Barack Obama is the most consequential president since FDR. He is the most transformational president in the history of the United States of America. It has been entertaining and amusing to watch media pundits and Reagan worshipers try to minimize the astonishing impact that the Obama Presidency has had on the nation and the world. The legacy of his administration will live on, despite the unleashing of the GOP’s rabid dogs on January 20, 2017. Because of the uncommon intellect, vision, guts and resolve of this man and his stewardship of the American Presidency, our nation has taken action that will define us for decades to come- and there is absolutely nothing that his opponents or detractors can do about it. And deep down, they know it. That is why they are flailing so desperately to muddy the water he walks on as he exits the White House. But I will save you people the suspense on behalf of all progressives: We will never let you twist his legacy with the lies, spin and revisionist history you have been cooking up and serving since the day he took office. Besides, we have the facts and the truth on our side- and fundamentally people are suckers for the truth. Here is a taste for you right now.
Despite unprecedented intransigence by the GOP and the resulting cryogenic freezing of both houses of Congress from 2010 to 2016, Barack Obama placed his seal on America and it can never be washed away. The American auto industry remains at the core of our national economy and identity. It thrives today and will roar into the future because of his determination to save it. The American healthcare system will never be the same as it was before the Obama Presidency- and that is a great victory. The guts and vision that it took to attack this beast right at the top of his tenure is often overlooked but it cannot be overstated. It was a high risk to his presidency before he even got out of the blocks but he took it on without hesitation because he could see the danger lurking ahead if he did not. Health insurance companies were running roughshod over Americans with no accountability for responsible corporate citizenship. Real wages have stayed flat for decades largely because healthcare premiums have continued to rise and wipe out any wage gains working people could make. And to add insult to injury, health insurers could just dump a customer when the customer really needed help the most.
The GOP had no appetite or incentive to intercede on behalf of the people so against great odds and against well-intentioned advice, he dove in. Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act saved lives and slowed the spiraling growth of healthcare premiums across the board. And to top it off, at the beginning of the Obama Presidency, the American economy was in free-fall. The greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression was upon us and panic had set in. Jobs were being lost each month in record numbers and the future looked
bleak. And as President Obama leaves office, America has enjoyed the longest stretch of monthly job gains in history. Unemployment is at its lowest point in 40 years. The markets are at an all-time high. Of course you will find people who will twist and turn and contort themselves until they can find a way to say that these statistics don’t matter (unless of course they help a Republican president and then they are gospel.) This is all in an effort to divest Barack Obama of credit for anything positive. But keep in mind, these are the same people who worship the mythology of Ronald Reagan and know little about the facts of his presidential tenure. (Pssst: Reagan raised taxes and favored amnesty for illegal immigrants, you nimrods.)
So the record is clear. Barack Obama kicked ass as President of the United States. Few have even come close to his impact and he did it all with a combination of class, composure and competency that we have not seen in our collective lifetimes- or maybe ever. But even after taking stock of all of that, the greatest legacy and achievement of Barack Obama is what he did for the children of America- and by extension the children of the world. Because of Barack Obama’s ascension to the American Presidency, the children of America – especially the black children- will see the world differently than any of us that came before them. Barack Obama killed the myth of black inferiority. Because of Barack Obama, children are more likely to see racists and racism as a problem infecting the host rather than a problem for them to fear or overcome. Because of Barack Obama, the children of America no longer have to imagine what it would be like to see someone other than a white man being in charge at the highest levels. Because of Barack Obama, inclusion for all in the American dream is a foregone conclusion for these kids. These children will enter the world with a sense of empowerment because of what they have seen in him. The deranged Trumpists and their frothing racism and anti-Semitism cannot turn that tide- it will only serve to amplify the evil it represents by contrast.
No other president in our nation’s history has had that kind of human currency and worldwide cache. Ronald Reagan could never move nations and inspire generations the way Barack Obama did. That is why he packed stadiums across Europe before he was even elected. No other American candidate for president has ever matched that phenomenon. And despite the breathless romanticism, neither could JFK. It is not even close. Barack Obama represents the very best of what America can be and he changed the world by being elected president. It doesn’t even matter that the nation shamed itself by following him with a man that represents the very worst of what we are as a nation. The Obama legacy is secure and cannot be undone . It will prove to be the most enduring legacy of any American president beyond Washington and Lincoln. The joy that rose up in the hearts of millions of Americans when this man was elected is a thousand times more powerful than any disappointment that may follow in subsequent election cycles- a point we can already confirm is true. Conservatives are bitterly jealous of this dynamic because they will absolutely never experience anything approaching what we have. By definition and by their culture, all they will ever be able to celebrate is more of the same. Hooray, another rich white guy who had a rich white father gets elected. Riveting.
While you are considering that drudgery, explore the wonder in the eyes of the little fellow in the picture at the head of this piece. That wonder is magic. He is all of 4 years old and he knew instinctively that it was significant that the most powerful and famous person that he would ever meet in his life had the same hair on his head that he has- and he asked to touch it just to make sure. By contrast, people want to touch the hair of the new president to see if it is even real- to satisfy a curiosity about whether it is some kind of an elaborate costume. Everything you need to know about how transformational and impactful the Obama Presidency is can be found in an examination of this photograph. God bless the child who has his own- his own president, that is.