Obama takes aim at the future of America and Republicans.


President Obama gave his final, of seven, State of The Union address on Tuesday. The overall theme was hope and optimism for the future while calling out the Republicans on several key issues.

   In the background was Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker Paul Ryan. On many occasions you could see Biden applauding the topics that Obama was speaking on, but in stark contrast Ryan kept a stern face, rarely acknowledging the speech. As the cameras panned out to the audience, it was clear to see it was mainly the Democrats that were clapping and cheering while the Republicans just sat there. The only time it seemed the President got a standing ovation from everyone was when he talked about how great our military is.

   One of the main points Obama made was about the price of college for Americans. “And we have to make college affordable for every American.” said Obama in his speech. “Because no hardworking student should be stuck in the red. We’ve already reduced student loan payments to ten percent of a borrower’s income. Now, we’ve actually got to cut the cost of college. Providing two years of community college at no cost for every responsible student is one of the best ways to do that, and I’m going to keep fighting to get that started this year.”

   This was brought up last year and seemed to have fallen to the wayside. Some states, like Oregon, has already voted to make community college free for their citizens.

   Obama talked about workers who lose their job should have a way to learn a new trade so they can be hired again. “ …we shouldn’t just make sure he can get unemployment insurance; we should make sure that program encourages him to retrain for a business that’s ready to hire him,” said Obama. “If that new job doesn’t pay as much, there should be a system of wage insurance in place so that he can still pay his bills.”

   This could help out students who are going to college for retraining from L&I (Labor and Industries) due to an injury sustained on their job. In the brief overview of the wage insurance, there was no talk of where the source of money would come from.

   Obama went on to talk about clean energy and how helping those around the world move away from ‘dirty’ energy. “Rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future — especially in communities that rely on fossil fuels,” said Obama “That’s why I’m going to push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources, so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet.”

   In the midst of all the talk about the future Obama managed to find a sentence here and there to attack the Republicans.

   “I told you earlier all the talk of America’s economic decline is political hot air,” said Obama “Well, so is all the rhetoric you hear about our enemies getting stronger and America getting weaker. The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth. Period. It’s not even close. We spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined. Our troops are the finest fighting force in the history of the world. No nation dares to attack us or our allies because they know that’s the path to ruin.”

   Though he did not mention Donald Trump directly, or any other Republican presidential hopefuls, he did bash them.

   “That’s why we need to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion. This isn’t a matter of political correctness,” said Obama directly aiming at Trump. “It’s a matter of understanding what makes us strong. The world respects us not just for our arsenal; it respects us for our diversity and our openness and the way we respect every faith.”

   The Republicans responded to the State of The Union with South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. Haley was elected as the first female and minority governor of South Carolina.

   In her speech she focused on how Obama was full of talk and less about action. She goes on to talk about the way the economy is failing, but the Republicans are also to blame.

   “We need to be honest with each other, and with ourselves: while Democrats in Washington bear much responsibility for the problems facing America today, they do not bear it alone. There is more than enough blame to go around,” said Haley in her speech. “We as Republicans need to own that truth. We need to recognize our contributions to the erosion of the public trust in America’s leadership. We need to accept that we’ve played a role in how and why our government is broken.”

   “And then we need to fix it.”

   Haley went on to talk about the terrorist attack that killed 9 people at a church in Charleston, S.C.

   She made an emphasis to point out that they held vigils instead of looting and rioting, which to some could be a slap in the face to those who were protesting in Ferguson and Baltimore.

   Haley went on to talk about taking down the Confederate flag.

   “We removed a symbol that was being used to divide us, and we found a strength that united us against a domestic terrorist and the hate that filled him,” said Haley.

   And then she pounced on Trump.

   “Some people think that you have to be the loudest voice in the room to make a difference,” said Haley. “That is just not true. Often, the best thing we can do is turn down the volume. When the sound is quieter, you can actually hear what someone else is saying. And that can make a world of difference.”

   Though there was talk about the parties coming together and making improvements to the nation, there was still a clear divide between ideologies on how America should be ran.

   One main elephant in the room during the State of The Union was not mentioned. Ten US sailors are being held by the Iranian government, who have since been released as of 5:03 a.m. 1/13/16. Many Republicans lashed out at Obama for not mentioning it in the speech, like Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz.

   Paul, who was not at the speech, released a 5 minute video. Paul stated that the next president will have to rebuild the military, repeal medical insurance, and balance the budget.

   The State of the Union has proven, though we have moved forward as a nation, the government is clearly divided. Neither side seems to be budging.