Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Detroit's Got Seoul: State of the Union '12

It was pretty amazing watching President Obama's third State of the Union address last night.  As I wrote about earlier, the speech centered on rebuilding an economy to last around a concept of "fairness."  In President Obama's view, fairness means not only everyone get a fair chance at success but also everyone doing their fair share of the work rebuilding our economy.  For a complete taping, please check out the "enhanced" version from the White House's YouTube channel below:

Here's a few of my reactions (and the reactions of the folks I was watching with) to last night's address:

- It was great news to hear that the US Navy is making a commitment to purchase enough clean energy to power quarter million homes a year.  This will both serve as a huge boost to American industry and as a model for other nations to follow.

- While things still aren't great in American, and not by a long shot, President Obama was absolutely correct in saying that those who paint this as a period of American decline simply don't know what they're talking about.  When I listen to candidates like Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, there's a lot more pessimism than optimism in the future they want to create for America... we can do better than retreating back into only protecting ourselves and our immediate families and instead can rebuild a dynamic, strong society in common purpose.  President Obama reminded us of that last night.

- My favorite quote of the evening: When you put on that uniform, it doesn't matter if you're black or white; Asian or Latino; conservative or liberal; rich or poor; gay or straight.  The last bit of the sentence was especially powerful... this past year saw a huge bi-partisan victory over the hateful Don't Ask, Don't Tell rule.  It made me proud to know that I now live in a country where citizens of all sexual orientations can serve in our armed forces and protect the American Dream.

- As my friend Mike put it, Detroit's got Seoul.  Since President Obama took office, Michigan has seen it's unemployment level go down rather than up, largely due to government intervention in the auto industry.  The huge success of this program goes to show that there is a larger role for government than some of our other presidential candidates would have us believe.  Since President Obama supported the auto industry and also worked to pass three new free-trade agreements, countless new American cars will soon be on the streets of Seoul, Bogota and Panama City.  The administration's quiet, steady focus on industry over the last few years has already led to a huge decrease in America's unemployment rate, it was great to finally see that fact spotlighted tonight.

In tonight's State of the Union address President Obama laid out his vision for a renewed America that finally will get it's soul back, built on energy, industry, fairness and common purpose... and amen to that!

God's peace,

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