An Analysis of President Obama's Speech

Topics: United States, United States Constitution, President of the United States Pages: 2 (583 words) Published: March 31, 2014
Obama reveals the purpose of his speech in the opening line. He chooses the first sentence from the preamble of the United States Constitution, that states, “We the people, in order to form a more perfect union.” He uses these words to capture and reframe the purpose of the Constitution for the purpose of his speech. The constitution, he says, was “stained by this nation’s original sin of slavery” (3), the underlying root of inequality and division in America. Obama says that the Constitution provided the “answer to the slavery question . . . a Constitution that promised its people liberty, and justice, and a union that could be and should be perfected over time” (4). He says, however, such proclamations on paper were unfulfilled: “And yet, words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States” (5). He goes on to account for those who chose to protest and struggle for civil rights: “What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part . . . to narrow the gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of our time” (5). This sets up his reasoning for his campaign for president, which is also the purpose of his speech: I chose to run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together – unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction – towards a better future for our children and our grandchildren (6). His message is simple: only together can we move forward with our differences toward a more perfect America. The stories that each of us have form the fabric of this country, and “ . . . that out of many, we are...
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