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In President Obama’s State of the Union Address, he touches upon a variety of issues critical to the future of the United States of America. The cornerstones of Obama’s administration were all mentioned, including lengthy periods of space dedicated to discussing pressing issues such as economic growth, technology, unemployment, energy, immigration, healthcare, and equality.
However, underlying every issue discussed was a central message from President Obama. This message was simple. The citizens of the United States need to come together collectively, as an American people, in order to achieve a successful future. The volatile arguments between the various political powers in the United States have to stop, or at least subside to a point where at least some progress can be made. To put it bluntly; America must become unified again.
This in my opinion is a fair and fascinating argument. In class, we’ve been studying the very beginnings of this nation. The foundational building blocks of the United States of America. At this point in our studies, the United States has yet to form into a cohesive nation. We’re reminded that the land where we now live was founded, colonized, and made inhabitable by a variety of different nations that we are no longer affiliated with. And yet, somewhere between the beginnings of this nation, and where we find ourselves now, an American identity was formed. A variety of people with different backgrounds managed to come together to forge this nation through a great deal of bloodshed, sweat, and toil. I feel as if we sometimes take this fact for granted.
Obama is also quick to point out that “those at the top have never done better.” Moreover, he states that “inequality has deepened,” and that “upward mobility has stalled.” In light of our recent studies, I found Obama’s statements particularly meaningful. The initial colonizers came to North American for a variety of different reasons, mainly religious and economic ones. The ability to climb the social latter in England and other parts of Europe had stalled, and people came to the New World looking to improve their fortunes. Thus this nation was at least partially founded on the basis that through hard work and dedication, one could improve their social standing in life. However, in recent times, it appears as if this notion is fading. Poverty has risen at alarming rates, and as Obama mentioned, the ability for Americans to improve their lot in life has increasingly become more difficult. I find it somewhat startling to see that this nation is possibly regressing once again in regards to social mobility.
Overall, I found Obama’s speech extremely compelling. The historical parallels that could be drawn to our lessons in class were extremely interesting, and helped deepen my understanding and appreciation for many of Obama’s arguments.