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State of the Union Address

Billy Vue

Mar 8, 2024

On March 7th, 2024, President Joe Biden gave the annual State of the Union Address. This one is especially important, because the Presidential election is held later this year, and voters may refer back to this speech in order to better gauge their favored candidate. 

The State of the Union Address is an annual speech or message from the President to Congress (and America) about the current issues and problems that the nation is facing and provides the President’s take on solving them.  

Biden opened with the foreign affair that is Ukraine/Russia. On the issue, Biden stated, “Ukraine can stop Putin, if we stand with Ukraine and provide the weapons they need to defend itself. That is all — that is all Ukraine is asking. They’re not asking for American soldiers. In fact, there are no American soldiers at war in Ukraine, and I’m determined to keep it that way.”. He expressed his support for Ukraine and assured the Americans that our troops would be kept out of the battle. 

Throughout the address, Biden takes several digs at former president, Donald Trump. Biden never actually mentions the name, “Donald Trump”, but instead, refers to him as, “My predecessor”. Biden felt the need to address the January 6th insurrection, stating, “We must be honest. The threat to democracy must be defended. My predecessor and some of you here seek to bury the truth about Jan. 6. I will not do that.”. 

One of the key political components that Biden stated his opinion on, was abortion. Biden stated, “Many of you in this chamber and my predecessor are promising to pass a national ban on reproductive freedom. My God, what freedom else would you take away?”. He also gives a specific example where abortion benefitted a woman by the name of Kate Cox and mentioned the overturning of the Roe v. Wade landmark case. Biden made it clear that he is pro-choice. 

Biden then goes on to boast about the growth and thriving of the economy, stating, “Folks, I inherited an economy that was on the brink. Now our economy is literally the envy of the world. Fifteen million new jobs in just three years — a record, a record. Unemployment at 50-year lows.”. Under the Biden Administration, the unemployment rate has always been kept to a minimum, recovering after all the COVID-19 layoffs. 

Part way through the address, Biden was heckled by a man, later identified by the name of Steve Nikoui. The man interrupted the speech by yelling out, “Abbey Gate” and “United States Marines”. NIkoui was the father of a fallen Marine, who was killed by a suicide bomber in the Abbey Gate military base in Afghanistan. Nikoui was removed from the room and later arrested. Biden refused to acknowledge Nikoui, but was noticeably tripping up over his words, as Nikoui persistently interrupted. 

After that whole ordeal, Biden brings up taxes and the state of the social classes. “I want to talk about the future of possibilities that we can build together, a future where the days of trickle-down economics are over, and the wealthy and biggest corporations no longer get all the tax breaks.”. He informed the people of this ideal, where everyone does well. “That’s why I determined to turn things around so middle class does well. When they do well, the poor have a way up and the wealthy still do very well. We all do well.”. 

Education was next on the list, with Biden stating, “I’m also connecting local businesses and high schools so students get hands-on experience and a path to a good-paying job whether or not they go to college. And I want to make sure that college is more affordable.”.  

Towards the latter half, Biden mentions climate change, and makes bold statements regarding it. Biden claims, “I’m taking the most significant action ever on climate in the history of the world. I am cutting our carbon emissions in half by 2030. Creating tens of thousands of clean-energy jobs, like the I.B.E.W. workers building and installing 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations. Conserving 30 percent of America’s lands and waters by 2030.”. Those are bold claims, but the fight against climate change needs something like that, it needs us to be bold. 

Near the end of the address, Biden addressed the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, by saying, “I’ve been working nonstop to establish an immediate cease-fire that would last for six weeks to get all the prisoners released — all the hostages released. It would get the hostages home, and ease the intolerable humanitarian crisis”. 

Through the address, Biden was able to convey his thoughts and solutions to the current issues that the United States faces. Having said that, Biden is 81 now, and re-election would make his Presidential term last until he is over 86 years old, by far (nearly a decade) older than any other sitting President in the history of the United States. This address was the first major step taken by the current president in his run towards re-election. 

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