The Obama farewell has begun, but some of us just aren’t ready to deal. And by some of us, I mean yours truly.
The long lines of thousands to get tickets to see one of the best modern presidents say farewell this Tuesday are indicative of the feelings of a majority of this country:
— Latoya Shanell, CMP (@lshanellevents) January 7, 2017
— Elliott Smith (@ElliottJSmith) January 7, 2017
Some of us have been counting down the days to terror with a grief too heavy to be overcome by sheer duty to report the news.
Not only is this great man leaving office and taking with him the First Lady, who has inspired so many of us to be better people, but he is being replaced by a man so personally horrific that he engenders nightmares for vulnerable citizens. To make matters even worse, Trump’s fickle, petty, greedy policies offer no redemption for his personal sins.
Instead, we are heading straight to the gutter, as Putin’s pawns.
One of the most effective ways Russians have found to make a country vulnerable to their infiltration is to demoralize it and to cause the people to give up. There truly couldn’t be a better agent of rampant demoralization than Donald Trump.
I have no words of wisdom to offer in these days of dimming hope and darkening skies, except we must never give in or give up.
So even when our hearts and minds are overcome with grief as we watch one of the best modern day presidents leave office only to be replaced by a man who is not fit to shine his shoes and is set to destroy the very tenets of democracy, we must not dishonor all that the American voters demanded by a landslide when they twice elected President Barack Obama.
For eight years Barack Obama, whose worst fault might be thinking too highly of his opponents and our media, never gave up — even when he was being obstructed at every turn. He continued to fight for the everyday American who needed him.
President Obama always stayed focused on hope, because hope is the very foundation of democracy and progressive change. Republicans mocked Obama’s “Hope” slogan for a reason – hope is powerful, it is sustaining, and it is capable of changing the world. Without hope, there can be no movement to make better policies for the people. A government of the people, by the people and for the people hinges on the hopes of the people; their belief in possibility.
Hope and work for the change you want to see, like President Obama has done. And never ever give up. Even when it hurts like it does right now, even when there seems to be no reason for hope. This is the time when hope is most needed.
No, these aren’t the sentiments of a sore loser who just can’t handle a lost election. These are the sentiments of an American patriot, watching one of the best presidents leave office and hand the keys to a man Putin worked aggressively to install in our White House. A man who lies so much and gaslights America so much that it’s impossible to give context to the magnitude of his lies.
This isn’t an ideological grief; it’s a deep, foreboding grief about the incoming perilous threat to the United States, made especially bitter because it’s following a man whose commitment to the people and process has been so stabilizing, crystallizing into a moral presidency of the highest order.
From the remarkable heights of the ethical family leader and brilliant, deep thinking Barack Obama we will plunge into the dark abyss of the inept, incompetent, willfully ignorant, cruel, conspiracy-oriented and easily manipulated Donald Trump. And we will have no checks and balances to save us, given that they have been systematically undermined by Republicans whose only goal was obstruction of a real President, elected by real Americans, for real reasons, unlike the incoming President-elect.
It’s painful to watch the country I love fall in on itself, cratering under the weight of the perfect storm of cracks in what used to be a reliable system. But this pain is part of the process whereby Putin wins, and that can’t happen.
So hope. Stay engaged, and refuse to be silenced.
President Obama will always be our president, even when he hands the keys over to Putin’s pick.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.