A Post Obama Presidency: What’s In Store For Us Next?
As I watched President Obama officially hand over the reigns of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to now-Candidate Hillary Clinton at their convention this past July, the looming reality of Mr. Obama’s presidency coming to an end finally hit me – and hard. The November elections will soon be upon us. Not since I first started watching political conventions as a child in elementary school, has the outcome of an election seemed quite as scary and unpredictable. Not even during the turbulent 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, when thousands of Vietnam War protesters (mainly U.S. college students) clashed with police outside the convention hall, chanting “peace now” and “the whole world is watching,” have things felt so unsettling!
Yes, I know that countless people have expressed their unprecedented horror at the mere possibility of a Trump presidency: from the Pope, to a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, to leaders of Trump’s own party, as well as many of the Heads of State of our allies. And thankfully, that list also includes the majority of voters in this country – at least according to recent polls.
So, what makes this election seem so scary? Well, unfortunately, an equally unprecedented number of voters have only been giving lukewarm support to Mrs. Clinton. Many of these Democratic Party members have said they plan to “vote against Trump” it’s true. But my main concern is what might happen if something comes up on Election Day, making it less convenient for these lack-luster voters to actually follow-through and vote?
I won’t go into reasons for the Clinton lukewarm support – at least not in this post. But what if the weather turns bad on Election Day in enough states? What happens if the car won’t start or the babysitter doesn’t show up until late? What if voting for enough of these voters means having to stand in long lines because of personal delays or getting stuck in rush-hour traffic on the way home? How easy would it be for these lukewarm supporters to tell themselves that everyone else will vote, and that it won’t make much of a difference if they stay home? What if enough of them think their vote won’t matter at all because nobody wants Trump to win? What then?
As anyone who knows me will tell you I’m an eternal optimist. I’m confident that I will personally make myself shake off my current apprehension eventually and I will replace my current feelings with something more positive. Because I know that “thoughts create things” I’ll pull myself together at some point. I’ll make an all-out effort to encourage everyone I know to vote in November, just as I did in 2008. I would urge you to do the same – the stakes are just too high to do otherwise. And after all, during his inspiring speech at the convention, President Obama made it clear that he was well past all the competitive political tension that was created in 2008, when he and Hillary were adversaries. And since he’s over it, I guess those of us who have been holding onto much of that primary season’s less than savory incidents might as well let it all go too.
But what becomes of us after Hillary is (hopefully) elected? I don’t know about you, but I’ve gotten used to having a president who has kept WE THE PEOPLE at the forefront of his mind. And as close as it’s been humanly possible, he has seemed to represent ALL the people. He has kept us up-to-date on the inner workings of the executive branch of government throughout his administration, taking “Government in the Sunshine” to a whole new level with www.whitehouse.gov. Our current president has been so proactive that most people still don’t seem to be aware of the bullet we dodged during his first years in office. He was so smooth in rescuing us from the impending economic mudslide he inherited from the previous administration. Over the years, President Obama has done more than his part to help make it easier for us to live together peacefully, giving us better opportunities to earn enough to provide decent food and shelter for our families, and to raise our kids in a safe environment. He has protected our freedoms and our abilities to pursue happiness, to be creative, to be educated, and to be allowed to go as far as we can go in life.
So, the question is whether all this will end after Obama leaves office? The answer: only if we stand by and let it happen. The biggest takeaway for me in watching the Junior Senator from Illinois – a Black man no less – come from out of nowhere to become the President of the United States against all odds is – “Yes We Can!” We can demand more from our elected officials, not less. We can make sure they keep moving us forward, not backwards; and that the people we elect take steps to protect our planet from further abuse. We can elect a do-something Congress instead of a do-nothing Congress! Perhaps that will be our gift from Donald Trump on Election Day.
President Obama’s advise to us is to organize at a grassroots level to make sure our needs are met, and to me that seems the only way we might ever keep our politicians honest. Yes we can! And we should! We should learn more about what we all have in common, and we should demand that our needs are met.
We, the People, will never be defeated! That’s what I think…how about you?