Dear President Obama,
Thank you for your service to our country. Thank you for setting an example of humility, grace, class, temperament, leadership, and an inclusionary worldview. Despite being stymied by an obstructionist government you carried forward. Despite the vitriol, partisanship, and personal attacks, you continued to go high when they went low. You showed us that smart men marry smarter women and that being a father usurps the Presidency as the most important job in the world.
Though a transformative figure, you reminded us that even great leaders make imperfect decisions. As our first black President, you made a generation of little boys and girls of every color dream bigger. You reminded us that hope trumps fear, black lives do matter, and that all love is love. As you pass the baton, I hope you will reflect on what has been a remarkable eight years. I'm confident that history will remember you not only as a great leader, but one of our greatest Presidents. 🇺🇸
I couldn't write a more eloquent letter. Arash captures the appreciation and affection President Obama and the First Family earned during their eight years of service.
And now the Constitution commands change. The two men began the transition of power by being unfailingly polite to each other during their first meeting in the White House. But now, with President Trump staking out starkly different positions on Russia, Israel, and sensitive domestic and global issues, and with Obama acting to protect his legacy, the two have become leaders of dueling administrations.
It would be a welcome change for the two-party system to perform according to the original intention of the Founding Fathers — to use the instruments of Democracy for collaboration, not obstruction. But, as you might expect in this time of polarized politics, most Democrats approve of Obama's actions, and most Republicans are enthusiastic about the promise of Trump’s leadership.
The Washington Post says: "When President Trump takes office, he will be facing the most virulent opposition ever to confront a new president."
- The Women’s March on Washington is expected to draw more than 100,000 protesters, and other cities will be hosting related events.
- Liberal-leaning celebrities are urging people to keep up the fight against the new President, and former Labor Secretary under President Bill Clinton, is calling for “100 Days of Resistance.”
- A group of former congressional aides posted the manifesto “Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda,” which went viral in progressive circles.
We're seeing Democracy in action — the best and the worst of it. Neither political party is innocent. And you can bet there will be equal and opposite responses.
In his inaugural address, President Trump said, "Today is not merely about transferring power from one party to another, but giving power back to you, the people." and "A new national spirit will heal our divisions."
It's the job of every President to set the tone and values of his or her administration. It's a huge challenge after the divisive rhetoric of an election. We look to President Trump to embody the promise of the Office of President — to heal the divisions of party, culture and society, and to use "The Art of the Deal" to serve all of us. It's a tough job!
Sources: ushistory.org, washingtonpost.com.