The last 8 years have been filled with everything from hope and love, to controversy and doubt. This includes economic recessions, the longest streak of job creation in history, and even establishing marriage as a right for all. We would be mistaken to label it uneventful, by any stretch, and all of this took place under our commander in chief, Barack Obama. Obama has most certainly left his mark on American history with his ideologies, and his character. President Barack Obama has set a precedent as one of the most dignified leaders our country has ever had the pleasure to witness. He kept his promise in fighting for the under-privileged, the hard-working and the minorities of America. He represented the kind of infallible character and values that leaders everywhere should strive to emulate. He represented good morals and honest intention to act for the greater good and well-being of the country and all of its inhabitants, minorities and otherwise. President Barack Obama, over the last 8 years, has displayed the traits of the true, idealized “American character.” He demonstrated the diligence, selflessness and humility that America represents, and as individual leaders all over America, throughout the next 4 years, we must all follow these precedents of good will and American values to reinforce the standards that we hold all of our public servants and business leaders to.
Regardless of partisan affiliation, President Obama still deserves credit where credit is due. He was able to mobilize a majority of Americans with his optimism and hopeful view for our future. He was then able, as our president, to pull our nation out of one of the most consequential recessions of our recent history, and restore a battered and broken economy, whilst also managing to preserve a faltering auto-industry. Obama provided 20 million Americans with necessary health insurance, and also contrived a complete and total reform of our healthcare system in the process. He was responsible for the elimination of Osama Bin Laden, and restored diplomatic ties with Cuba. Among these accomplishments, and many more, Obama held office during the supreme court ruling on marriage equality, and repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” More important than policy though, President Barack Obama upheld the basic values of fair treatment and equal opportunity that every citizen deserves, every day that he held office. He upheld and displayed these values that our country was founded and thrives upon, and this is the real reason we are so immensely proud to have called him our 44th president of the United States of America. All of these great qualities were showcased this past Tuesday in his farewell address as our president.
President Obama gave his official farewell address to the nation on January 10th, where he once again exemplified these traits of human decency and integrity that fuel the good will and interconnectedness which makes us the United States of America. He talked about his achievements as president and then went on to cover issues such as race relations, economic inequality and combating terrorism. He expressed his explicit confidence in the young and the active who’s shoulders the future rests upon. President Obama reiterated, as always, his definitive optimism in the bright future of our country, and in the potential for progressives to inspire profound reform in the volatile and flawed political arena of modern day America. He repeatedly assured us of our successes to come, even in light of recent events, because of our extraordinary ability as Americans to recover from tough situations. All in all, this farewell address was the perfect finishing touch to the amalgam of exquisite, genuine orations he has delivered throughout his entire career in public service.
Barack Obama has cemented himself in history as an icon. Sure, he was a phenomenal public servant and made many revolutionary policy changes instrumental to reforming our institutions, but that isn’t the reason why he has become so iconic to so many across the nation. Obama has become this idol simply because of his impeccable character. He is held at this height because of the man he was, how he carried himself, and the ideals and values he held so true to throughout the entirety of his service to the country. Barack Obama has inspired so many across the nation who aspire to greatness, and he lit a fire within them. He set ablaze the spark that burned at the core of our ambitious and hopeful fellow American citizens. People of all backgrounds or political affiliation, of all colors and creeds, were touched and inspired by the hopeful vision Obama embodied. Barack Obama gave our nation a new hope for change, and a new hope for unity and peace. I’m writing this entry as a tribute to the lifetime civil servant, international leader and the decent, humble, well-intentioned man who spoke to all of us, and conveyed his hopeful view of America tomorrow, as an optimistic American.