To the editor: In this politically charged, critical election year, President Obama's final State of Union address was largely nonpartisan; most poignantly, it addressed the broken political system in America. ("Looking to the future in his last State of the Union, Obama rekindles a familiar refrain: Hope," Jan. 12)
Even the staunchest critics of Obama would have to acknowledge that the national unemployment rate is much lower than what the president inherited in 2009 and that the United States is an island of stability given the grim global economic situation.
Above all, the peace-loving world looks toward this country for leadership on important issues.
The biggest takeaway from Obama's speech is that regardless of which party wins the White House in 2016, unless we fix our country's divisive political climate, shared progress in America is only a dream.
Atul M. Karnik, Woodside, N.Y.
To the editor: Obama's speech was more of the same talking points that we've heard from this fabulous orator over the years.
He criticizes the Republicans over global warming and congressional opposition to his policies, but at the end of his speech he calls for civility. He tells us the economy is great, yet we have the lowest labor participation rate in a generation, and inflation-adjusted wages have shrunk under Obama.
He touts his abysmal agreement with Iran just as it was holding 10 of our sailors. America is the most powerful nation on Earth, he asserts, just as video shows U.S. military personnel being taken captive
I guess it's all perception. If you're a Democrat or someone who has just returned to Earth after seven years, you'd think the president had done a fabulous job. If you're a Republican who looks at facts, you can clearly see his failure as a leader.
Rick Kern, Incline Village, Nev.
To the editor: I listened to a rational, soulful Obama Tuesday night and tried to imagine seeing Donald Trump on the same stage. It was almost a religious experience: On the one hand was Obama, and on the other was the anti-Obama.
I thought about the type of person I want to represent my country; it was no contest. Thank you, Mr. President.
Joel Pelcyger, Los Angeles