“To imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place,” President Obama quoted Pope Francis tonight in his State Of The Union address. He sent a clear message to Christian conservatives as well as the GOP that hatred and bigotry will not better America as a country, but will instead defeat the progress we’ve made.
Tonight marked the last State Of The Union address President Obama will deliver in his presidential career.
Amongst all the campaigning and fearmongering by Republicans, President Obama used his platform tonight to set the record straight. He shut down the claims made by the GOP that the American economy is headed toward a recession:
“Anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction. What is true – and the reason that a lot of Americans feel anxious – is that the economy has been changing in profound ways, changes that started long before the Great Recession hit and haven’t let up. Today, technology doesn’t just replace jobs on the assembly line, but any job where work can be automated. Companies in a global economy can locate anywhere, and face tougher competition. As a result, workers have less leverage for a raise. Companies have less loyalty to their communities. And more and more wealth and income is concentrated at the very top.”
The President then went on to inspire citizens with the cold, hard truth:
“I told you earlier all the talk of America’s economic decline is political hot air. 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. Surveys show our standing around the world is higher than when I was elected to this office, and when it comes to every important international issue, people of the world do not look to Beijing or Moscow to lead – they call us.”
He then went on to send a direct message to the man leading in the GOP polls, Mr. Donald J. Trump:
“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?”
The always eloquent and respectful President sent a clear message to Americans – we will conquer the threats we face together as a nation, not by playing xenophobic, exclusionary politics.
“We need to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion. This isn’t a matter of political correctness. 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.”
Well said, Mr. President.
And Trump? Well he showed his level of intelligence and maturity by following up Obama’s influential speech with this tweet:
Looks like he went ahead and proved President Obama right.
Feature Image Courtesy of The White House