infrastructure, growth in the tech industry and government research into new technology, small businesses and trade, energy independence and natural gas and solar power, the nation’s reduced carbon footprint, that climate change is a fact (he points this out strongly) and that Congress needs to begin addressing its intended concerns, immigration reform and how this reform should happen this year, and many other things. Obama announced Joe Biden as leader to head reform and progress in job training. This will help give many uneducated and untrained Americans the knowledge and ability to fill needed jobs and become employed by companies expanding into new industries and technology. He announced the creation of a coalition to improve education and education reform. Student loan debt was addressed; as this concerns many students and citizens the nation over, it is very important that this particular dilemma be addressed.
The speech addressed women’s rights and equal pay. Women should also be given better maternity leave and care. In general, more parental rights for the care of their children as far as the workplace is concerned is very much needed across the nation. The time for equality is now, and that should be clearly understood by all. Legislation to affirm equality is unfortunately necessary, and so this Congress needs to act on that legislation and the President is right in speaking on it.
President Obama announced the creation of MyRA. MyRA is a savings bond allowing every citizen the ability to purchase savings for the future. This should allow added income for the government to act on the previously announced changes and reforms.
President Obama also touches on the state of the United States military. All U.S. troops are out of Iraq. Sixty thousand troops have left Afghanistan. The lessening military deployment abroad does not lessen the strength and cause of military might, however. There is still the ongoing defense against terrorism. There are new ongoing threats from cyber-attacks. The defense budget will remain high in order to support defense of the nation. Obama makes a stand to increase regulation on the use of drones and drone strikes, and also on surveillance to protect the values of America on morality and privacy. He also remarks, again, on closing the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center. Military defense of this nation is paramount to the safety of its citizens, and the U.S. government is charged with protecting its citizens, so, it is their responsibility to utilize that strength and authority that is the U.S. military appropriately, efficiently, and morally.
With resounding applause from everyone within the chamber, the Olympics are mentioned as saying that Team U.S.A shall express the values of equality in Sochi. The values of equality may be unbalanced here at home in the nation, however, the lines of inequality from one human to the next are much clearer, and in some cases deadly, abroad. When each person can stand equal, then progress and peace take a strong hold in communities and societies. Pushing for the values of equality at an event as prominent and widespread as the 2014 Olympics shows that the United States holds true to the core of peace and progress and will not be brought down by discrimination and segregation. Ignorant hate has no place in a nation looking to rebuild its trust in the government and expression of the values on equality at the Olympics is a great step forward in this honorable endeavor.
Ending his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama tells us the moving story of Cory Remsburg. Remsburg is an Army Ranger who was nearly killed in an Afghanistan roadside bombing. After this terrible occurrence, Remsburg continuously works hard toward recovery from severe injury and months in a coma. Obama relates this tale to the will of the American people and how each of us, and the nation as a whole, has had a hard time making progress work, however that does not stop us from working hard to make a difference in our personal lives, the nation, and the world.
The 2014 State of the Union is a ceremonious proceeding where the President of the United States of America informs his represented citizens of the nation’s progress, of Congress’s contributions, and makes promises of action and legislation. We can stand strong as a nation and hold our elected officials accountable for the things said in this address. Be aware of your local politics and make sure to vote. The government is a group of men and women representing the ideals and values of those who are knowledgeable of their proceedings, are up to date with current events, who make their voices heard, and VOTE. So again, I say be aware of your local politics and make sure to vote.
Drawing by Artist Brewster and Brewster