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President Obama touches on clean energy, terrorism in State of the Union address

Obama’s address covered an array of topics, but first and foremost focused on his optimistic vision for the future. After all, this is the guy who ran on the slogan “Hope and Change.”

President Barack Obama gave his final State of the Union address Tuesday night, promising to make it shorter than previous years. Like Obama, we promise to keep this snappy.

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Obama’s address covered an array of topics, but first and foremost focused on his optimistic vision for the future. After all, this is the guy who ran on the slogan “Hope and Change.”

Two big issues Obama focused on in particular were climate change and terrorism. Despite his recent executive action on gun control and the town hall on gun violence, guns weren’t much of a theme in Obama’s address.  

Obama called for investment in clean energy, touting lower wind energy prices and money saved by solar panels.

“Rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future — especially in communities that rely on fossil fuels.”

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Although Obama called al-Qaeda and ISIL a “direct threat to our people,” he said ISIL does not threaten our existence. Much of what he said contrasts more “hawkish” politicians’ claims that he’s “leading from behind.” While he certainly put forth his usual talk of restraint, he also touted the use of force to defeat terrorism. 

“If you doubt America’s commitment  —  or mine  —  to see that justice is done, ask Osama bin Laden.”

Such use of force also includes the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS. Putting aside the various stances on the effectiveness of airstrikes, the sheer number is — excuse the pun — striking. According to the Department of Defense, the U.S. has conducted about 7,390 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. Comparatively, the rest of the coalition has conducted about 2,170.

Obama also urged viewers to “reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion” and channeled Martin Luther King Jr. in his call for unity as Americans “bound by common creed.”

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Obama not only encouraged unity, but he also encouraged involvement, saying that, “our collective future depends on your willingness to uphold your obligations as a citizen.”

His address ended the same way it started (and remained throughout the middle) — in an optimistic tone with a lot of praise of the American spirit.

“That’s the America I know. That’s the country we love. Clear-eyed. Big-hearted. Optimistic that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

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@norajaara

nj342914@ohio.edu


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