Winning the Future, Together: Reflections on the State of the Union

Last Tuesday, President Obama delivered the State of the Union to a joint session of Congress. As always, the speech was surrounded by pomp and posturing, yet this speech sounded entirely different from the typical laundry list of Presidential requests.

Just weeks after the shooting in Tucson and the President’s moving speech at the memorial service, many argue that the State of the Union should have followed up on Tucson.

However, the President couldn’t give a speech with the same soaring rhetoric after giving a speech about how our rhetoric caused a violent divide. The only way to follow Tucson was to give a speech that said, “here is how we are going to move forward together.”

That is exactly what Obama did during the State of the Union. He put aside his and Favreau’s talented pen and gave a raw, honest speech full of humility and strength.

One professor commented that the speech seemed disorganized, but how else could one address the sheer number of problems this country faces genuinely?

At a time when both sides blame the other and look for as many reasons to criticize and point fingers, Obama stood up and argued that although have problems we all agree that we must “win the future”, and that no matter your ideology or party we agree on maintaining America’s greatness.

Then, though some call it pandering, he laid out specifics that each side can compromise on-renewable energy and tort reform.

The second to last paragraph in the President’s Tucson speech said:

“If there are rain puddles in heaven, Christina [Green] is jumping in them today. And here on Earth, we place our hands over our hearts, and commit ourselves as Americans to forging a country that is forever worthy of her gentle, happy spirit.”

The State of the Union told us how he plans to forge that country.

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