President Obama speaks progressively at inauguration

The 2013 presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C. Photo by Matthew Del Corral.

President Barack H. Obama’s second term has taken form after his swearing-in ceremony on Monday at the Capitol with affirming Democratic stances on gay rights, climate change and immigration reform.

Chief Justice John Roberts formally swore in the president and vice president on Sunday. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday shared the public ceremonial inauguration with the reelected president as well as the nation’s politicians and about 700,000 other audience members according to the Chicago Tribune.

The president’s speech geared toward a more progressive plan this term compared to four years ago. His positive attitude throughout the speech grew stronger with the “Obama” chants of the crowd. The full transcript of Obama’s speech is available at The Washington Post’s website.

“I was moved when President Obama advocated for further equality,” said Stephanie Oakey, a WCU political science and international studies student. She attended the inauguration with her sister on her own accord to be involved in the historic event. She said his agenda holds pressing issues for this generation, and she hopes that we persevere and make the necessary changes to allow our nation to strengthen and grow.

Matthew Del Corral, Megan Smith and Andy Miller at the 2013 inauguration. Photo by Matthew Del Corral.

“I do not think the president’s speech was more progressive or liberal than four years ago,” said Matthew Del Corral, another WCU student who attended the inauguration with his friends. With the fiscal cliff crisis calming down, Obama “will be able to address the social issues that the country is calling for,” Del Corral said. One of those issues is immigration. A close friend of Del Corral could be affected and is excited for the revisions on the Deferred Act. He said that they now, “could have a chance of achieving the ‘American Dream’ for themselves.”

Obama urged the U.S. citizens to seize the moment together to proceed the change America is undergoing and to lead the ingenuity of the nation’s sciences. He continued to expound on controversial topics that could change America’s history.

Gay rights

“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law,” said the president, “for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

Immigration reform

“Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country,” President Obama said.

Innovation on climate change

“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult, but America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it,” said Obama.

As the war in the Middle East has lasted over a decade, it is coming to an end. Obama said he would continue to support states with the desire for freedom and democracy. He said he would continue to protect and keep our children safe as the gun laws change.

“Our journey is not complete,” President Obama repeated several times in his speech. Through his journey in the White House, he has many issues and many challenges on his agenda to overcome. His speech alludes to a hard road ahead, but will persevere in hopes that his policies will pass and that his legacy in office will carry on.