Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Certain Sadness of a Soon To Be Forgotten Man

All eyes now are focused on America's tomorrow. Many thinking it likely bright; others frightened by its possibilities. Regarding our tomorrows, of course, in the end only time will tell. But less open to question, and being given relatively little thought, is the end of he who once was seen by many as The Great Hope: Barack Obama. And that fact, while understandable -- and perhaps well deserved -- strikes me still as rather, well, sad, Unlike every previous President, Barack Obama will not upon leaving office be grabbing a carriage, taking a train, or flying out of Washington DC to somewhere else -- to a true "home." No, Obama is staying in Washington. And even there he is said to have no real friends. Sycophants he has had aplenty, of course. Just being President assured that. But friends? Or even people who look to him for his wisdom and experience? It is generally agreed, of these he has, really, none. (Thus his need to so often sing his own praises and "toot" his own horn.) The sadness of this goes way beyond the sadness of, or for, the man himself. No, it is the sadness of lost promise and promises. For just eight years ago so many people had so much hope. For President Obama as a man, and for the promises he was making And now we just need look at the world -- or, really, even, at just our own nation -- and we cannot help but see how empty those hopes and promises proved to be. Other presidents, too, left office without great honor. Richard Nixon comes to mind. But in truth his -- Nixon's -- list of accomplishments was quite large. -The EPA. A major reduction in nuclear arms proliferation. Greatly improved international relationships -- such as those with China. And this list could go on. But Obama's main "accomplishment" -- Obamacare -- forced through without anything but single-sided support -- is seen as a failure. And, many say, was doomed to be that failure from its very start. This because of poor design, and by its having been built on even then known falsehoods. And thus with its -- Obamacare's -- crashing failure we see Obama's own, personal, failure as well. Yes, as he boldly told the nation after it elected a congress hostile to his further acts, he had "a phone and a pen." But nothing beyond that. No wisdom. No actual vision. No real accomplishments. Nothing that unites -- only that which divides. And so all that follows him is... emptiness. Like the sound of a hollowed out log. Yes, I, as do so many, wish to put both President Obama and his entire era behind me/us -- to be forgotten as quickly possible. But still, with our doing so, there is -- there should be and there has to be -- a certain sadness. -For the greatness that so many looked and hoped for, but for which we must now look to another.To possibilities -- those of unity, prosperity and peace -- that so many yearned for -- but that still remain far out of reach. I, like many I suspect, will rarely think of President Obama once he has left office. But, thinking about it, that itself is a sad, sad thing. So, yes, a new tomorrow dawns. It, quite properly, has our full attention. But Obama, even now (it seems to me) deserves a moment of silence. For he who promised so much -- and left behind so, so little.


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