President Barack Obama will bid goodbye to the oval office after this year, but he will leave behind a legacy of ideas, change and hope for the future of America.
Obama shared his plans for America to continue making breakthroughs not only in the last year of his presidency, but in the years ahead. Obama said citizens should embrace the changes ahead because America shows its greatest strength in times of massive change.
“We made change work for us, always extending America’s promise outward, to the next frontier, to more and more people,” Obama said. “And because we did, because we saw opportunity where others saw only peril, we emerged stronger and better than before.”
Obama touched on a wide variety of topics in an attempt to reiterate his plans for the remainder of his final term. Obama acknowledged progress can only be made when American people come together in a consensus.
“But such progress is not inevitable,” Obama said. “It is the result of choices we make together. And we face such choices right now. Will we respond to the changes of our time with fear, turning inward as a nation, and turning against each other as a people? Or will we face the future with confidence in who we are, what we stand for, and the incredible things we can do together?”
Obama encouraged citizens to be aware that America’s economy is growing and thriving despite what others may say.
“Anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction,” Obama said. “What is true, and the reason that a lot of Americans feel anxious, is that the economy has been changing in profound ways, changes that started long before the Great Recession hit and haven’t let up.”
One of Obama’s key points was the importance of social tolerance and equality. Obama said that fingers should not be pointed at the poor or immigrants for the financial crisis.
“Food Stamp recipients didn’t cause the financial crisis; recklessness on Wall Street did,” Obama said. “Immigrants aren’t the reason wages haven’t gone up enough; those decisions are made in the boardrooms that too often put quarterly earnings over long-term returns. It’s sure not the average family watching tonight that avoids paying taxes through offshore accounts.”
Obama continued his comments on social equality and urged citizens to treat all people equally despite differences in race, religion, or ideology.
“…I’ll be right there with you as a citizen, inspired by those voices of fairness and vision, of grit and good humor and kindness that have helped America travel so far,” Obama said. “Voices that help us see ourselves not first and foremost as black or white or Asian or Latino, not as gay or straight, immigrant or native born; not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans first, bound by a common creed.”
Obama said the hope for the future of America lies within the citizens.
Obama said he was “optimistic that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”
“That’s what makes me so hopeful about our future. Because of you, I believe in you. That’s why I stand here confident that the State of our Union is strong.”
Nancy Peyton can be contacted at [email protected]