In order to know where we are going, we have to know where we have been. Nearly four years ago, we were propelled into the delusional world of Donald J. Trump who stated, “I went from a very successful businessman, to top T.V. Star, to President. I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius...and a very stable genius at that.” This “stable genius” lies without remorse and systematically attempts to dismantle everything that his predecessor achieved. This stable genius has the moral compass that at best, is questionable. And I won’t spend a lot of time talking about it because we are witnessing his implosion on a daily basis at each press conference. Oh, how I miss president Barack Obama. No man is perfect, but Obama demonstrated brilliance, empathy, integrity, and honest compassion for the American people. I remember a person asking me, “What did Obama do for black people?”
As we live in this pandemic, I want to rephrase the question, what did Obama do for US? What did Obama do for the people of the United States of America? In President Obama's eight-year reign he named the most diverse cabinet that has ever served the United States government. Under President Obama the high school graduation rate for our country hit 83.2%-the highest that it had ever been for this country. And the tens of billions of dollars that used to get paid to the banks for writing student loan programs, are instead redirected to go to Pell Grants to help people go to college who otherwise could not afford it. When President Obama assumed office in 2009, our country was in an economic nosedive, spiraling into an economic chasm; the unemployment rate had hit a whopping 10 percent.
However, in the final year of his term, the unemployment rate had pared down to 4.7 percent. Under President Obama, the federal prison population had declined for the first time in decades where the number of sentenced prisoners in federal custody fell 5% (or 7,981 inmates) between the end of 2009, Obama’s first year in office, and 2015. By contrast, the federal prison population had increased significantly under every other preceding president since 1981- Ronald Raegan had a 78 percent prison population increase during his eight years in office, George H.W. Bush had a 39 percent prison population increase during his four years in office, Bill Clinton had a 56 percent prison population increase during his eight years in office and George W. Bush had a 32 percent prison population increase during his eight years in office. And how much do you want to bet that minorities were the majority population?
Under President Obama homelessness among American veterans dropped by half, during his term in office, President Obama appointed two dynamic women- Associate Justice Elena Kagan, and Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina ever appointed to the United States Supreme Court; under president Obama an executive order was signed on LGBTQUIA+ job discrimination, under president Obama our country’s dependence on oil plummeted, and under President Obama same-sex marriage became legalized. He also indisputably saved the U.S auto industry- reorganizing GM that had paid their bailout money and now American automakers are among the largest, most profitable car companies in the world. And to top it all off, President Obama arguably saved MediCare by making MediCare solvent-allowing people to pay their debts-by slowing down the growth of healthcare costs. On the night of November 5, 2008, when Obama had sealed his historic victory over John McCain, it was a monumental feat for African Americans.
I saw grown men and women weap. The shedding of tears signified years of struggle that we had to endure and overcome, but despite the tremendous strides we have made, the journey of equality continues. We cannot lose all that we have gained, we must vote in mass. Four more years of a Donald J.Trump presidency will destroy democracy as we know it. The concept portrayed in the movie “Hunger Games,” will no longer be a fictional movie but a non-fiction based reality, where the poor will get poorer and the rich will get richer. People will die because of a lack of accessible healthcare. I am not trying to scare you, I am just being honest. We must step up and do our duty as citizens of this country and vote this man out of office so that we can begin the process of restoration and recovery that our country so desperately needs. To quote the man who is considered our forever president,
“Having leaders who are informed and honest and seek to bring people together rather than drive them apart… matter.”
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