New York - United States President Barack Obama gave his Final State of the Union Address on Tuesday.
New York – United States President Barack Obama gave his Final State of the Union Address on Tuesday.
The U.S. leader laid out the topics of the evening, including bipartisan priorities, criminal justice reform, medical advancements, fixing a broken immigration system, and gun violence, among others.
One of the most important messages of his speech was when stressed that fearmongering against Muslims and their demonization don’t make America safer.
“When politicians insult Muslims… when a mosque is vandalized, or a kid is called names, that doesn’t make us safer,” he said.
Addressing terrorism and the safety of the U.S., he said: “we need to keep America strong without isolating ourselves.” He went on to reassure Americans that the “U.S. is the most powerful nation on Earth with the finest troops in the history of the world.”
“Today, we are threatened less by evil empires and more by failing states,” he said, adding that “it’s up to America to remake the system and to do it well” with set priorities.
That includes first and foremost, protecting American people and going after terrorist networks, especially Al Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State (ISIS).
“We have to take them out. Twisted souls in garages have to be stopped… but they don’t threaten our national existence,” he said.
“We don’t need to build them up to show we are serious. We don’t need to push away major allies saying terrorism equates to one of the world’s largest religions,” Obama stressed in defense of Islam and the Muslim community, while condemning the anti-Muslim rhetoric of other political hopefuls.
“We need to call them what they are ‘killers and fanatics’,” the President said, and “hunt them down and destroy them.”
Obama called on Congress to authorize the use of military force against ISIS. Answering critics who accuse him of not being committed to fighting terrorism, he said: “When you come after Americans we come after you. It might take time but we have long memories and our reach has no limits.”
However, he said the U.S. cannot take over and rebuild every country that falls. It is necessary to “mobilize the world and make sure others pull their own weight.”
Obama emphasized that Americans must “reject any politics that targets people because of race and religion,” adding that “the world respects us for our diversity and openness.
America must not imitate hatred and violence, which he called “just wrong, it diminishes us, betrays who we are as a country, does not make us strong,” but conversely, it shows fear.
He reminded citizens that “’We the people’ means all of us…rise and fall together,” not just some because “Democracy halts without a willingness to compromise,” Obama affirmed.
He also condemned scapegoating people in a tacit reference to Muslims. “It will not deliver economy or security; it contradicts everything that makes us the envy of the world.”
“America is bound by a common creed, voices of unarmed truth and unconditional love,” the American President said in one of the most touching moments of his union address.