Last night President Obama gave a sentimental farewell address at the McCormick Place in Chicago. In his address President Obama stated his continued belief in self-government:
“It’s the conviction that we are all created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s the insistence that these rights, while self-evident, have never been self-executing; that We, the People, through the instrument of our democracy, can form a more perfect union.”
President Obama laid out many of the obstacles he has overcome during his last eight years in office. How he “reversed” the great recession with 75 months of consecutive job growth, the Iran nuclear deal, the killing of Osama Bin Laden, and the passing of the Affordable Care Act.
During his speech, Obama laid out a plan for America to keep our democracy strong through the economy, education, race relations, and healthy political debate. The President spoke to America on how to fight intolerance and to defend all. President Obama did downplay race relations over his tenure as President, however, made mention that during his time in office one on one relationships have improved.
Throughout the speech, President Obama urged America to continue the plight of democracy not just in America but to lead throughout the world.
“That’s why we cannot withdraw from big global fights — to expand democracy, and human rights, and women’s rights, and LGBT rights. No matter how imperfect our efforts, no matter how expedient ignoring such values may seem, that’s part of defending America. For the fight against extremism and intolerance and sectarianism and chauvinism are of a piece with the fight against authoritarianism and nationalist aggression. If the scope of freedom and respect for the rule of law shrinks around the world, the likelihood of war within and between nations increases, and our own freedoms will eventually be threatened.
So let’s be vigilant, but not afraid. ISIL will try to kill innocent people. But they cannot defeat America unless we betray our Constitution and our principles in the fight. Rivals like Russia or China cannot match our influence around the world — unless we give up what we stand for — and turn ourselves into just another big country that bullies smaller neighbors.”
At one point President became emotional and wiped the tears from his face. At the very end the President made reference to his original campaign slogan eight years ago “Yes We Can!” and ended his speech “Yes We Did”.