Barack Obama’s presidential campaign swept through the nation in 2008. He was elected president, re-elected, and for eight years stood as a highest symbol of American government. Throughout those eight years, Obama’s presidency was scrutinized heavily, with conservatives ready to criticize his words and actions at every turn, and liberals showing their die-hard support for him. Ready to leave office, Obama has a high approval rating of 55%. His presidency focused on rapid change and hope, persevering and unifying the country as the first African-American president.
Yet, all of that seemed to end on Wednesday. Donald Trump was elected president in the wee hours of the morning, and just like that, Obama’s vision of a new America seemed to be shattered. His hypothetical nightmare had become a reality, and his legacy is now in the hands of a man whom he vehemently detests.
For Obama, Hillary Clinton’s election was an opportunity to establish and continue his legacy and promote his ideas of change throughout America, even after leaving office. Obama stressed the importance of voting for Clinton, stating he would consider not voting in this election an “insult to his legacy.” He warned that voting for Trump would go against all progress towards jobs, healthcare, and foreign policy that his administration had made.
His admonitions did not resonate with his supporters. Despite Obama’s active campaigning and support, Clinton failed to receive the votes that had propelled Obama to the presidency in 2008 and 2012. All of the polls preceding election day which had indicated that Clinton would win the election were wrong.
And now, Donald Trump stands with near limitless power to eviscerate Obama’s policies and forever damage his legacy. At his rallies, Trump actively promised his supporters that he would undo all of Obama’s policies. Now, with majorities in the House and the Senate and his ability to appoint Justices to the United States Supreme Court, Trump just may have the power to revoke Obama’s policies.
One of Trump’s first goals is to completely repeal Obama’s infamous Affordable Care Act. The Act, which has become more and more controversial, will not see any of the fixes that Obama had planned on enacting. The rising premiums on health care policies under the Act only bolstered Trump’s argument. Trump also plans to revoke Obama’s executive orders on immigration and issue his own executive orders mandating harsher immigration laws and a deportation plan.
As his signature policies are facing potential extermination, President Obama reassured his supporters that this was not the end. He told Americans that he hopes Trump will succeed.
“This is an intramural scrimmage,” the President stated. “We’re not Democrats first. We’re not Republicans first. We’re Americans first. We’re patriots first. We all want what’s best for this country.”
As Obama spends his last couple weeks in office, his administration is winding down and preparing for the transfer of power to Trump. Despite the deep uncertainty of his legacy, the President’s inspiring words still prove he is a true American patriot.