An interesting way to teach American History would be to have the students read each of the State of the Union addresses, starting with George Washington's first. What students would mainly learn would, hopefully, was to not put too much stock in the opinions of a single politician, even if he is the President of the United States. [for the record, I have read only a limited set of these addresses, notable those I included in my Internet Biography of Andrew Jackson.]
In four years we will know how much of the objectives outlined in Barack Obama's speech have been achieved. Probably little.
What we already know is the 2013 State of the Union speech failed to inform Congress or America of the State of the Union. It was filled with misleading statistics, political hype, digs at the Republicans, meaningless tales of individual Americans, and just plain obfuscation. President Obama wants some good things: more confidence in the private sector, resulting in more jobs; world peace (without sacrificing American power or imperialist loot); a higher minimum wage; more careful Federal spending. He even wants both more natural gas production and less global warming. But wanting things is the easy part. We all want to have our cake and eat it too. That is why we are not a nation of savers.
The word "bank" is not mentioned in the speech, except for "food bank." That is a pretty funny thing. Compare Andrew Jackson's speeches, which almost always had something to say about banks. What's wrong with this picture, Mr. President? Could not 90% of the problems of "middle class" Americans be summed up in one word: banks?
His speech provokes the Islamic faithful, which means we must continue to spend more money on bloodshed, or leave the Islamic nations to work out their own fates. "And we will stand steadfast with Israel in pursuit of security and a lasting peace." Which means the private property of the Palestinians will not be returned to them, nor will damages be paid. So the prior sentence, "but we can -- and will -- insist on respect for the fundamental rights of all people," is just a bold-faced lie. The oppression of women in Israel, Ireland, Saudi Arabia and numerous American allies will be overlooked, but used to justify murder with drones in Pakistan, Somalia, Iran, and other states not buckling under our imperialist demands.
As to good jobs, the President wants to fill them with immigrants: "real reform means fixing the legal immigration system to cut waiting periods and attract the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers." Perhaps the President should be required by the Constitution to report on his campaign donations. Then we would know what policies he will pursue.
Getting $9 per hour will not make anyone "middle class." Thirty years ago, even, $9 an hour would not have made a person middle class. Why won't the President use the term "working class?" There are a lot more working class American citizens than middle class ones.
History has shown their is only one sure way to make working class Americans middle class. Unionize them, and use the power of the union (One Big Union, united to seek fairness for all) to take, not just higher wages, but a fair share of capital and a majority share of decision making power. But the state of union organizing is not mentioned.
Nothing about clear cut forests from sea to shining sea. Nothing about mountaintop removal. Nothing about overpopulation. Nothing about reproductive rights.
Nothing about the rapid proletariatization of the work force by robots and artificial intelligence. No honest talk about foreign policy or the destruction of the American economy by the imperialist military budget.
Nothing about the Obama policy of closing down marijuana clinics in states where they are legal; nothing at all about the effects of U.S. recreational drug consumption on crime in the U.S. and in Mexico.
Mr. Obama just proved again that he is a very good political campaigner, but can't settle down to actually governing a nation with liberty and justice for all.
Of course Democrats will find much to love in the speech, and Republicans will find much to hate. Again, illustrating what George Washington and other Founders foresaw, that the party system would be bad for America. That is why political parties are not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution.