What You Missed From Obama’s Address To The Nation

President Obama addressed the nation yesterday in a 14 min segment where he presented the latest US steps in the fight against global terrorism. Now everyone will get you to focus on the military actions Obama decided to undertake in order to cripple ISIL and downgrade their military capabilities, and that’s great, but we’re here to bring something else to your attention.

Obama’s speech gets really interesting at the end, when he reminds everyone what a leader should really focus on. It’s not how many guns you have that makes you powerful, it’s not how many fighter jets you can send across to Iraq. It certainly isn’t how much firepower you can blast over a country. It’s about how you appeal to people, what you stand for, and most importantly, how much you care.

See, Obama is a great orator, yes, but there are things you simply can’t fake. He saids:

America, our endless blessings bestow an enduring burden. But as Americans, we welcome our responsibility to lead. From Europe to Asia, from the far reaches of Africa to war-torn capitals of the Middle East, we stand for freedom, for justice, for dignity. These are values that have guided our nation since its founding. Tonight, I ask for your support in carrying that leadership forward.

What makes Obama great is, unlike other leaders, not the fact that he is focusing on how brilliant the US is, but rather on how great its responsibility towards others is. See, if I was a president and shit was going down in the Middle East, I would go around showing  how big our big balls are, telling the world how powerful we are and playing the captain America card, you know, George W. Bush style. But interesting enough, the humbling perspective Obama brought on is something much to admire.

When we helped prevent the massacre of civilians trapped on a distant mountain, here’s what one of them said: We owe our American friends our lives. Our children will always remember that there was someone who felt our struggle and made a long journey to protect innocent people.

The US should measure its greatness by how many people it helps, by how much positive impact it spreads. Having a military jet sent all the way over to help distressed innocents in the middle of nowhere is much more admirable than building the fastest, biggest and sickest empire out there.

Obama summed up everything great about the USA, and everything a true leader should strive to uphold in his closing remarks:

That is the difference we make in the world. And our own safety, our own security depends upon our willingness to do what it takes to defend this nation and uphold the values that we stand for — timeless ideals that will endure long after those who offer only hate and destruction have been vanquished from the Earth.

That’s the kind of leadership we want, that’s what the USA was founded on. After all, that Nobel peace prize was well deserved!

Here is the full speech:


Photo Credit: CNN