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Notes on the Tuesday Evening State of the Union Address

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The President of the United States, Barack Obama, spoke Tuesday evening to a congress long-divided, a congress with an all-time low approval rating from the American public. Always a master speaker, the president emphasized the principle that the mission should be foremost, beyond obsession with political or personal aspiration, several times in his annual State of the Union address.

If those debaters who have filled the airways in recent months were seeking a long-winded dissertation on the accomplishments of the administration during the past year, they were disappointed. The president indeed mentioned the end of the Iraqi conflict and the death of Osama bin Laden, but the tone of his address was far more in keeping with a clear definition of the current directions the nation under the president is taking, and the goals for the years ahead.

During the course of the hourlong speech, he did mention that the world is unified behind a clear need to stop the nuclear escalation from the rogue, Iran. The world, he said, is now united behind severe sanctions. He continued that to stop the nuclear threat from Iran, no option is off the table. But, he avowed, peace is preferable. He went on to say, most specifically, that the money saved with the reduction in our reduced warfare should be used, half to pay off the national debt, and half to the renewed nation building of America. In what may have been the most moving, emotionally, of his words, he reminded us that the Hoover Dam, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the system of transcontinental highways across America all were born out of times of financial crisis. He alluded at that point to plentiful jobs available, and to his administration’s endeavor to retrain workers to fill available jobs.

The debaters for weeks have declared passion and commitment to rigid ideology; the president suggested common sense in moving toward the future as a wiser and more sensible priority. He vowed to fight obstructionism with action.

The president pointed with pride to the American auto Industry. He spoke of American produced cars from Detroit, Toledo, and Chicago, being the standard in all parts of the world. He mentioned South Korea, and China, and an unlimited market. In that regard, he told the listeners, corporations shouldn’t benefit from out sourcing; from hiring overseas. He pledged double tax breaks, and double incentives to those who bring jobs back to America.

The president addressed a timely issue by announcing a newly established commission to stop illegal and unfair pirating of internet ware, specifically mentioning that pirating from China.

In what may have been a surprising and controversial announcement, the executive told of a strongly felt proposal to prohibit students from dropping out of school before graduation, or turning 18. The president indicated his administration supports creativity in teaching, and not the policy of “teaching to the test.” He said incapable teachers should be removed.

In dealing with the issue of illegal aliens, or those persons here from birth, from illegal parents, or some other incidence, he made the point that these should be viewed as a valuable resource. How foolish to educate young people, teach them to explore areas of technology, and then export them after graduation.

In what may be seen as a change in attitude, the president will encourage and reward new drilling in oil and natural gas development. He continues to demand that new exploration be done in a way that is safe, clean, and healthful. The president supports all forms of energy, including wind and solar, and opened a new discussion of potential for battery development.

For possibly the first time, President Obama directly took to task those who sell or sold mortgages to those who can’t or couldn’t afford them, and in some cases have been unable to decipher the contracts. The days of “fine print” must be ended. He mentioned mortgages, credit cards, and other contractual matters in that regard.

The President again made mention of the long-enduring debate over the “temporary tax breaks” for the richest Americans. He said the money could be better put to use for medical research, and for education. He said that congressmen should not be allowed to engage in insider trading, and should not be permitted to own stocks in any industry that they impact. The president sees new and growing inequity between the middle class striving toward success, and the very rich. He calls such current trends “unfair.”

In his final words, the chief executive reaffirmed enduring support for the “Arab Spring,” with what it entails of human dignity, and for the continuation of change in the Middle East.

If there was an underlying message in the president’s address, it was that we should be driven not by politics, or personal ambition, but rather by the mission.

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About John Lake

John Lake had a long and successful career in legitimate and musical theater. He moved up into work behind the camera at top motion pictures. He has done a smattering of radio, and television John joined the Blogcritics field of writers owing to a passion for the liberal press, himself speaking out about the political front, and liberal issues. Now the retired Mr. Lake has entered the field of motion picture, television, and video game (now a daily gamer!) critique. His writing is always innovative and immensely readable!
  • John Lake

    Upon some examination, the Presidents idea to keep all students regardless of motivation in school until graduation seems less than well thought out, and unenforceable. It could lead to more violence in schools, and students or young people winding up with criminal records at an early age. We wonder if one of the president’s daughters made the suggestion.

  • Clavos

    My last in response to #4…

  • Clavos

    Therein lies the dilemma, you’re right…

  • Igor

    IMO, a pretty good SOTU.

  • Well, I was just having a bit of fun, Doc, but thanks for updating me.

    On the other hand, do we really want anybody who literally believes in the end days and all that stuff having their finger anywhere near a nuclear trigger?! Who knows what they might do under pressure?

  • Two slightly mad faithists

    Two? Unless “slightly mad faithists” is a tautology in your book, Chris, that’s not a fair description.

    AFAIK, Romney has no record of ever allowing his Mormon faith to interfere with either his political or his business career. He seems to be entirely mindful of the separation of church and state, and that’s to his credit.

    Santorum, on the other hand, is not slightly mad but utterly batshit insane. Given the opportunity, he’d supplant the U.S. Constitution with the Bible in a heartbeat.

  • Which of the Republican candidates would you be prepared to support though?

    Two slightly mad faithists, a lobbyist or an arch separatist?

  • Clavos

    The New York Times characterized the SOTU (accurately, IMO) as a campaign speech.

    I can quite easily see him getting four more years.

    I hope, fervently, you’re wrong, Chris.

  • Having been a fan of Obama by a short head over Clinton prior to his election and then becoming rather disillusioned by his actual actions and performance over the last three years, I have to say his speech last night was pretty impressive.

    Yes, he has a good delivery but there was much of real substance in his words. Given the lacklustre candidates the Republican Party has come up with, unless something extraordinary happens this year I can quite easily see him getting four more years.

  • I have only heard sound bites. It seems to me that President Obama talked commonsense,talked about what America did and can do again. I think he wants Americans to work together, to cooperate, and remember that they all live in the same country. America and Americans have lost their way since Vietnam; and stumbled through a number of other wars losing young countrymen in the process. Iraq should never have happened, and Afghanistan should not be allowed to continue for very long either. It has a corrupt government which wants to establish an islamic state. President Obama certainly spoke some sense, have the American people got any?