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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Obama addresses the Illinois General Assembly

Obama talks respect between party lines and voter participation

Today President Obama took a visit back home to address the Illinois General Assembly. Armed with a sense of humor to make light of a serious discussion and drive home important points, Obama was in line with the type of legacy he wants to leave behind. If over the years you are as turned off with the political games and the back and forth childish attacks on the sides of each two dominant parties, then Obama's message and vision of what he hopes many state officials would adopt was one that could possibly give you some ounce of hope. A lot of us will not agree with the policies of the Obama Administration and we may go as far to say that his constant nonstop battle with the U.S. Congressional Republicans have not been the ideal model of what bipartision looks like. However, the theme throughout his talk today was about finding common ground between the two parties to be able to get things done for the American people.  He makes several references to Abraham Lincoln throughout the talk also.  Feel free to construct your own assessment of a much needed discussion as I dissect it and provide important elements of the talk. 

"Finding common ground between the two parties..."

"We must create respect between the parties.."

[Elected officials all must focus on and be concerned with] "...passing budgets, educating the kids, making the streets safe..."

Obama joked but was very serious in driving the point of [creating the atmosphere where settling differences must happen] "...to achieve self governance... which is important..." Obama also mentioned how when an elected official agrees with the opposite party that they are usually cruificied by their own party members. 

Obama summarizes how politicians are sometimes convicted and led into making "blanket promises" to their party and consitituents. He states that "blanket promises" on issues such as war, taxes, and unions and businesses; caused the consitituents to ultimately be lied to once the official has made it into office and can't deliver on those promises. Obama says in summary, that [the environment for] "...union and corporate bashing...[has divided the country when in reality America can't function without protection to both the worker and corporation].

"Trends will not change overnight and if they could I would of did it with an executive order" jokingily says Obama

The President ends the talk with two concluding points:

1st Point : "Reduce the influence of money in politics"

"150 families has spent more on this presidential [election] more than some corporations..."

"...voices shouldn't be drowned out by others because of money..."

President Obama proceeds further on this issue by stating in summary that amending the constitution in regards to the money contributions to politics would eliminate the influence of money in politics.

2nd point - "...Rethinking how we draw out our Congressional districts..."

"...unfair boundaries drawn by parties.."

"...[as of a result] fewer or more districts [or fewer or more voters in one area giving a candidate an unfair advantage; in worst cases some candidates has won the election even with less votes] by packing the lines..."

"...politicians shouldn't be able to pick their voters...voters should pick their politicians..." [Very excellent point by the President; definitely something I can agree with.]

3rd Point - "...Increasing voters and modernizing the voting process and system (make it easier)..."

"...make the voting experience better..." [it is truly an outdated system]

"...Illinois has [taken the lead on this by allowing voters the ability to register and vote on same day of election]..."

"...early voting increases...[expand it]..."

"...[a system should be insitituted where it] automatically register voters when they get a DMV driver's license..."

"...[let's focus on increasing] voter participation and experience..."

"...[we need to] eliminate [the mindset of the politician focused only on] short gain..." [Are you the voice of all or just yourself?]

"...[let's] set up a fair system..." [one that respects full voter participation and all candidates on the ballot]

"...[we as elected officials has to change]...[we work with the people]..."

"..our children watches us [as we are insulting, lying on each other, and other childish tactics]..."

"...[let's not only think about how we treat people in public but] how do you treat people generally..."

"...[we as leaders have to start to] live up to the people's expectations..."

"...[let's remember and] act how our parents taught us to act..."

"...insist to do better from each other..."

"...[if] 99% of us voted it wouldn't matter how much the 1% spent..."

"...[we must] insist on a higher form of political discourse..."

"...[representing true] patriotism..." 

"...we are not enemies, we are friends..." Obama's reference to  Abraham Lincoln

Obama finishes the talk by saying "The job of being a citizen in America is something we should revere and take serious..."

"...a house divided cannot stand..." Obama's reference to Abraham Lincoln

"...we can't be a nation of half-slave and half-free..." Another reference to Abraham Lincoln by Obama

Here is a summarized excerpt of how President Obama finishes this talk:

"...[What makes us Americans is that we have launched mighty movements to closed gaps and form the more perfect union]

[We must choose that type of politics where we can reach across the aisle to work to get things done and not one of fear]...Thank you...God Bless America..."

What are your thoughts in regards to this talk by the President in Illinois. Please leave your comments below and share this article with a friend. We must continue to rally forward hold ourselves and the leaders accountable for the present moments and future.

Marcus Hart

Author/Divinity Coach



Follow me on Twitter! @RealMarcusHart

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