Peace Out: Farewell, President Obama

Amer Rashid

As a particularly tumultuous election comes to a close, it is important to review the pros and cons of the outgoing president at the end of his term, especially in terms of economic and foreign policy. So let us take a look at President Barack Obama. 

  President Obama will undoubtedly be recognized as one of greatest presidents.  His successes are reason enough.

 Since President Obama has taken office, the national unemployment rate has dropped more than 6 percent fromwhere it was at the start of his term. There was a record-setting streak of consecutive months under President Obama of private sector job growth (now up to 78 months of economic expansion), and stocks have rebounded from a Dow Jones Industrial Average Great Recession low of 6,622 to hovering around 18,000 since August.  

The national deficit has been cut more than half since 2009 while expanding health insurance coverage.  Even while advocating for greater social programs, such as Obamacare,  governmentspending has decreased 3.3 percent annually under the President’s terms, the lowest rate since Eisenhower’s presidency.  

We also currently have fewer soldiers, sailors, and airmen in war zones than we did at any time within the past 12 years.  

These are just some of Obama’s successes as President. So when we say farewell, we are saying goodbye to an era of remarkable progress, especially considering the mess Obama inherited. 

We’re also saying goodbye to a more than horrendous list of human rights concerns connected to his foreign policy.  While Obama may be considered one of our best presidents in history, he will also be perpetually critiqued for his foreign policy. 

 President Obama has engaged militarily in seven different companies (This count does not include special missions and advising and training foreign services, which ups the count to 134 according to some sources). The regular bombing by drones in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan (which remains the longest war in U.S. history), Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan raise serious concerns on Obama’s foreign policy record.  These drone strikes, which have bombed funerals, weddings, hospitals, and other civilian rich areas, are ripe with human rights violations. According to many foreign policy experts, these offensive actions help perpetuate transnational terrorism.  

So, while Obama was a brilliant president with regards to domestic affairs,  his work abroad has been catastrophic to certain parts of the world.  As an aside, Congress has officially approved none of these wars.  

Unfortunately, however, while we are bidding farewell to Obama, we are not likely getting rid of these types of foreign policies.

We do have to question,  however, how large of an impact Obama has truly had on our nation.  His undeniable charm, his passionate speeches,  and smart work have done wonders for the country.  So when we say goodbye to Obama,  we say farewell to the man who brought and promised “hope” and “change” as we enter a world where the U.S.’s first African American President may be succeeded by, quite possibly, one of the most racist Presidents in U.S. history.