President Obama insists that the U.S. remains the most powerful nation on earth. In his final State of the Union address, Obama rejected the notion that America is getting weaker while U.S. enemies grow stronger. Obama argued that no nation dares to attack the U.S. or allies because "they know it is a path to ruin." He acknowledged that this is a dangerous time in the world and said his top priority is protecting the American people from a growing terrorist threat.
The President noted that both al-Qaeda and ISIS pose a direct threat to Americans. However, he disagrees with those who say the U.S. is involved in World War Three. He said that kind of rhetoric elevates terrorists and plays into their hands.
Speaking of rhetoric, Obama called for unity after years of partisan rancor in Washington, DC. He said more rational, constructive debates can lead to better solutions for the serious problems confronting the U.S. The President argued that democracy grinds to a halt without a willingness to compromise.
In his address to a joint session of Congress, the President said the U.S. has the strongest, most durable economy in the world. He touted the ongoing economic recovery and rejected any notion that the American economy is in decline. Obama said Congress doesn't have to agree on climate change to shift the nation toward clean energy. He noted that America has already done a lot to invest in solar energy, cut carbon pollution and decrease foreign oil imports.
The President argued that the government should provide two years of community college at no cost. He also called on the Republican-led Congress to embrace equal-pay-for-equal-work and boost the minimum wage. Obama had little to say about some of the issues that have dominated his tenure, including gun violence, immigration reform and healthcare.
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