Dan Rather always has carefully considered thoughts to share on the American political system. This time he has given us an amazing analysis of Obama’s farewell speech.
You can watch the speech here:
Rather began by reminding his audience that whether they like Obama or hate him, he was definitely a unique president.
Whatever you think of the presidency of Barack Obama, and I know there are many who think of him as one of our greatest presidents and others with a distinctly differing opinion, I think we can all safely say he was unlike any man who has ever occupied the office of President of the United States. And I cannot imagine anyone quite like him in the future.
Rather continued by noting the Growth he saw in Obama during his presidency. When Obama optimistically came into the office he believed he would be able to solve the problems of the country. After 8 years of republicans fighting him rather than trying to help the country, Obama has a different outlook, but he never lost his class or grace:
Tonight we saw a man of dignity, chastened by the reality of Washington and speaking in the shadows of a presidential election that leaves his legacy deeply threatened and seems to still be spiraling into uncharted territory. This was not the young Senator who bounded upon the world stage with unbridled optimism in a belief we could easily overcome all that divides us. This was a man humbled by experience, but still summoning a deep faith in the basic strength of our democratic traditions. He spoke of the accomplishments of which he was most proud, but he then shifted into a remarkable stretch where he highlighted all the challenges ahead. He almost sounded like a candidate for office, undoubtedly frustrated by the forces he felt were arrayed against him.
He spoke deeply about race, the undercurrent that coursed beneath his presidency as it has through all of American history. He spoke sympathetically of white Americans who feel worried and marginalized, but he then turned forcibly to a sense of all the racial progress left to be done and an inclusive outreach to immigrants. It was one America, perhaps without some of the naivete of his famed speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention. It seems to me that this will be his message going forward, combatting what he called the “great sorting” of self-isolation according to cultural, region, religious, and ethnic lines.
Knowing that Trump will be taking over soon, and that Trump in known for rejecting science and facts (for example: global warming is a Chinese hoax), Rather points out the resounding applause Obama received when mentioning that “science and reason matter.”
One of his biggest applause line was that “science and reason matter.” He spoke passionately about his worry for a nation that increasingly assigns the notions of “facts” to partisan battle. And his section on climate change, the shamefully ignored issue of the last election, was particularly strong. It was a section that resonated with me personally, a belief that science and reason must be the path forward for our nation to thrive and prosper. It echoed a quote I just saw from Thomas Jefferson: “In a republican nation whose citizens are to be led by reason and persuasion and not by force, the art of reasoning becomes of first importance.”
Rather finished by suggesting that Obama’s work is not yet complete.
How will history judge this man and his tenure is a question none of us can fully answer. It depends not only what has happened but on what has yet to occur. And I suspect President Obama will have a hand, a strong hand, in shaping this destiny.
Lou Colagiovanni of Occupy Democrats says, “The United States, its people, and the entire world will be lesser off without Barack Obama as the president. He came into office on the wings of the worst presidency in decades. The entire world’s credit markets were frozen, the global economy was in freefall, and the United States was losing over 700,000 jobs every single month.”
Obama not only stopped the economic disaster put in motion by the Bush administration, he also led the country through years of economic recovery, job growth, and record highs in the stock market. His health care reform allowed millions of previously uninsured people access to medical care. The U.S. did drop over 26,000 bombs in 2016 under his leadership, but he has also done a lot of good for this country.
Let’s hope that Trump’s presidency will not be as bad as it seems like it will be.
(Article by Jeremiah Jones)