Obama’s Final State of the Union Showcased What’s Made Him a Great President

Tonight was a bit of a somber moment. It was President Obama’s final State of the Union Address. Where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday I was voting for then Senator Barack Obama. Yet here we are, just about a year away from his last day in office. While the future is uncertain, I don’t hesitate in saying that history will look back upon Barack Obama as one of our best presidents – even if now he is woefully unappreciated.

Tonight’s speech was basically a summary of his time in office, what he expects to do during his last 12 months and what he hopes the future might bring – but it amounted to another reminder as to why I’ve always been proud to call him our nation’s president.

To summarize this speech is fairly simple: It was about hope and the future, which means it goes without saying that Republicans most likely hated it. This wasn’t a speech about how horrible the country is, or how we need to “make America great again.” This was a speech about how American is great and what we need to do going forward to make it even better.

If there’s one thing that stuck out to me it’s that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan hardly applauded anything. Even when President Obama mentioned helping our veterans – nothing. He’s such a preprogrammed prick – a complete coward – that even in many of the moments where partisan lines should have vanished, Ryan couldn’t bring himself to break his pre-planned “poker face” at most of what President Obama said.

This was also a fairly direct shot at a lot of Republican propaganda. It was clear he wasn’t going to let his last SOTU speech go by without hitting back at many of the lies Republicans have been telling the American people for the last seven years.

Above all else, I cannot express how nice it is to listen to a leader speak like an adult. With the next GOP presidential debate on Thursday evening, I’m already dreading having to suffer through a bunch of juveniles standing on a stage and talking tough, seemingly trying to one-up each other on stupidity and ridiculous rhetoric.

What will this speech ultimately accomplish? Most likely, not much. Before he said a word tonight, Republicans were already bashing it. Before he even finished his last thought, they were already trying to put their spin on it to make even more absurd claims. Because the sad truth of it all is, no matter what he said tonight, Republicans were going to bash it. After all, that’s the way the system is set up. That’s why we have the pre-rehearsed “rebuttal.”

While this nation will have plenty of other presidents, many of whom might be great as well, I think it’s important for all of us to realize something: while he wasn’t perfect, Barack Obama was a president who inherited a country on the brink of complete collapse and rescued it. On his watch we’ve created 13 million jobs; cut unemployment in half; broke stock market records; passed a good start on health care reform; found and killed Osama bin Ladin; brokered a historic nuclear deal with Iran; saw same-sex marriage become legal; saw gay Americans finally allowed to openly serve their country without fear; and many… many other amazing accomplishments.

Like I said, while many might not appreciate him now – I fully believe history will look back upon this president as one of our nation’s greatest.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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