President Obama will deliver his State of the Union message Tuesday night. What might he say to inspire and move the nation forward?

Tonight I want to offer my vision for America and a new American dream.

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(a) The new American dream should include a strong family, enduring values, excellence in education, dependable and affordable healthcare, secure employment and secure retirement, and a safe and prosperous homeland.

(b) My vision for America is people have jobs. The way you create jobs is to get businesses who provide the jobs to make it more likely that they are going to start a business, grow a business, buy equipment, build buildings, commercialize the results and grow jobs.

(c) Let's start right now by recognizing this is not a time for celebration. This is a time to roll up our sleeves and go to work. We can celebrate when small businesses are creating jobs again.

(d) We are fighting a war in two countries and we're in a global struggle with violent extremists who despise us, our values and modernity itself. If we are to succeed, we must rethink and rebuild the structure and mission of our military; the capabilities of our intelligence and law enforcement agencies; the purposes of our alliances; the reach and scope of our diplomacy; the capacity of all branches of government to defend us.

(e) The war on terrorism will not be won in a single battle. There'll be no dramatic surrender. There'll be no crumbling of a massive wall. But we'll know it. We'll know it as accountable governments continue to develop in countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan and Iraq. We'll know it as terrorist attacks throughout the world decrease and then end and we save lives.

(f) Our environment can be protected while we increase energy production, encourage greater efficiency and conservation, and promote the development and use of alternative fuels, and innovative new technologies

(g) Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could awaken a national sense of priority for the arts, a national sense of appreciation and participation in all 50 states? I hope you will join me over the next two years in these efforts so that two years from now we will look back and say that we have not just changed the attitudes about curriculum, but we have changed the future of America by building bridges and opening doors.

(h) Let us now move forward humble in our demeanor, steady in our principles, and dedicated to proving worthy of the trust and confidence that has been placed in us. If we brace ourselves to do our duty, and to do what we say we are going to do, there is no telling what together we can accomplish for the good of this great and honorable nation. More than a country, America is an idea, and it is our job to pass on to our posterity the blessings bestowed to us.

Thank you.

Or, perhaps President Obama will have a better vision for the country than what we've already heard in these verbatim passages from: (a) Mitt Romney, 2007; (b) Tim Pawlenty, 2010; (c) John Boehner, 2010; (d) John McCain, 2007; (e) Rudy Giuliani, 2004; (f) Mike Pence, 2010; (g) Mike Huckabee, 2004; (h) John Boehner, 2011.


©2011 Peter Funt. This column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons, Inc. newspaper syndicate. For info call Cari Dawson Bartley at 800 696 7561 or e-mail [email protected].

Peter Funt is a writer and public speaker; he may be reached at, he's also the long-time host of "Candid Camera." A collection of his DVDs is available at