President Obama gave an address to the American people from the Oval Office last night—for only the third time during his presidency.
The topic of last night’s address was to discuss the recent terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, the deadliest attack on American soil since the September 11th terrorist attacks. Obama took the podium to quell American fears in what many pundits and policymakers saw as a political stunt with little to no substance.
Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer said of the speech,
“As to the substance and tone, I think it’s a complete failure. The substance, he announced nothing new on strategy on the ground, except he argued against ground troops, which is a political point.”
Congressman Peter King said of the speech,
“The truth is that the Obama policy against ISIS has failed totally and his speech totally failed to address or correct that failure! Nothing he said will calm the fears of the American people.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan said,
“What we heard tonight was so disappointing: No new plan, just a half-hearted attempt to defend and distract from a failing policy.”
Krauthammer, Congressman King, and Speaker Ryan hit the nail on the head. Many Americans were looking for a clear strategy on how to defeat ISIS and to declare war against radical Islam. Instead he turned the speech into a political posturing in a response that was less than reassuring. Probably the most stunning political statement of his speech was the idea that somehow gun control would’ve prevented this attack and that sweeping gun control legislation will keep guns out of the hands of terrorists who seek to kill innocent people.
Calling for stricter gun control laws just doesn’t seem sensible when combating true evil. Why should we render ourselves defenseless when lives could be saved? Mass shootings and acts of terrorism are pure evil and the intent is to kill. What we need is a strategy to eradicate this evil rather than tossing a political football. The speech seemed to focus more on what America won’t do to combat terrorism rather than what it would do.
What America needs right now is real leadership, something that our current president severely lacks. In order to destroy ISIS and violent extremists we need to have a comprehensive strategy, one that defends the homeland. One has to wonder who the president was speaking to last night because a new CNN/ORC poll shows that Americans are increasingly displeased with Obama’s lack of strategy. The poll also show that 53% of Americans say that United States should send group troops to fight ISIS, something that president stated he was clearly against. Overall, 60% say the United States military action against ISIS is going badly—a stark contrast from what the president believes.
Yet, what the American people got last night wasn’t a military strategy but the pushing of the left-wing agenda, an attempt to prevent law-abiding citizens from owning a firearm. In Obama’s eyes the real threat America faces are people who take the second amendment seriously and learn to safely handle a firearm and defend themselves.
One could make the argument that there was stronger rhetoric on law abiding citizens who carry a firearm than there was on radical Islamists waging a war to destroy America and the freedoms we stand for. Their end goal is to destroy us but yet Obama can’t define our enemy. It seems that in Obama’s political correctness he makes exceptions when it comes to the second amendment taking the opportunity to slam those who believe strongly in their right to arm and protect themselves and to characterize them and the organizations that represent them as the enemy. Only if Obama could take a stand against radical Islam and terrorism rather than on Americans with a differing ideology.
Last night’s address showed that we are going to continue employing the same failed strategy rather than re-evaluating and developing a new one. President Obama said, “The threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it,” but how? The threat is evolving and yet there has been little to know change in our plans to eradicate terrorism. If anything, Obama’s address last night sent a message to ISIS that we have no strategy, a very dangerous position. America is supposed to be the leader of the free world, a beacon of hope, but if our allies were looking for us to take a stand against terrorism last night they were sure to be disappointed.
We are at war and it’s about time we start acting like it.