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Some takes on Obama’s State of the Union address

Posted on Feb. 15, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Feb. 15, 2013 at 4:07 p.m.

Correspondent Mark Shephard visited Wakarusa this week and asked, “What’s your take on President Obama’s State of the Union address, and what kind of tone do you think he’s trying to set for the next four years?”

James Parsons, retired missionary, Elkhart:

“You can see how he comes in the chamber, and the people manifest a genuine affection for him, and the way he electrifies the crowd. But by and large I think he’s ignoring the main problem we have, which is the deficit, and that we’re going to have to take steps that are going to hurt drastically. The longer he goes, the more drastic the hurt will be, and we just can’t say we have to do this, because the economy will be affected if we don’t, because definitely it would affect the economy. And the family that spends way above their income will either have to go into bankruptcy or downsize their family economy some to where it hurts.”

Brian Hochstetler, manufacturing parts and services, Bremen:

“I fell asleep, but I saw it on the news this morning. I think he’s trying to get Congress to work together, and that’s what they really need to do. Get something done in this country instead of fighting over it. They’re looking out for themselves. They’re not looking out for us I don’t think. That needs to change in this country. They need to do something about gun control, that’s for sure. Every time you turn around someone is getting shot for no reason. But the NRA thinks that if you take one rule away from them, they’re going to take all the guns away, and that’s against the Constitution. They just need to set some better rules up. You don’t need an AK-47 to go deer hunting.”

Jon Andrews, abolitionist, Wakarusa:

“President Obama has his own agenda, and I think it’s something he believes in powerfully. I did not watch the State of the Union, but I’ve seen YouTube clips and Yahoo and read some press reports. A lot of the tone — I think he’s trying to be encouraging. I kind of have a struggle. We need to be praying for him. We’re called to pray for our president, and we spend a lot more time slamming him. If we spent that time in prayer, I wonder how much of what we want to get accomplished, and what other people want to get accomplished would actually be taking place.”

Danielle Yoder, homemaker and home school mom, Wakarusa:

“I would say that you have to look underneath at what he’s saying to really see what he’s saying. He’s saying all these things won’t cost more money, but I think they will. The tone is idealistic, but I don’t think it’s possible without spending more money.”

Alyssa Diamond, library assistant and food business worker, Wakarusa:

“I think his State of the Union address was pretty forthcoming. I think he really tackled some of the difficult topics and problems we have right now such as gun control. I liked his views for the most part, and I like how he’s been trying to work with both the parties by trying to come up with a plan for the gun control. I think he’s trying to cooperate with all the people and not just be single-minded. I think he tends to be open-minded about gay marriage and everything like that. He’s trying to be more progressive, and trying to see in the long run how much things can get better for all the generations.” Follow-up: What’s your take on the state of the union as it is right now? “I think we have many problems, and I hope he can help us. We have a lot of problems, and we’ve been asked to work together to fix them.”