On Tuesday January the 12th, President Obama gave his last state of the Union address. Generally, the President reported that our nation is prosperous and is getting better day by day, but also warned everyone to fix their politics and to beware of further political polarization.
“It’s one of the few regrets of my presidency that the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better.” This was dropped around the halfway mark of the President’s address, making the president seem more humble, as well as highlighting the frustration of many Americans over party polarization.
President Obama also added occasional turns of phrases that poked at his critics – especially Republican candidate and frontrunner Donald Trump.
To expand on that note, the President seems to have rebutted every major point Trump has made without naming him. Trumps banners of xenophobia and fear mongering about Isis were all stricken down one at a time. The President restated multiple times that the United States is the most powerful nation in the world and that our economy is the strongest. Both of these directly counter two of Trump’s other favorite talking points in his speeches. Obama outright countered Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric on Muslims and called on politicians to never target people based on race or religion as many of the Republican candidates have.
The President brought his State of the Union address to a roaring finale with a steady repetitive and well crafted preacher – like cadence, the ultimate call back to one of his best rhetorical tools utilized early on in his presidency.
It was a fitting end to one of the last speeches of his presidency, bringing his rhetoric full circle and using the power of his preaching cadence to tell people to band together and “fix their politics.” -an issue that has plagued this administration from day one. The president quite fittingly said that if we want to solve any problems “we have to fix our politics.”
By Ben Miramontes