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The farewell of Barack Obama

February 27, 2017
Cindy Wang Cornelia Connelly HS  10th Grade

Cindy Wang Cornelia Connelly HS
10th Grade

During president Obama’s farewell address, he summed up his eight years of accomplishments and the direction the country is heading today. He believes the next president in America will have a smooth and orderly transition of power. Also, he gave a great thanks to Americans for helping make the country and himself better. Mostly, however, he focused on immigration and democracy.

Racial issues are still a problem, but they have improved a lot over the past 20 or 30 years. He pointed out that politics is simply a contest of points of view. But if each political group does not have some social consensus, doesn’t want to understand new information, doesn’t want to admit that the opponent’s argument is reasonable, and is not willing to think rationally through scientific arguments, then no consensus will be reached. He said: “America is a better place than when I took office. Change only happens when ordinary people get involved, get engaged, and come together to demand it. It is the beating heart of our American idea.”

That is an American idea!

His speech was inspiring to me. Our constitution is a remarkable, beautiful gift, but it is really just a piece of paper. It has no power on its own. But we give it power with our participation, and the choices we make, whether or not we respect and enforce the rule of law. Obama also encouraged people to follow through on their thoughts and ideas, not just post them on the internet. As he said: “If you are tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try to talk with one in real life.”

He also used humor, which helped the audience connect to his message. He said things like “If you need fixing, lace up your shoes and do some organization. If you are disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures and run for office yourself. Show up. Dive in. Persevere. Sometimes you will win. Sometimes you will lose. But continue do it.”

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