Last night, I watched Barack Obama deliver his farewell speech, ten days before Donald Trump takes office as the new President of the United States of America. I can’t believe I just typed that. The crowd chanted “FOUR MORE YEARS” and I wish it was a possibility. President Obama said:
“Yes, our progress has been uneven. The work of democracy has always been hard. It has been contentious. Sometimes it has been bloody. For every two steps forward, it often feels we take one step back. But the long sweep of America has been defined by forward motion, a constant widening of our founding creed to embrace all, and not just some.”
He kept things classy; when he said that “in 10 days the world will witness a hallmark of our democracy,” the crowd began to boo. He urged them to stop, saying that the peaceful transfer of power will occur, just as former President Bush did for him eight years ago.
President Obama said that he left the stage even more optimistic than when we started. “Let me tell you, this generation coming up — unselfish, altruistic, creative, patriotic — I’ve seen you in every corner of the country. You believe in a fair, and just, and inclusive America; you know that constant change has been America’s hallmark, that it’s not something to fear but something to embrace, you are willing to carry this hard work of democracy forward. You’ll soon outnumber any of us, and I believe as a result the future is in good hands.”
President Obama asked us to believe, but not in his ability to bring about change. He asked us to believe in our own ability. “I am asking you to hold fast to that faith written into our founding documents; that idea whispered by slaves and abolitionists; that spirit sung by immigrants and homesteaders and those who marched for justice; that creed reaffirmed by those who planted flags from foreign battlefields to the surface of the moon; a creed at the core of every American whose story is not yet written. Yes, we can. Yes, we did.”
Re-reading this amazing speech brings tears to my eyes once again. I am terrified of what is to come once Donald takes office. This is a man who has no idea what he is doing. He is appointing people who want to tear apart all the work that President Obama has done in his years in office. This is a man who is grossly unqualified for the position he is about to fill. Can you imagine Donald delivering the speech that Obama did? Neither can I. He can’t do it.
I am trying to believe. I am trying to have hope. But it’s difficult to see when we’re losing a fantastic President and replacing him with a bloated orange sack of hot air. Donald got elected because he knew how to rile up a crowd. He could say the right things to incite a riot, and people bought into it. The American citizens elected Hillary Clinton, but the system elected Donald. And now we’re stuck with him for the next four years, unless an impeachment occurs and succeeds.
I am a woman. I am a minority. I support LGBTQ+ rights, am pro-choice, and am everything Donald hates in a person. This is a punch in the gut to know that we’re going from such a classy President to one who is simply an ass.
Half of the country voted this circus peanut into office, but I hope that they realize their mistake and take President Obama’s advice. We have a voice. We have the power to change things. We don’t have to sit back and try to survive the next four years; we can speak out and take action and do our best to keep this train from derailing. We have to. America won’t survive if we don’t. I’m absolutely terrified, but I have half the country on my side, and together, we can and we will bring about change. In all sincerity, thanks Obama. Your shoes are impossible to fill and you will be missed more than you know.