The Age of Obama

Obama grrove

You will learn in our classes that I have developed a progressive, if not radical, political perspective through the varied experiences of my life. (Returners know this already.)

This is why my friends sometimes make fun of me for my admiration of President Barack Obama. Barack Obama is far too moderate (publicly, at least) for my views. I am much more in line with 2016 candidate Bernie Sanders.  Pointing to this is a recent article I wrote penning an open letter to Barack Obama wherein I ask him to reconsider his views on education to better serve the United States. My points on education–at odds with Obama’s public position, are very much in sync with the more progressive Sanders’s views.

Still, I cannot but marvel at the miracle that is Barack Obama: that a black president would be so successful in a nation still so clearly torn on issues of race–it’s more than impressive: it’s historical.

Which brings us to our first extended discussion topic: the historical significance of Barack Obama as president. Ranking the historical worth and strengths of American presidents is not new; observers like to judge political figures historically. Historians, however, argue whether or not such evaluations are valid. Consider that the IB doesn’t regard any phenomena from the past ten years as “historical.” According to the historians at the IBO, a certain amount of time has to pass and a certain amount of historical literature has to amass before something can be evaluated as history.

Iran Deal

But that’s dumb. So let’s ignore it.

Read this article by economist Paul Krugman. He argues that Obama is one of the most successful president’s in history. Do you agree? What data informs your opinion? Reply to this post or bring up this issue as time in class allows.

1 thought on “The Age of Obama

  1. The final words of Barack Obama’s inauguration address are forever instilled in my memory.

    “America: In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations. Thank You. God Bless You. And God Bless the United States of America.”

    Being a dual US citizen, one cannot help but feel an overwhelming sense of satisfaction and pride when hearing these words. Since 2008, America has undoubtedly advanced significantly and is one step closer to becoming “the land of the free and the home of the brave” once again. Arguably coming off one of the most cataclysmic and catastrophic presidencies in the history of the United States, the nation’s first black president has successfully implemented a series of reforms that have reinvigorated the nation and the economy.

    Once described as the backbone of the American economy, the automotive industry had undergone tremendous hardships and difficulties during the Bush administration. In 2008, the entire auto industry was in disarray. GM (General Motors) and Chrysler were teetering on bankruptcy; layoffs at automobile plants and suppliers almost reached 250,000 workers. The Center of Automotive Research predicted that if General Motors and Chrysler bankrupted, the auto supplier industry would collapse, effectively leading to a 50% drop in production in American based car plants.

    Obama saved us.

    Today, employment rates for carmakers and auto-part supplies are up 250,000 from 2009. In 2011, sales increased 10% for GM, 13% for Ford, and 14% for Chrysler. This can be attributed to the fact that the Obama administration rejected the companies’ first proposals of downsizing the work force and instead advised companies to file for bankruptcy, filling American automaker’s coffers with federal money. Even though it is impossible to know whether or not the auto industry would have fared better without government funding, an unfathomable amount of jobs were saved, and a collapse was avoided.

    Furthermore, Obama’s success in implementing the Affordable Care Act despite heavy resistance from the Republicans can be seen as a victory for all Americans. The ACA has allowed Americans who are uninsured to reap the benefits of a universal healthcare system. No man, woman, or child will be turned away because they do not have health insurance. Denying healthcare to people who need it simply because they do not have the proper health insurance is abhorrent.

    The list goes on and on.

    His administration ended the Iraqi War, killed Osama Bin Laden, reversed Bush’s barbaric torture policies, repealed the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Act”, oversaw the legalization of same-sex marriage, legalized relations with Cuba, eliminated dictators such as Gadhafi, forced banks out of the Federal Student Loan Program, enabled the START treaty, taken steps toward a greener America, increased federal funding and doubled the amount of grant money allocated to students seeking higher education, promoted the allocation of funds for veterans, and is close to ending the war in Afghanistan. The unemployment rate is currently at its lowest since the Clinton administration.

    Beyond all else, the United States of America is a set of convictions. The nation’s whole history has been an effort to preserve these ideals, “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator, with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

    Barack Obama is the embodiment of these convictions and these ideals.

    Thanks Obama.

Leave a Reply to Daniel Fu Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *