(CNN) -- "My fellow Americans..." So goes the familiar refrain associated with the State of the Union speech. But I-Reporters put a new twist on the president's annual traditional address, letting their imaginations drive them to create something altogether different.
Will Meyer of New Paltz, New York, gets out his guitar to sing his State of the Union ideas.
Readers pulled out their cameras, got out their guitars and in one case impersonated former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina to show what they think of the political state of the nation. Results were sometimes surprising.
Below is a small selection of the written responses we received, some of which have been edited for length and clarity.
Gary Spray of Lukeville, Arizona
Again it is time for the United States to recognize and shoulder the responsibility that comes with being the leading nation of the world's countries.
Incumbent with this position and its responsibilities is the requirement to share the burden of stabilizing the world's economy by maintaining and supporting the value of the currency of the United States; the U.S. dollar. This, more than any other financial "tweaking" will greatly aid in re-stabilizing the U.S. economy and the world's currencies.
Tiffany Hines of Beaufort, South Carolina
My fellow Americans,
I greet you tonight as we are on the crossroads of history....
Some of you tonight are worried about losing your job to a foreign worker. Many of you are trying to find a way to hold on to your home and are faced with having to start all over.
You see the rich get richer and you are tired of being left behind! Some of you are on your third or fourth tour in Iraq and your family needs you. The generation that gave us so much has to choose between their prescription medications and their groceries.
It's time that we invested in our future. Our children, our future and we cannot afford to put our greatest resources into them.
That means better teachers and THAT means better pay. I say to my fellow Americans we must make a change. The time is NOW!
We will once again have a thriving economy. We will have more jobs, affordable housing, and affordable health care. We will make greater advancement in technology and science.
Its time for us to come together and show the world what a free nation is all about! America will once again lead the way and we will leave NO ONE BEHIND!
Barbara Ortega of Mesquite, Texas
There should be NO tax rebates for anyone. What should happen is cut back on the taxes being withheld from our checks. Tax rebates are not fair if people who pay NO taxes receive rebate checks. Unfair to those of us who are forced to pay taxes every year!
Also, NO MORE free services to the illegals. MUST BE LEGAL TO GET ANY BENEFITS. Our social systems are being drained by these illegals. STOP IT!!
Make ENGLISH our Official language ... and STOP using taxpayers' dollars to pay for translators and paying for documents printed in Spanish also.
Make these changes and it would sure help the financial issues of this country.
The government takes way too much money from the hard working people and gives to the illegals who are here. We could save billions of dollars if you STOPPED giving to the illegals as our government has.
The illegals want to be here and the employers want to hire them. FORCE the employers to either make arrangements for their employee's papers to make them legal, or let them go.
Time to take our country back!!
Anita Wolmetz of Boynton Beach, Florida
If I was president I would definitely do something about health care. It is disgusting that a rich country like ours has money for everything else but not health care for the middle class. I would also do something about bringing jobs back here and stop out-sourcing. The minimum wage is also disgusting. I would like to see the people on Capitol Hill live on those wages. This country should have been doing something about energy many, many years ago. How are the middle class supposed to drive to work making the wages they are making and spend the money on gas and live? We borrow billions of dollars for Iraq but isn't it a shame that we do nothing to help the poor people in Africa who are dying from aids, starvation and being murdered? Is it because they have no oil, etc.? Speaking of oil, where is all the Iraq oil going? If I was president I would make sure that all military people and family who are in Iraq are taken care of financially and medically. How is that for starters?
I am now listening to Bush on TV and someone has written great words, but that's all it is. I personally cannot wait for him to leave office.
Joan Lewis of Sturgis, South Dakota
I have always believed in President Bush involving Iraq. Saddam Hussein should have not have killed as many people as he did. I'm glad he is out of Iraq and out of everyone's lives. I'm glad he is dead. I have family and friends who had to travel to Iraq for the war in several branches of the military and not one of them felt that they were there for no reason. They all felt that they were fighting for a just cause. Tonight he said that we are pulling 20,000 troops out of Iraq, which means to me we have made several strides in the right direction. The Iraqi people are starting to help themselves and become self-sufficient. I believe in Bush. I always have and I always will. I hope that one day we will not live in a country of Democrats and Republicans, but rather a country of AMERICANS! One nation under God!
Uriah Odell of San Antonio, Texas
The State of the Union is not well. No higher taxes? For income tax, sure, that is great. But why not just a simple penny tax so important programs do not have to be shut down? Just a simple one-penny-per-transaction tax that would go to the government. Think about how many transactions are made throughout the day in America. How much would one tiny little penny help? One little copper Lincoln can do so much for so many things. But do I see that happening anytime soon? Absolutely not. I see the Union as being in a very sad place, a place where no one thinks they matter. I have to quote a great, great man when he said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country!" The words of John F. Kennedy should echo through our great nation now and for generations to come, and we should fix our country ourselves. E-mail to a friend
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