I was supposed to write a piece about false equivalencies this week, but fail. What have I been consumed with that I neglected to spend hours reading articles online? Well this week…this week we say goodbye to The Obamas as the first family. And I don’t have words to express how this leaving is affecting me. The closest thing maybe like the series finale of your all time favorite show. You grew up with these characters and you became invested in them and their growth, cheered their achievements, and we for sure discussed them in many a message boards. And now, the network cancelled your show. But unlike your favorite show, you can’t just re-start The Obamas again (unless the Constitution has a heretofore undiscovered Flux Capacitor Amendment).
What are the history books going to say about the last eight years and our steward? Will they lionize him? They damn well better. BUT and dammit, I mean this, BUT don’t lionize him in comparison to the bookends of his story. Specifically, don’t say “Well President Obama was amazing, compared to the politics of -” let me stop you right there fictional idiot. President Barack Obama, believer in hope and change, holds one of the most important places in history. Full stop. But America wants to revert to the time before all this change. Because that was so great…apparently. Well fellow proletariats, it is up to us to make sure that all that OUR 44th President symbolized and achieved is not shredded to bits by people who seem to personally hate him for reasons “unbeknownst” to us.
We know we need to be resilient, and while I play KWS Please Don’t Go on repeat for the next 3 days (DEAR GOD), let us remember the words from the man himself, from around the time when he was first elected. Find strength in his super prescient wisdom*; I don’t think anything this eloquent will be coming from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for a while.
*You can access all the President Obama’s speeches here.
“Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who’s willing to work.“
– Senator Barack Obama on 8/28/08, at the DNC, Denver, CO
“Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House – a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends…though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.” And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn – I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.”
-President-Elect Barack Obama on 11/4/08, at Grant Park in Chicago, IL
“In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted – for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things – some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.“
– President Barack Obama, 1/20/09 at Washington, DC (inauguration)
“No repressive regime can move down a new path unless it has the choice of an open door.”
– President Barack Obama, 12/10/09 at Oslo, Norway (accepting Nobel Peace Prize)
“So we face big and difficult challenges. And what the American people hope -– what they deserve -– is for all of us, Democrats and Republicans, to work through our differences; to overcome the numbing weight of our politics. For while the people who sent us here have different backgrounds, different stories, different beliefs, the anxieties they face are the same. The aspirations they hold are shared: a job that pays the bills; a chance to get ahead; most of all, the ability to give their children a better life. ”
– President Barack Obama, 1/27/2010 at Washington, DC (first state of the union)
“… democracy does require a basic sense of solidarity — the idea that for all our outward differences, we’re all in this together; that we rise or fall as one.”
– President Barack Obama, 1/10/2017 at Chicago, IL (farewell address)
Things Keeping Me Sane This Week: Rashee, myself, Hermioneela (and her mum) are going to the Women’s March on Washington this weekend. If you are going to be there tweet at us (@SILBlog) and maybe we can be coordinated enough to manage a meetup. We want to see your protest signs!