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.
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.