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.
Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote. The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence – they deserve a simple vote.President Obama, urging congress—more specifically, the GOP-controlled House of Representatives, to put his gun control proposals to a vote.
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.