President Obama made it clear in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday he is not joking around.
The president has given other State of the Union addresses on Capitol Hill, but this was different. He walked up to the presidential podium as a second term president, elected for a second time with a majority of the popular and electoral vote. He knows that he will never be running as a candidate for political office ever again. Knowing these things, the president laid the foundation for a no holds barred agenda in his second term with aggressive proposals to reform a huge swath of policies.
Perhaps the most memorable moment of the night was when the president exclaimed we need to “protect our most precious resource, our children.” Although solidly laying down plans for education and future jobs, the president specifically honed in on the emotional issue of gun control.
The president told stories of a teenage girl who was shot down in Chicago, resilient former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and the families of recent mass shootings in Aurora, Oak Creek, Tucson, Blacksburg and, of course, Newtown, Conn. Remarkably so, the president said, “they deserve a simple vote.”
The president was only asking Congress to recognize the tragic soar in gun violence and at least take a vote on measures to protect our children. Congress surely got the message, with those lines being drowned out by a standing ovation applause.
The president didn’t stop at gun control, though. President Obama announced several other aggressive plans for his second term, including education reform, immigration reform, new economic plans to further our recovery, a strong fight against climate change and even voting reform.
All of these proposals undoubtedly will do good for our country, with many of the proposals including ideas that shouldn’t be considered partisan. We should raise the minimum wage nine dollars. We should educate our children in a better way to prepare them for a different job market, giving them skills they can use straight out of high school. We should make economic investments in order to strengthen our growing economy. We should reform immigration, something that has been long broken and disputed.
We should recognize and combat climate change by doing things like creating a sustainable energy security trust from oil revenue. We should protect our children against gun violence with laws and actions that will not infringe on our second amendment rights.
We should, instead of making it harder to vote for our own political advantages, make it easier to vote so 102-year-olds like Desiline Victor in Miami won’t have to wait hours to fulfill their civic duty. We should, and with the aggressive actions and proposals President Obama announced on Tuesday night, we will.