On the 20th January 2017, Obama will vacate the White House for the president-elect Donald Trump. While many are quick to despair and dread what terrible things the new occupant may get up to, here at HEKKTA we think it is important to accentuate the positive. Obama has been a brilliant President. An iconic force for change and someone who brought social equality and justice to so many across the world. But also a man who was beloved for his ability to have a laugh and not take himself too seriously. Of course he will be missed, but his legacy in shaping 21st century attitudes of acceptance and tolerance will certainly last on.
The legacy of Obama will be a positive one for sure, but he will be remembered less for the tangible improvements his presidency brought, but the strides he made in changing attitudes around the globe on the topics of race, equality and the environment. Being the first black man to hold office, he was always going to be a figure of change, but this was only the start of the changes he wanted to make. He was a pivotal leading figure in the Paris Agreement which has set up a comprehensive framework to tackle global climate change, which we so desperately need, and he also supported the Supreme Court ruling on same sex marriage. Not only this, but as a father of two girls, a large part of his Presidency was fighting for the rights of women and encouraging girls to be inspired and be inspirational, which could be what we miss most in the next few years.
However, his tangible achievements should certainly not be forgotten. He intoduced Obama Care, which although heavily criticised by some, provided free healthcare for those who couldn’t afford it. Healthcare in the US remains imperfect, but this did strive to change what is a very unjust system. He also authorised the assassination of Osama Bin-Laden, which may not have had too many political implications, but it did serve to repair some of the hurt from 9/11.
But what we believe has made Obama such a different President from those who have come before him is the man himself. A funny and humble family man, who is not afraid to take the mickey out of himself, he showed the world that politicians can be nice, can be likeable and can be (dare-we-say-it) cool. He brightened so many peoples lives just by his caring nature.
He has certainly been a memorable President and memorable for all the right reasons. We shall all be sad to see him leave the White House, but at least we can look back and say “Yeh….Obama was a pretty great President”. Not many leave the White House with such remaining adoration and gratitude. So thank you, Obama.