North Texas Daily

Barack Obama is one of our greatest presidents

Barack Obama is one of our greatest presidents

Barack Obama is one of our greatest presidents
October 05
12:38 2016

This article is one of several stories we’ll publish exploring how Barack Obama’s presidency has impacted young people. 

As it surreal as it seems, Barack Obama’s eight-year presidency is almost over and will mark the end of an era.

Easily one of the most polarizing figures in U.S. politics, Obama became our president in the aftermath of the worst financial crisis in decades, and a war on terror the nation shouldn’t have provoked in the first place. By emphasizing hope, peace and change for nearly a decade, the Illinois senator-turned-head of state became the figurehead for societal changes that historians will praise for years to come.

Even though he has faced challenges from Congress and federal courts, Obama is destined to join the ranks of Washington, Lincoln and the Roosevelts as one of America’s greatest presidents. In fact, he’s already there.

Regardless of whether you have liberal or conservative viewpoints, Obama’s work on the U.S. health care system cannot be ignored. Even though Teddy Roosevelt first lobbied for health coverage in his 1912 Bull Moose platform, the next 20 years of presidents postponed the national conversation on social welfare altogether.

The process experienced more setbacks from 1935 to 1949, when Franklin Roosevelt declined to include health insurance in his Social Security plan, and Harry S. Truman’s Fair Deal failed to revolutionize the reform.

It wasn’t until July 30, 1965, when Lyndon B. Johnson passed Medicare and Medicaid after half a century of attempts from his predecessors. March 23, 2010, however, was the fateful day when Obama implemented the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act— colloquially called “Obamacare.” Not only did it lay the groundwork for modern universal health care, the statute has lowered the U.S. unemployment rate to stellar results.

Also worthy of note is how he appointed two of the only four women to ever serve in the Supreme Court: Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. While that may sound like feminist banter to some, it’s an important fact because both women played vital roles in last year’s historic legalization of same-sex marriage.

By remarking that the decision made America “a little more perfect,” Obama’s administration became the solution to a nationwide ban that hindered an entire group of people.

Lastly, several of his contributions to foreign policy were unprecedented. By participating in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the president brokered a nuclear deal with Iran, who pledged to “not seek, develop or acquire nuclear weapons” ever again in their international truce.

Additionally, Obama took the first step to mend the United States’ relations with Cuba for the first time since the Cold War, and he later became the first U.S. president to visit Cuba since 1928.

Plenty has already been written about him as our first black president. Back when he was inaugurated, the event strongly influenced my peers and me; a black commander-in-chief seemed unfathomable until then. Thinking about it now, it’s only the icing on the cake for a man who redefined politics via social media, transformed various reforms and approved the operation to end Osama bin Laden’s reign.

Thanks, Obama. You have the rest of your life ahead of you. Many Americans, including myself, believe you’re leading a great one already.

Featured Illustration: Samuel Wiggins

About Author

Preston Mitchell

Preston Mitchell

Preston served as the Opinion Editor of the North Texas Daily from July 2016 to July 2017, and is a UNT graduate of integrative studies.

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  1. elektra
    elektra October 08, 09:18

    This headline is a joke, right?

    Reply to this comment
  2. AColoredConservative
    AColoredConservative October 12, 10:47

    The ignorance of this article is simply appalling; obama is one of our worst presidents ever. History will show this in time.

    Passing a law that hurts, has cost more people their coverage and hurt them financially, is not a success unless you truly don’t care about the American people. We are still at war with Iran, since they took Americans hostage, people just don’t like hearing that.

    He is a disgrace as the first black president. Alan Keyes, Thomas Sowell, and Dr. Ben Carson would have been better presidents than him; and I would be proud to have had them as Americas first colored president.

    Reply to this comment

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