The End of an Era: Obama’s Last SOTU Address

By Daylin Delgado

On January 12, 2016 President Barack Obama gave his final State of the Union address –  the speech that would play over the sentimental montage at the end of the Obama movie.

Obama walked into the room and greeted everyone with an inviting smile. He admitted that the expectations for what we will be achieved in 2016 are low due to the election season. However, he spoke on the goals he wishes the country will work on not only in 2016 but in its succession.  

“I want to go easy on the traditional list of proposals for the year ahead. Don’t worry, I’ve got plenty, from helping students learn to write computer code to personalizing medical treatments for patients. And I will keep pushing for progress on the work that I believe still needs to be done,” Obama stated during his speech.

The President focused on four central topics, or “questions” as he called them. In the traditional fashion of a State of the Union address, he began speaking about the economy, then technology, moving onto the safety of the country, and finally making politics reflect “what’s best in us, and not what’s worst.”

“The United States of America, right now, has the strongest, most durable economy in the world,” Obama boasted. More than 14 million new jobs have been created and the employment rate has been cut in half. To top it off, deficits have been cut by almost three-quarters.

The economy has changed drastically due to the rise in technology. Americans are feeling anxious because automated machines can replace them, leaving them out of a job. Obama believes a growing economy must work for everyone – every individual deserves a fair shot.

Obama emphasized his accomplishments with health care and education policies such as the Every Student Succeeds Act. His next goals are to provide free Pre-Kindergarten to all and provide two free years of community college to responsible students. Additionally, he emphasized the importance of Social Security and Medicare, stating the need to strengthen them.

Although he never mentioned names, Obama took several shots at Republican candidates – primarily front-runner Donald Trump. Obama urged citizens to stray from focusing on destroying ISIL. The exaggerated claims stating we are entering World War III plays into the hands of ISIL, giving them the power and fear factor they need to recruit more people.

At the end of the address, Obama encouraged Americans to be active and educated in politics. He believes citizens need to take action and stop assuming everything will be accomplished by merely voting for the leader of their particular party.

“I believe in change because I believe in you, the American people,” he concluded.

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