We are citizens. It’s a word that doesn’t just describe our nationality or legal status. It describes the way we’re made. It describes what we believe. It captures the enduring idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations, that our rights are wrapped up in the rights of others, and that well into our third century as a nation, it remains the task of us all, as citizens of these United States, to be the authors of the next great chapter of our American story. Thank you, God bless you, and God bless these United States of America.President Obama, closing out the first State of the Union address of his second term.
When any American, no matter where they live or what their party, are denied [the right to vote] because they can’t afford to wait for five, or six, or seven hours to cast a ballot, we are betraying our ideals. So tonight I’m announcing a non-partisan commission to improve the voting experience in America, and it definitely needs improvement. …we can fix this, and we will. The American people demand it, and so does our democracy.President Obama, calling for reforms to the voting process.This was foreshadowed in a single line during his victory speech on election night 2012 (“we have to fix that”), and as Obama explained, attorneys from both his campaign and that of his opponent, Mitt Romney, will participate in the effort.
…an AIDS free generation is within our reach.President Obama, echoing remarks by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, that medical advancements, prevention and education could usher in a new era, free from the scourge of AIDS.
By the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over.President Obama, delivering a line that drew hearty applause. The Afghanistan War, as demonstrated during the 2012 presidential campaign, is actually an issue on which botht he Democrats and GOP have had some second thoughts in recent years. If and when it ends next year will not elude one dubious distinction, though – it’s already the longest war in U.S. history.
Right now, leaders from business, law enforcement, faith communities, all agree. Now is the time for comprehensive immigration reform. Now is the time. Time to get it done.President Obama, calling for comprehensive immigration reform, subsequently citing his administration’s increase of “boots on the ground” along the Mexican border. He did seek to strike a balance between liberal and conservative dialogues on immigration, however, stating that undocumented immigrants would go “to the back of the line.”