President Obama's last State of the Union address was a powerful rejoinder against cynicism as he invoked major themes from the earliest days of his candidacy: the power of hope. "How can we make our politics reflect what’s best in us, and not what’s worst?" he asked.
Here are five ways he asked Americans to better themselves for the sake of our nation and future:
He Asked Us To Remember Our Roots As A Country That Welcomes People Of All Stripes.
“We need to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion. This isn’t a matter of political correctness. It’s a matter of understanding what makes us strong. The world respects us not just for our arsenal; it respects us for our diversity and our openness and the way we respect every faith.”
He Asked Us (Again) To Reject Islamophobia.
"When politicians insult Muslims, when a mosque is vandalized, or a kid bullied, that doesn’t make us safer. That’s not telling it like it is. It’s just wrong. It diminishes us in the eyes of the world. It makes it harder to achieve our goals. And it betrays who we are as a country.”
He Threw Some Serious Shade At Climate Change Deniers.
“Look, if anybody still wants to dispute the science around climate change, have at it. You’ll be pretty lonely, because you’ll be debating our military, most of America’s business leaders, the majority of the American people, almost the entire scientific community, and 200 nations around the world who agree it’s a problem and intend to solve it.”
He Urged Us, As Well As His Colleagues, Not To Allow Partisanship To Destroy Our Chances At Progress.
“Whether you prefer one party or no party, our collective future depends on your willingness to uphold your obligations as a citizen. To vote. To speak out. To stand up for others, especially the weak, especially the vulnerable, knowing that each of us is only here because somebody, somewhere, stood up for us.”
He Asked Us To Recognize Our Fellow Citizens Who Are Working Toward Progress.
“Voices of unarmed truth and unconditional love. They’re out there, those voices. They don’t get a lot of attention, nor do they seek it, but they are busy doing the work this country needs doing.”
We're with you, Mr. President. Read his whole speech here.
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