Welcome to this week’s issue chat! This week we will be discussing President Obama’s legacy and how he will be remembered. Will we look back on these eight years with fondness or say good riddance?
A Poor Legacy
By Shamus Fisk
Obama’s presidency is now officially over. Now the question begins: Was Obama a good president? Now, of course, both far sides of either political party will swear he’s either the country’s savior or Satan. However, overall, Obama’s approval ratings were right on par for a second term president.
He ‘supposedly’ lowered unemployment. I feel many people just dropped out of the workforce. He executed the orders to kill Osama Bin Laden, improved gay rights, and even developed a nationwide health care system. The last milestone being the biggest of many controversial issues Obama has been connected to.
Even with these accomplishments, Obama has been the single most detrimental adversary to the people’s rights as a whole since President Hoover. He made sure you have no protection against the invasion of privacy from any government agencies. He added on to the Patriot Act with the Freedom Act. This assured government agencies, like the NSA, would be able to peer into your life with no cause for the next decade or so. The only way we learned about the full extent of the loss of our privacy was from whistleblowers like Edward Snowden.
Obama fueled the flames of hate groups like the BLM movement and Black Panthers. This caused casualties of the supposed race war on both sides. Not even a decade ago, we wouldn’t have even considered race a major problem in this country. The word ‘racist’ is now used throughout the left as a whole to deflect anybody who has opposing ideologies. We have become a country of name calling and childish actions.
Genuine discussion within this country under Obama was not allowed to flourish. Name calling was the go to action within the left, and yes, even the right. If you are against the established rule, you are considered a discriminant to society. Free thinking was not truly allowed to flourish under Obama’s regime.
Obamacare has given a handful the ability to pay their medical bills, although for most the actual payouts have yet to occur. If you do not pick up health insurance, you are penalized through taxes. Many people cannot afford these penalties. Ironically, Obamacare has sent some families even deeper into debt. Instead of the 44th president going after the insurance companies and derailing the cornered market they already own, Obama instead simply put his name on an insurance policy and drove us closer to a socialist state.
He took your right to privacy, tried taking your right to bear arms, and forced you to buy from companies in a free market. He belittled our space program with massive budget cuts, destroyed foreign policy and weakened our world image. The education system is worthless, and he allowed the snobby shriveling brats of far left academia to flourish. This is Obama’s Legacy.
A Glass Half Full Legacy
By Tayler Houston
Hey folks, I’m back again in the Devil’s Advocate position as the closest thing to the Left we have on staff. That means I am here to defend President Obama’s legacy! So sit back, relax, and enjoy watching the Managing Editor of a conservative newspaper defend Obama. It should be quite entertaining. Without further ado, let’s go!
When President Obama took office eight years ago, the United States found itself in the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression. Is the economy today roaring along like World War II just ended? Of course not, but then again, World War II did not just end. It’s about time we realized that and quit longing for the past when conditions were “so much better” than today. The largest minority in this country could barely even vote in the 1950s. Things were not better than they are today. We live in the most peaceful and progressive time in world history. My stocks are rolling along great, and my fiancée found a job within a month of graduating college. I’m going to go out on a limb and say the economy is performing just fine. Checkmark for President Obama there.
I am going to please ask all conservatives reading this to finish the entire paragraph before you kick me out of the party. Obamacare was not a bad idea. I know, it hurts to hear it, but it is true. Many people in the United States live without healthcare. This leads to worse outcomes and shorter lifespans for lower class Americans. Read Our Kids by Robert Putnam if you do not believe me. The stats in that book certainly changed my mind. These Americans need our help and absolutely need healthcare.
Therefore, in principle, Obamacare was not a horrible idea. However, in practice, Obamacare failed because it is too inefficient and costly. By no means does this make Obama a failure. He merely started the process of getting every American healthcare. The design and implementation will undergo changes during the terms of many presidents to come, but universal healthcare will always be Obama’s legacy. That is a good thing.
I have to agree with Shamus completely on the privacy issues. It is a shame Americans continue to lose rights to the government. However, President Obama did not pass the Patriot Act or start the excessive use of Executive Action that bypasses Congressional oversight. He simply carried on the policies of the Bush administration. The erosion of privacy rights began under President Bush. President Obama dropped the ball on restoring those rights. I agree completely with that statement. However, it is unfair to say he took the rights away. Rather, he failed to return the rights already taken.
I disagree completely with the notion that President Obama caused a greater race division in the country. The man is the first black president in the history of the United States. Did anyone really expect he would condemn black Americans who protest against police brutality? Come on, man. He is a legend for all eternity in the black community, right alongside MLK and Malcom X. Expecting him to not push for black rights is like expecting the Pope to suddenly become Methodist. It ain’t happening! He had to push for black rights because of what he stood for. His election signaled to black Americans that they really could do anything. I will never understand how some people see that as a negative for race relations.
The deterioration of race relations coincided with the rise of President Trump and his disparaging marks about women and minorities. Yes, the constant talk about diversity and equality can get tiring. However, I will bet many of us miss it if Trump continues to talk down to those that are not like him. Did President Obama do everything right? Hell no. But, he performed his duties admirably and with class. He always seemed presidential. His legacy will be mixed for sure. But, I believe it will be remembered as a glass half full, rather than a glass half empty.
Let us know how we did in the comments. If there is an issue you want to hear about next week, drop it in a comment as well. Thank you for reading and supporting The Volunteer Review!