Last night, President Obama gave his Farewell Address in his hometown of Chicago. I was painting Baby Brasher’s room at the time, so I livestreamed the audio on my phone. I didn’t want to miss his last address to the nation.
Lasting about an hour, the speech covered many worthy moments of his presidency. Highlights included the Affordable Care Act, gay marriage legalization, killing of Osama bin Laden, and various points on job growth and economic increase. Once these were discussed, President Obama spent a lengthy amount of time reminding us that our country will only prosper if all of us work for it. He reminded us that one person can’t make a country great. He encouraged people of all ages to get involved in their communities, be in constant contact with members of Congress, and my personal favorite, “Grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office!”
The most notable part of his speech was near the end when he recognized his wife, Michelle, his daughters, and the Vice President. You could definitely tell how much he cared for each of those people, and he was sure to make it known that it was his family that kept him going throughout the last eight years.
I thought the speech was incredible and incredibly delivered. I made sure to congratulate him and wish him well on social media. As I looked through social media though, I saw criticism after criticism after criticism. It was depressing and disheartening. And most of the time, the comments spoke negativity of his character as a man. No matter how much you agree or disagree with our outgoing president, no one can deny that there has not been one single instance of a personal/character scandal during his tenure as president. And for that, we can be grateful.
Extremists on both sides of the political aisle tend to forget that before a politician was elected, he/she was just a regular citizen like you and I. We ridicule politicians that don’t think like us as if they are sub-human. During these last eight years, I have seen an innumerable amount of people I know personally insult the president over a policy decision. It’s absolutely outrageous. I wonder how many of those same people would give the same insult to a friend who happened to be on the other side of the aisle.
This is especially true for committed Christians. People out there are watching us. If we are insulting and slandering the president and members of Congress day in and day out, what does that say about our message of eternal hope, unending grace, and undeserved mercy? If I were an unbeliever, I would be turned off immediately. Folks, we have got to watch what we say. And not just what we say…what we TYPE. My parents always had a saying of “Run a lyric through your brain before it comes out of your mouth.” Or you keyboard, or your social media profile.
President Obama loves his wife. He loves his kids. And he loves his country. No one can deny that.