A Student’s View: 2013 State of Union answers pleas without definitive how-to-guide

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Dami Kimculture editor
Student body, teachers, administrators, parents, community:
Four years ago, Barack Obama stated in his 2009 State of Union Address that he has come to  “speak frankly and directly to the men and women who have sent us here.”

Well, quite “frankly”, I’m afraid he has left us both in awe and in desperation for more answers from his 2013 State of Union Address made on Tuesday, Feb.11.The president’s speech was enjoyable and admirable to listen to, as usual. Almost every other sentence of his speech won a standing ovation and his ideals for his first year of his second term overflowed with enthusiasm. When he recited the story of Desiline Victor, a 102-year-old woman who stood in line for six hours to vote in the 2012 election, it showed his respect for the elderly as well as his honest will to improve the voting process for future elections. Why would he seek to improve Election Day when he knows he will not get elected as president again? Why does he bring up the Advancement Project, aimed to create better voting experience, after his election?

The simple answer is that he actually cares for America. And in comparison with former political figures who fought for their own interests as opposed to fighting for the interests of America, he can be depicted as a hero.

Obama discussed various ideas in solving issues regarding the economy, more specifically on deficit reduction, education, social concerns and even on war against terror. He declared that Americans must take the matters in their own hands and work together for progress. A glimpse of progress was shown when he discussed his plans to raise the minimum wages for workers to $9.00 per hour to “tie the cost of living” in this economy. “Stronger families. Stronger communities: A stronger America” was his motto for bringing back the economy we once had many years ago.

He also emphasized protecting our nation together, whether the attacks are from outside of U.S., such as cyber attacks from foreign hackers, or from inside of our nation such as the Newtown shooting incident. Obama has signed a new executive order to strengthen cyber defense by sharing more information and to standardize the protection for national security, jobs and privacy.

As for the control of gun violence in America, he offered reasons why Americans should vote on the proposals he has laid out to prevent further unfortunate incidents. He commented that even the Americans who believe in the Second Amendment have agreed on a reform to put in background checks that will make it harder for criminals to obtain guns. According to Obama, senators of both parties are working to come up with tougher laws to prevent anyone from purchasing guns to resell to criminals.

For most of these issues, Obama answered and addressed Americans’ concerns, although without a clear, definite guide as to how he will deal with them. Creating committees and projects, yes, that is the right first step to approach these problems, but Americans are desperate for direct actions now, Mr. President.

The speech was composed of big ideas, yet few have been put into action, or have the potential for action this year. With four more years of his presidency, our only hope is that these words written on paper will transform into something tangible that America can be proud of.

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