Thursday, January 12, 2017

Another Historic Speech in Chicago and Sloop

While some will argue about whether or not President Obama delivered on his aspirational and transformation vision he campaigned on back during the 2008 campaign - especially given the current political environment - it can't be argued that he is an exception role model on many, many fronts.

History will tell us what Obama meant to our nation and where his presidency stacks up, but thinking back to where we were 8 years ago, we are still struggling to really comprehend the old political adage - are you better off now then you were back then?

Statically, it seems like a resounding yes (hello global economy collapsing in 2008/2009?).  Personally, I would say i'm better off, but not sure about you?  Guess that's subjective to your own thoughts.

But as a nation, I'm unsure.  This past election opened my eyes to something I never really questioned - how fragile is our country and our democracy?  It's something that Obama warned about in his speech last night (via ChicagoTribune):
The address presented a dichotomy of Obama's traditional attempts to inspire optimism while also warning his belief that democracy was showing signs of gradual erosion. He cited perceived dangers that include rising income inequality, growing racial tensions, fear of terrorism and a fracturing of media that allows people to exist in their own political preference "bubbles" to hear what they want to hear regardless of fact or science. 
If anything, the speech demonstrated that while Obama is leaving the White House, the 55-year-old president is not headed to quiet retirement amid one-party Republican control of the nation, a controversial successor in the White House and a Democratic Party that finds itself in disarray and without focused leadership.
I didn't vote for Donald Trump for many reasons.  But he won and at this point, I'm hoping I was wrong about him and he is successful.  Like many, I have extreme doubts on many fronts.

But I heard a quote from Elon Musk that for whatever stuck with me.  When asked about the election way back in May of 2016 at Code Conference he said he wouldn't discuss specific candidates but that it was good that the founding fathers ensured that the president was "captain of a large ship with a small rudder".

While I hope Musk is right, it's scary to think that I'm actually questioning that sentiment.

Anyway, glad the neighborhood was able to host another historic event for Chicago's president.  Sad to see him go...but he's a young dude - he'll make his presence felt for a long time.

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