President Obama inspires with last State of the Union

By: Duke Staff

Fare thee well, President Obama.

The president conducted his final State of the Union address on Tuesday with style, preceded by musical performances and interviews with popular YouTube stars.

The speech itself highlighted many of the projects that the president accomplished during his two terms including the Affordable Care Act, thriving job growth and the current strength of this country’s once-crumbling economy.

But the address was focused on outlining future goals, with the president stating that he wants to create a plan for the U.S. for the next five years. He appointed Vice President Joe Biden to “mission control” on the race to cure cancer and urged the nation to make the permanent switch from more expensive “dirty” fuels to clean ones such as solar power.

A significant part of his speech called for stronger regulation of big businesses and Wall Street. White collar crime has been a major problem in the U.S. for a while now. Considering that it’s also the reason behind the 2007 economic recession, Obama needs to follow through on bringing white collar offenders to justice.

With turmoil continuing to rage in the Middle East, President Obama called on Congress to vote for using military force against ISIS while reassuring Americans that the group was not a threat to national existence. Or, in Obama’s words, “If you doubt America’s commitment – or mine – to see that justice is done, ask Osama Bin Laden … If you come after Americans, we go after you.”

The speech was also fairly neutral, calling for the American people to cooperate on a number of things despite political affiliation. A few subtle jabs were aimed at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who is leading in the polls.

Obama also stated that the biggest regret of his presidency was allowing the gap between Democrats and Republicans to grow further with such animosity. To change this, he wants citizens to demand a different political system. But this gap really should be bridged by those at the top first.

The address, written by Obama’s chief speechwriter Cody Keenan, was beautifully written and eloquently delivered. It was unconventional, with accompanying infographics and pictures displayed on screen. Obama’s speech came off as inspiring, unifying and had a positive view of where the country is headed.

The real test now is to see if these goals will be accomplished during his last year in office and if the next president will put personal politics aside to continue working on them in the future.