Extra Credit: Does the State of the Union Ever Really Change?

January 28, 2014 was the first time I ever watched the State of the Union Address. (Actually, it was also the first time I heard Obama give a speech) But that’s not relevant. What I really wanted to say was how amazed I was at the fact that I was not bored out of my mind while watching Obama deliver it. It was actually quite interesting.

But listening to all the promises of improvement in America made me wonder: How different, REALLY, are all the State of the Union Addresses? Do some problems ever really get fixed?

So I went on a search on the Internet to find out: Does the State of the Union Ever Really Change?

Here are the main points of Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address:

  • Arguments in government about over proper size of federal government
  • Budget/deficit problems
  • Creating new jobs
  • Economic Foundations/ Average wages
  • Strengthen Middle Class
  • Children’s Education
  • Technology race
  • American Energy/ Independence
  • Oil/Gas/Natural Resources
  • Women Rights
  • Healthcare
  • Pensions/Financial Security
  • Foreign Affairs
  • The veterans/men and women fighting for America

I then looked up Bush’s 2007 State of the Union Address, and found the main points of his:

  • Budget/financial affairs
  • Economy
  • Healthcare
  • Children’s Education
  • Immigrant workers/Workers/Jobs
  • America’s Energy Supply (gas/oil)
  • Technology
  • Foreign Affairs

Are these starting to sound familiar?
I went further and looked up the State of the Union Address of the most recent time period we discussed in class: 1900

  • Foreign Affairs
  • Natural Resources (of the West)
  • Industries/Jobs/Businesses
  • economy/bonds/Treasury
  • Manufacture in America
  • Growth of industries
  • Rights of humans/citizens
  • Growth of new technology (postal service, etc)

Seem familiar again?

There are many topics of problems that come up again and again no matter how many years have passed. Although exact details differ (for example, 2014’s State of Union Address “Rights of Citizens” are more centered toward women about things like equal pay, but 1900’s was about the treatment of foreign citizens), the basic idea is the same. Perhaps it says something about the human race: That no matter how many laws are passed, and no matter how much the government tries to change something, some problems are just rooted in the deepest part of the human species, and therefore unavoidable.

Works Cited:

Obama,  Barack H. “State of the Union Address” 2014 State of the Union. Capitol Building. Washington, D.C. 27 Jan. 2014. Address.

“Obama’s State of the Union 2014 Address: Transcript.” CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 28 Jan. 2014. Web. 28 Jan. 2014.

“President Bush Delivers State of the Union Address.” The White House. N.p., 23 Jan. 2007. Web. 30 Jan. 2014.

“William McKinley (December 3, 1900).” Infoplease. Infoplease, n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2014.


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