Obama’s Farewell Speech: Salient Answers to Global Issues.

Obama’s
Farewell Speech: Salient Answers to Global Issues.
“Democracy
does not require uniformity”.
Politics is a battle of
ideas
“– Barack H. Obama 10th
January, 2017
Watching
President Obama’s farewell speech on the 10th of January in his
adopted home town of Chicago, Illinois was really emotional; I felt some chills
in my spin when I saw the standing ovation he received when he stepped on the
podium. The densely crowded McCormick Place was filled with overzealous
spectators who could not stop clapping and cheering as the out-going President
stepped on stage. I have a lot of love and respect for Barack Obama, he inspires
me positively and I still remember vividly the first time that I watched him
speak on Television which was at his inauguration on the 20th of
January, 2009.
I
was preparing for my evening tutorial (I was in my second year in school then)
when my dad persuaded me to stay back and watch the event with him because he
did not want to be alone in the house.
Wole wo bi osen so gbo gbo e ni ori, awon ti
wa ni bi i a ma wo ewe ni
which could be
interpreted as “
Wole
look at the way he his saying those words effortlessly, our own leaders would
have been reading from a prepared speech

– My dad noted with absolute respect. Those were the words of my dad and he was
speaking the truth. I have never seen the President read from a prepared speech.
For the records, President Obama’s inauguration is one of the most widely viewed
and massively attended in the history of the United States. This article would
highlight some issues he discussed in that speech and discuss how they will
continue to affect every one of us whether we are American residents or
non-residents, citizens or non-citizens.
*    Democracy
the Outgoing President centred his speech on the
state of Democracy. He noted that;
That’s what I want to focus on tonight – the
state of our democracy. Understand, democracy does not require uniformity. Our
founders quarrelled and compromised, and expected us to do the same. But they
knew that democracy does require a basic sense of solidarity – the idea that
for all our outward differences, we are all in this together; that we rise or
fall as one. There have been moments throughout our history that threatened to
rupture that solidarity. The beginning of this century has been one of those
times. A shrinking world, growing inequality; demographic change and the spectre
of terrorism – these forces haven’t just tested our security and prosperity,
but our democracy as well. And how we meet these challenges to our democracy
will determine our ability to educate our kids, and create good jobs, and
protect our homeland.”
*    Islamic
Radicalization & Global Terrorism-
“That order is now being challenged – first by
violent fanatics who claim to speak for Islam; more recently by autocrats in
foreign capitals who see free markets, open democracies, and civil society
itself as a threat to their power. The peril each poses to our democracy is
more far-reaching than a car bomb or a missile. It represents the fear of
change; the fear of people who look or speak or pray differently; a contempt
for the rule of law that holds leaders accountable; an intolerance of dissent
and free thought; a belief that the sword or the gun or the bomb or propaganda
machine is the ultimate arbiter of what’s true and what’s right. Because of the
extraordinary courage of our men and women in uniform, and the intelligence
officers, law enforcement, and diplomats who support them, no foreign terrorist
organization has successfully planned and executed an attack on our homeland
these past eight years; and although Boston and Orlando remind us of how
dangerous radicalization can be, our law enforcement agencies are more
effective and vigilant than ever. We’ve taken out tens of thousands of
terrorists – including Osama bin Laden. The global coalition we’re leading
against ISIL has taken out their leaders, and taken away about half their
territory. ISIL will be destroyed, and no one who threatens America will ever
be safe”.
*    Climate
Change
– He also acknowledged the challenge of
Climate Change, global warming and their threats to our collective existence.
He stressed that; “
Take
the challenge of climate change. In just eight years, we’ve halved our
dependence on foreign oil, doubled our renewable energy, and led the world to
an agreement that has the promise to save this planet. But without bolder
action, our children won’t have time to debate the existence of climate change;
they’ll be busy dealing with its effects: environmental disasters, economic
disruptions, and waves of climate refugees seeking sanctuary. Now, we can and
should argue about the best approach to the problem. But to simply deny the
problem not only betrays future generations; it betrays the essential spirit of
innovation and practical problem-solving that guided our Founders. It’s that
spirit, born of the Enlightenment that made us an economic powerhouse – the
spirit that took flight at Kitty Hawk and Cape Canaveral; the spirit that that
cures disease and put a computer in every pocket”.
*    Gay
Marriages & Civil Unions
– One of the greatest
achievement of the Obama’s administration was the nation-wide legalisation of
gay rights and civil unions. In the introductory part of the Farewell speech,
he reminded the world of his achievements; “
If I had told you eight years ago that America would
reverse a great recession, reboot our auto industry, and unleash the longest
stretch of job creation in our history. If I had told you that we would open up
a new chapter with the Cuban people, shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program
without firing a shot, and take out the mastermind of 9/11.
If
I had told you that we would win marriage equality
, and secure the right
to health insurance for another 20 million of our fellow citizens – you might
have said our sights were set a little too high”
.
Conclusion
I
will implore my esteemed readers to watch a video of the speech on Youtube (if
you have not done that already). I also appreciate the fact that he
acknowledged and thanked everyone that has contributed to the success of his
administration. The hallmark of a great leader is evident in the understanding
everyone has a significant role to play in their journey to success.
I will miss Him A lot.
Olusanya, Oluwole Sheriff
Oluwole Olusanya
Oluwole Olusanya is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of the fastest-growing lifestyle and entertainment website in the country. He is a banker, writer, blogger, public affairs analyst and a tax consultant. He anchors Trending Topics on SHEFFA where he shares his thoughts and opinions on trending issues. He is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of South Wales, Wales, United Kingdom. He has diplomas in Banking and Finance, Investigative Journalism, Creative Writing, and Linguistics from Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo, Lagos, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland and The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.