“You may call me a lame duck president as no one listens to me anymore”, Obama was at his witty best at the start of his farewell speech. Attended by thousands on his followers, Obama made an emotional appeal to fellow Americans to “strive to hold democratic values”. “Our Constitution aim of attaining complete equality is yet to be realised”, said Obama. Amidst slogans and cheering crowd shouting “Four more years…Four more years”, Obama, unlike earlier, couldn’t stop the crowd from doing so.
“In another 10 days, America will witness a hallmark of our democracy”, quoting this, Obama said he promised and ensured smoothest possible transition. Obama, when he started 8 years ago, promised to bring change in the system. Praising his fellow americans and recalling his achievements, Obama, though emotional, strongly emphasised on the need to to more. From curtailing the spread of ISIS, to reopening ties with Cuba; from bringing back economy on track to brining unemployment to an almost 10 year low; bringing affordable healthcare to curtailing Iran’s nuclear missions, Obama has every reason to cheer the people there. “We cannot grow at the cost of growing middle class”, saying this, Obama emphasised the need for a more inclusive development.
Though there were many indirect jibes taken at the next president Donald Trump, Obama refrained from any direct references. Earlier in his final interview, Obama confessed “Raising troops in Afghanistan” was his toughest decision he as ever taken. Boasting his security and military achievements, Obama claimed there were no terrorist attacks in USA. Social and gender equality was given primacy under Obama presidentship. One of the greatest and radical social reforms include legalising gay marriages. “No country can ever influence others as much as America”, Obama made indirect references to the assertive China and its growing nexus with Russia.
Talking on sustainable development Obama said “Denying climate change betrays future generations”. Obama has been a strong advocate of green world and was on the forefront during the paris global climate change summit. USA has, in the lat 8 years, reduced its dependence on foreign countries for fuel, rather it has increased domestic shale gas production. However USA still faces criticism for having polluted the world so far, and still denies historic contributions to pollution. Obama’s speech was focussed more on imparting democratic values. Obama’s vision of bringing world trade on a single platform by way of TPP and TTIP, is currently under threat, thanks to Trumps radical rhetoric of cancelling multilateral deals.
“I am honoured to be your commander in chief”, Obama thanked the serving military forces. “Democracy can buckle when we give into fear. We must be vigilant against external aggression. From the past 8 years, I worked to fight terrorism on more legal footing. We’ve ended torture, closed Gitmo, formed our laws protecting privacy, ensured less discrimination against muslim americans, who are as patriot as any other american”, Obama energised the crowd with his efforts to put America first.
Concluding, Obama thanked his wife Michelle and his two daughters for being with him throughout. “The best decision I have taken is by nominating you”, Obama referred to his Vice-President and an all-time great friend, Joe Biden.
“You made me a better person. Yes. We can. Yes, we did, Yes, we can!”
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