Wednesday, January 26, 2011

State of the Union: President Obama

Tonight we heard President Barack Obama talk about the state of the union.  In the world of politics, Obama is the straightest shooter I've come across. This opinion might be different if I remembered back to when Jimmy Carter ran the country, but I was only 3 years old.  Obama lays out straight plans.  Obama encourages debate.  Obama sets out to do what is right: not for himself, not for his fellow politicians, but for this country.  I find it disheartening that such a man is not given respect by members of Congress, politicians across the country, and people of this nation.  In a world of extremism, Obama blurs the lines.  Obama uses true politics to engage debate.  Obama mixes facts with passion, delivering optimism.  Obama gives hope to this nation.

Recalling the speeches of President George W. Bush on the state of the union, I find it defensive.  His focus was on terrorism, and addressing the concerns of a fearful nation.  I'm not sure if I felt safer or more fearful because of his speeches. Also, Bush used the deceitful side of politics to talk about his legislation.  Bush closed the door from the public and the press regarding his actions.  Bush always defended his actions.  Bush spoke to an older generation, an older way of life, and an outdated society.  While I credit him for increasing the military strength of the nation, I wonder at the cost of that show.

What I like best about Obama is his willingness to take politics down from its pedestal.  Obama presents politics as a governing body that serves the people and answers to the people.  Growing up I believed politics to be some magical forum where really smart people figured out how to keep the country running.  I think many people still hold this belief that politics is best left to the government and the people elected to office.  But Obama pushes true democracy, asking for public interaction and participation.  I hope this country elects more politicians of this caliber.  ...even if that hope is misguided, I still hope.

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