If you’re a fan of eloquent presidential speeches then you better enjoy this one, because you won’t be hearing another for at least four years.
Barack Obama gave his final speech earlier this morning (SA time) in Chicago, and as you can imagine it was a rather emotional affair.
Admitting candidly that political discourse has soured under his watch, Obama demanded that Americans renew efforts at reconciliation.
“Democracy does not require uniformity,” Obama said.
“Our founders quarreled [sic] 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”…
“Democracy can buckle when we give in to fear,” he said. “So just as we, as citizens, must remain vigilant against external aggression, we must guard against a weakening of the values that make us who we are.”
Obama also appealed for a degree of understanding between those who may stand on opposite sides of the political spectrum:
He called on African-Americans and minorities to view with empathy “the middle-aged white man who from the outside may seem like he’s got all the advantages, but who’s seen his world upended by economic, cultural, and technological change.”
And he urged whites to regard the protests of minorities as a fight “not demanding special treatment, but the equal treatment our Founders promised.”
“Regardless of the station we occupy, we have to try harder,” Obama said. “To start with the premise that each of our fellow citizens loves this country just as much as we do; that they value hard work and family like we do; that their children are just as curious and hopeful and worthy of love as our own.”
Keen to catch a case of the feels? Here’s the moment he spoke about his family and the waterworks were switched on:
President Obama tears up while talking about Michelle Obama “You’ve made me proud, you’ve made the country proud” pic.twitter.com/Qx21LnoRQb
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) January 11, 2017
Spare a thought for Melania at this time.
Here’s something of a highlights reel, cut down to closer to 16 minutes:
And the full address, if you’re in for the long haul:
Cheers Barack – your performance reviews are a mixed bag, but in years to come you may find people starting to appreciate your work just a little more than they do at present.
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