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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Rachel Pott
Rachel Pott
News Writer

I am a marketing major about to start my second year at Northern Michigan University, however, this will be my third year in college. I previously attended a small community college...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

SENIOR SPOTLIGHT — All five Wildcat seniors start in Saturday game against Concordia St. Paul.
WLAX defeats Concordia St. Paul, honors 5 graduating seniors
Chloe Everson April 19, 2024

Obama Blues

Thanks Obama. Seriously, thank you. Apart from the Olympics and quadrennial elections, I don’t consider myself to be the most patriotic citizen. However, watching your farewell address and inauguration interactions led me to a somber yet sobering conclusion: I’ll miss you man, but dammit do I love democracy.

If this is my version of a shout-out track, then let it extend to the entire Obama family, administration and fellow Americans who generated and witnessed history over the last two terms.

Like most NMU students, I’m the product of the Clinton and Bush presidencies, but have intimately known only one president; I’ve matured into political consciousness with President Obama. Now, when I reflect on Obama’s time in office, I cry like Joe Biden being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Political hashtags and Biden memes aside, I think we owe Barry a genuine thank-you for his dedication to progress, principle and passion. Don’t get me wrong, the last eight years have been a potpourri of executive and congressional rigidity, but no presidency is perfect. You may frame the 44th president’s time in office as less than ideal, but we can all agree that Obama has left behind a legacy rooted in empathy and humbleness.

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Hopefully, President Trump follows this precedent. I understand the challenges transferred to the 45th president; a bipartisan congress and country held in social and racial tensions is intimidating.

But herein lies the allure of American democracy: no matter one’s political affirmations, nor the creeds sponsored by a previous president, we as a people can unify to love or to hate, and stimulate change. Trump may ratify policy, or catalyze protest, but for me, Obama lingers by reaffirming my belief in democracy and morality.

Let us not frame Obama’s time in office and Trump’s succession as negative, but as the positive confirmation of our democratic narrative. We may not continually endorse a president’s conduct, but we functionally uphold democracy as the institution by which we identify with as Americans. If you disagree with modern elections, or political efficacy, I encourage you to not underestimate the will of Americans to initiate amendment, and unify to uphold independence.

At the center of Obama’s campaign messages were the promises of change and hope. We’ve beheld the transcendence of these from pledge to policy. In one sense or another, we’ve all benefitted from the Obama administration. Education, health care, foreign affairs and social justice have been ratified in the most favorable way for Americans. If you disagree, that’s totally legitimate, and the virtue of our ability to practice self-government.

Maybe I pedestalize the former first family like Americans once did with the Kennedys, albeit we observed presidential character through dad jokes in speeches, shooting hoops with diplomats, and tweeting about politics. Obama has been a president with countless firsts, and perhaps a few lasts, but his legacy will never disappear from our history, nor our hearts.

Two weeks into Trump’s freshman year of his term, I’ve got the Obama-blues. Most of all, I’m going to miss the poise, gentleness, and normalcy of the Obama family. Obviously, I’ve fallen for their appeal to millennial minds, and if possible, I would vote for a third term.

But again, democracy checks my desire, and imparts a reason for me to stay politically active, and ultimately, patriotic. So, here’s to President Obama: thank you for serving as a source for inspiration, fusion, and rectitude. Yes we can; yes we did.

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