Monday, January 18, 2016

Silences in the State Of Union Address

I watched the State Of Union Address again and something really stuck out to me as odd as I watched it.

President Obama covered a lot of topics, ranging from immigration, college and education in general, to the country's current economic state, but something was missing to me and it kind of stuck out.

Of the many topics that President Obama brought up, one of the topics that was not mentioned was anything on gun policy or anything on whatsoever. Because of all of the problems surrounding gun policy in the last couple of years (school shootings being a huge shaper in terms of gun policy in the last year), I would have thought he at least talk for five minutes on it.

Even though President Obama did not mention gun policy during address, he did focus on quite a few  "big "topics  that came up in 2015. Not to mention he was quite optimistic on the future,  and the things he did right and could expand on, but nothing very concrete at all. He also focused on a lot on his legacy as a president, American hope, and pride and how we can improve on medical insurance and social equality.

Could it have been too controversial to speak to the American public about so he decided to leave it out of the address? Could President Obama not have wanted to potentially hurt the Democratic Party nominees that he decided to only speak on idealistic terms?

Were there any other silences you might have noticed when watching the State of Union Address? What might have President Obama might have missed?

State of Union Address-Infographic from White House Press Office

Just the text here


Daniel Jun said...

In retrospect, this omission is incredibly obvious. Obama most likely did not mention gun control because he had nothing productive to say. The gun control debate is becoming an increasingly hot-button issue, seemingly more inflammatory than race or gender. Those who want stricter regulation cite general folk wisdom of "fewer guns less crime" and those who want looser regulation cite the fact that "there is a higher chance of gun violence in towns with stricter regulation." I'm biased. Someone correct me.

Anyway, and I believe everyone noticed this, Obama was incredibly idealistic in his speech. He gave a problem and gave a solution that would take many years and extreme luck in both chambers of Congress to be accomplished. But then, his goal was to provide hope and nationalistic fervor. And he succeeded. Gun control was perhaps too partisan even for him to approach.

Scott Chow said...

I'm going to go ahead and reference my previous post about cyber security/power grid infrastructure. NOT EVEN ONCE did he mention cyber security; the words cyber and infrastructure do not appear even once in the speech's entirety. I understand Obama was likely preoccupied with the more visible problems of terrorism and political cynicism, but crumbling infrastructure and limited cyber security procedures are not problems that tend to go away by themselves. That being said, a place on the final state of the union speech of a president is maybe not the time nor place to brief the nation on a topic that is just barely beginning to get attention. And yet, I can think of no better time or place to inform the voting constituency of America about such an important topic that will require a vast shift in perspective in both the constituency and politicians.

That being said, I will say I found his announcement to take a "moon shot" at cancer with Joe Biden in charge of "mission control" was a bit... much? I understand that Biden lost his son to cancer, but if that was the qualification to leading mission control, we have far too many qualified candidates. All in all, it was a nice speech. I don't believe, however, that a nice speech is what this country needs to turn our position around.

Just my aggressively worded two cents.

Source of sources: