Saying Farewell to an Era: A Tweet from Former President Barack Obama
I only just recently I jumped back into Twitter. As a result I have been aggressively updating the people and organizations I follow so as to stay well informed and gain a more holistic view on the ebb and flow of U.S. domestic and international politics.
Among those added was former President BarackObama. Allow me to be up front with you all, I wasn’t always 100% behind President Obama, in fact, in the 2008 election I voted for John McCain. Since that time my political journey has progressed and changed…and I think I may not have voted the same were given access to a time travelling Delorian.
Regardless of this review of past history. I saw this Tweet from his Twitter feed:
It is a very simple tweet. I find that it expresses a number of sentiments that are highly applicable to today’s events. There is that sense of relief that a great weight has been lifted from his shoulders. There is also that sense of humor and charisma that is what characterized his Presidency. The world of domestic and international geo-politics is a serious affair, yet, the ability to maintain a sense of humor and grace, even in the most toxic of environments is what raises Obama above Trump; whereas today every perceived slight aimed towards the office of the president is taken as a personal slight against Trump himself…lowering the Presidential office and character to the lowest level of schoolyard name-calling and bullying. I’ll be so bold as to assert that this not only degrades the position of the President but also lowers us, as a collective society, to a baser level; catering to our worst instincts. I would also add, that this instinctual desire to “punch first” instead of dialogue and discuss denigrates a proud traditional of open and free discourse on the most important of topics. Regardless of your political leanings, it is important to note that statesmanship and eloquent oratory that elevates people to their best potential has taken a significant nose-dive with the election of Donald Trump.
I have come to appreciate the Obama Presidency and the man himself for what has been done in the period of time sandwiched between George W. Bush and Donald Trump. Of course, there have been policies and actions that I disagree with strongly (some very strongly!), but from an American cultural perspective, I feel that we have made great strides in tolerance, civil liberties, science and the environment and above all…grace. All of which seems to have been pushed to the very edge of the precipice of hate, paranoia and self-interest and may come tumbling down if not monitored closely.
So, we can say farewell to an era; but let’s not forsake it. There have been so many groups of Americans that have been enfranchised over the last year that it would be tragic to see many of their hard won gains unravel in the time it takes to sign an executive order. I wish former President Obama all the best, but hope that his involvement with the Democratic Party continues and hope that his leadership helps to raise the flag for liberals and progressives across the country to become involved as well as serve as a prominent and respected voice of reason in a time where it seems that the United States has somehow lost its mind.