The president laid out his plan defeat ISIL and some blunt criticism for what the Republican pretender candidates are offering.
After rejecting sending ground troops back to the Middle East, the President said:
It is our responsibility to reject religious tests on who we admit into this country.
It is our responsibility to reject proposals that Muslim-Americans should somehow be treated differently.
Because when we travel down that road, we lose.
That kind of divisiveness, that betrayal of our values, plays into the hands of groups like ISIL.
Muslim-Americans are our friends and our neighbors, our coworkers, and our sports heroes, and yes, they are our men and women in uniform who are willing to die in defense of our country. We have to remember that.
The President reminded the country that freedom is more powerful than fear. President Obama also talked about the San Bernardino shootings as an act of terror, and he repeated his plea for Congress to pass common-sense gun laws.
This address was partially an explanation of his ISIL strategy, but just as importantly, it was also about pushing against the climate of fear and discrimination that Republicans like Trump are attempting to build and exploit. Each of the proposals that Obama urged the nation to reject have been offered by Republican pretender candidates.
President Obama was correct. The Republican pretender candidates are trying to convince the American people to betray our core values. The President addressed pushed back candidates who are trying to frighten people into voting for them.
Republicans are attempting to revive the cynical post-9/11 politics of fear, but President Obama used his bully pulpit to appeal to our better natures. Obama is standing tall, and not about to let the nation that he leads be defeated by fear.