On Jan. 28, President Barack Obama gave a State of the Union address that called for many things that we’ve heard him say before: an end to the gridlock in Congress, reforms in the tax code and an executive order to raise the minimum wage for all federal workers.
As always, the president managed to give an eloquent speech that heavily appealed to the emotion. However, Obama did so to try to divert attention away from the recent failures of his administration.
Not only did he overlook the recent anger over the NSA’s questionably overreaching power, but he also failed to confront the failure of Obamacare, which hasn’t met expectations in enrollment and premium costs alike.
The Obama administration’s struggles do not only affect his view here in the United States, where his approval rating stood at 43 percent heading into the speech, but also affects his view to the rest of the world. Many countries feel they cannot trust the United States after discovering even
US allies have been wiretapped as well.
Even worse for Obama in the international community is the use of drones in civilian locations throughout Afghanistan and Pakistan. Though the president did touch on the subject briefly, he only gave a vague promise of reform.
Obama was right in saying that the mistrust other countries have “cannot simply be wished away,” but his convoluted promise to use the NSA and drones responsibly doesn’t make up for the all the damage it has caused.
What Obama focused on in his address is nothing new. Oftentimes, the president has shifted his attention to trying to end the political stalemate on Capitol Hill. Just as frequent, Obama has called for reforms in the tax code and an end to the inequality gap.
He’s never seen these things happen yet, and it’s doubtful that he will see these goals realized in his sixth year in office.
Obama didn’t need to come out apologetically to the American people, but he needed to address the shortcomings he’s faced this year instead of trying to sweep them under the rug.
Most importantly, Obama needs to remember that words do not equate to action.