As he proclaimed "Yes, we can!" to the awestruck audience, wiping away tears of sadness and gratitude, hugging his beloved wife and "brother" Joe Biden, the United States witnessed the end of yet another President's term. But I'm sure many would agree with me in saying this is the end of an era, because although Obama's approval ratings were mediocre throughout his presidency, his policies and commitment to the American people have had a significant impact on our country during the last eight years.
I find it quite unfortunate that I've never been interested in politics, especially during one of America's most politically charged periods ever. I did not fully appreciate the fact that Obama became our first African American President, nor have I grasped the implications of a Trump presidency. Despite being ignorant about politics and the political system in general, I felt compelled to write this article, simply because Obama has been President for nearly half of my life. As an American citizen, I owe it to him to recognize his accomplishments as well as his failures during his time in office, and acknowledge the humbling way in which he delivered his final address.
As I listened to Obama's speech, it became apparent how crucial the concept of democracy is in the United States. He emphasized the idea that, rather than him leading us and exercising his power, we the people held that power in the form of our views and decisions. As long as democracy, which is the primary pillar upon which this nation was founded, survives, Obama believes the future of America is bright. Even with Donald Trump as the President-Elect, Obama has faith in the choices U.S. citizens will make, and aims to have a peaceful transition of power, as Bush did for him in 2008.
Recent political events, and now Obama's departure from office, have inspired me to become more educated regarding American politics. Whether directly or indirectly, the decisions Congress and the President make affect me, and so it is my responsibility to understand how they affect me. More importantly, I have political freedom and the right to vote, and I should have a general idea of what's occurring to exercise my rights in a proper manner.
For now, though, I just want to commend President Obama on serving the country for eight years; years that took away the color of his hair, but not his amiable and passionate nature. It was an honor having you as my President, and I hope you take a well-deserved break. Once again, congratulations!