In last night’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama highlighted at least a few issues that every American, regardless of party affiliation, beliefs or attitude should support.
First and foremost, politicians, especially senators and representatives, need to reach across the aisle and work with their fellow elected officials. The past four years have shown us that there is no room anymore in American politics for any representative of the people to oppose useful legislation simply because it is introduced or supported by the other party.
We’ve already seen that filibustering and other damning antics haven’t gotten us, as a nation, any closer to solving the array of problems we’re faced with. Having crashed through the debt ceiling and fallen off the fiscal cliff, it is more than apparent that it’s time for political affiliations to take a backseat to fixing the issues that are important and affect the majority of Americans.
Working across the aisle was the most important point made during the State of the Union address.
Other issues Obama targeted for the upcoming year included gun control, education reform, jobs and climate change. Each of these issues is important to address and, hopefully, resolve in a timely manner.
“The past four years have shown us that there is no room anymore in American politics for any representative of the people to oppose useful legislation simply because it is introduced or supported by the other party.”
Gun control should be a very high priority for Congress. Since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in December, there has been a story on a shooting, whether it’s a murder-suicide or a larger scale disaster, in the media almost every other day. The fact that this hasn’t spurred legislation to be pushed through Congress already is absurd, especially while many members of Congress sport green ribbons in honor of the SHES victims. Selling and licensing guns is done on a state-by-state basis, but there should be minimum federal requirements to keep all citizens safe.
Education took a focus on the outliers of K-12, as Obama spoke specifically about the need for better high-quality pre-school for all children and the possibility of a reworking of the federal aid system for college students. Obama suggested that investing in early education would save money later on as those who were taught better and earlier would be more likely to continue successfully throughout their academic careers. As college tuition has increased annually for institutions both private and public, the need for help in paying for secondary education is also increasing.
It appears that Obama has quite the laundry list of issues to deal with in his second term and a Congress who needs to learn how to play nice with each other in order to resolve these issues for the nation.