Obama Inaugural speech hits controversial points


President Barack Obama took his second Oath of Office on January 21, the celebration falling on the same day the nation was honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. Obama took his oath upon both the Lincoln Bible and MLK Jr.’s bible, to honor men he has cited as influences upon his term as President.

President Obama Inauguration Parade

In a day of speeches, song and poetry, the most analyzed speech was bound to be the president’s. His speech lays out, perhaps vaguely, what direction he plans to take with his second term.

Major points of the speech

In one of the first speeches to address the topic, Obama commented on the fight for gay rights.

“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

Also a first for a presidential speech is directly addressing the problem of climate change.

“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path toward sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult… That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure — our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks.”

Obama also addressed the controversial topic of entitlements

“We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future… We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other — through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security — these things do not zap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.”

These were the three biggest parts of Obama’s 18-minute long speech, but issues such as immigration reform and gun control were also touched on.

Response to Inaugural Speech

After the president’s speech, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) responded, citing Obama’s “far left of center inaugural speech” as a return to the era of liberalism. He also said how the speech was not “designed to bring us together.”

McConnell also called the deficit crisis “the transcendent issue of our era” and criticized the president on not addressing the issue in length in his speech.

What did you think of President Obama’s speech? Sound off on the speech below!

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