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State of the Union: Proud to be American

I have just finished reading President Obama’s first State of the Union Address. I like reading the SOTU’s instead of watching them for two reasons — 1) The State of the Union started life as a letter sent to Congress and 2) Reading the words allows me to consider the content without as much regard to my feelings about the speaker. I read GWB’s SOTU’s, so now I read Obama’s.

I found the whole speech inspiring, particularly these bits:

“The weight of this crisis will not determine the destiny of this nation. The answers to our problems don’t lie beyond our reach. They exist in our laboratories and universities; in our fields and our factories; in the imaginations of our entrepreneurs and the pride of the hardest-working people on Earth. Those qualities that have made America the greatest force of progress and prosperity in human history we still possess in ample measure. What is required now is for this country to pull together, confront boldly the challenges we face, and take responsibility for our future once more.”

I appreciate President Obama’s sense of confidence and trust in the American people. I’ve waited for quite awhile for national leaders to admit that people have some role besides consumer.

“Finally, because we’re also suffering from a deficit of trust, I am committed to restoring a sense of honesty and accountability to our budget. That is why this budget looks ahead ten years and accounts for spending that was left out under the old rules – and for the first time, that includes the full cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. For seven years, we have been a nation at war. No longer will we hide its price.”

I hope the President continues to adhere to this. It will be tempting to rehide the cost of wars if things don’t go his way. I’m also looking forward to Factcheck.org and other organizations verifying or disproving the President’s claim that he’s found $2 Trillion in savings over the next decade.

“I know that we haven’t agreed on every issue thus far, and there are surely times in the future when we will part ways. But I also know that every American who is sitting here tonight loves this country and wants it to succeed. That must be the starting point for every debate we have in the coming months, and where we return after those debates are done. That is the foundation on which the American people expect us to build common ground.”

The above paragraph is the message I wish all politicians and all media, right and left, traditional and new, would start broadcasting to the nation.

Finishing up the speech, I felt proud to be American and happy to roll up my sleeves and help do what is needed to speed recovery both financial and psychological.

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