State of the Union: Obama speaks up about American Concerns



President Obama giving the 2016 State of the Union Adress in Washington D.C.

Alfredo Wolfermann, highlights contributor

On Tuesday, Jan. 12, Obama confronted American’s fears in the State of the Union Speech. The president admitted that one of his biggest regrets in his presidency was not being able to heal the political divides in Washington D.C., divides that have hindered progress in the past decade. In the president’s final speech, he admitted to falling short of his promises of change, hope, and transforming D.C. and politics itself.

Obama acknowledged Americans’ fear of being part of a political and economic system that they believe is set up against them, and shunned Republicans for using these fears for their benefit. He specifically rebuked Republican front-runner Donald Trump, calling for Americans to resist discriminating against Muslims because of some radical Islamists who have planted terror in the hearts of Americans.

“Will we respond to the changes of our time with fear, turning inward as a nation, and turning against each other as a people? Or will we face the future with confidence in who we are, what we stand for, and the incredible things we can do together?” Obama said.

The president also stated that the American people should embrace technology instead of being intimidated by it, and called for an increase in research in regards to deadly diseases and untreatable conditions. He urged the people to join Vice President Joseph Biden in a “moonshot” effort to find the cure to cancer, the disease that took his son last year.

Obama spoke up about the American approach to new terrorist threats such as ISIS. The president claimed that terrorism is a serious threat that is not to be reckoned with, but that it is not big enough to warrant the deployment of U.S. troops is places like Syria and Iraq.

“As [Obama] enters his final year in office, many Americans are still feeling the squeeze of an economy too weak to raise income levels. Even worse, we are facing the most dangerous terrorist threat our nation has seen since Sept. 11, and this president appears either unwilling or unable to deal with it,” South Carolina Governor Nikki R. Haley said.

Overall, Obama’s final speech highlighted some important aspects of the American public and as president, he portrayed an optimistic and hopeful future for the nation.