Obama looking at Kennedy painting

As we stare into the abyss of an unknown political future, let’s take a moment and appreciate what we have.

I was born during the administration of Dwight D. Eisenhower, arguably the last good Republican President. That year segregation suffered its very first push back. Lynching in the South was still common place. Hate for large groups of citizens like African-Americans, Native-Americans, Latinos and Jews, just to name a few, was so built into American life, that for most white people it was usually taken for granted.

By the time I was in elementary school we had a President, the first of Irish Nationality and the first non-Protestant, who made real strides in making things better... Just a few days ago we acknowledged the solemn anniversary of the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

During an interview with Theodore White for an essay in Life magazine, Jackie Onassis shared that John F. Kennedy had been a fan of the Broadway musical Camelot, the music of which was written by Alan Jay Lerner, one of Kennedy's schoolmates at Harvard University. "Camelot" refers to a kingdom ruled by the mythical King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Jackie said "There will be great presidents again, but there will never be another Camelot." This echoed a line from the musical when the King Arthur character sings, "Don't let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief, shining moment, that was known as Camelot."

I propose that not only was Jackie wrong about the never again part, but that history will soon recognize we all just lived through America’s TRUE Camelot. The eight years under the leadership of President Barack Obama have been remarkable in many ways. His list of achievements may be longer than any, at least since Franklin D. Roosevelt. I have listed a few of the highlights here and there is a far deeper list in the link at the end of the article.

Partial list of Obama’s accomplishments in no particular order:

Instead of delving deep into the itemization above, I want to focus on what he promised when he ran his first campaign; Hope and Change. Maybe what I really mean is what I and millions of people heard in that promise, as in a final fulfillment of the promise first made in the Declaration of Independence that "we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal".

Obama Hope

And for eight years, in spite of everything that the Republicans and the new Tea Party could do to stop progress, what we got was a steady stream of movements to accomplish just that. We had a President who made clear his priorities were always based on doing the right thing. On trying to find compromise, in spite of obstructionism. On moving the United States and when possible the world, toward that elusive, but eternal goal of "liberty and justice for all".

Barack was intelligent, educated and eloquent. He was also very funny, a good singer and he could dance. He looked great whether in casual attire or white tie. His wife was also well educated and as classy as any first Lady and at least on par with Jackie. Their children grew up under the spotlight and never once disappointed as we watched them turn into beautiful young ladies. There was never even a hint of a real scandal in the Obama White House. Not of the official type or of the personal type. For eight years the only scandals were those the Republicans continuously tried to invent so as to try and impeach him, later to discredit him and finally to try and add some type of asterisk by his name in the history books, all to no avail. Like Jackie Robinson, he was the right black man to break the color barrier... and do it with a grace few others could touch.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not a sycophant or blind follower and yes there were decisions I did not agree with, but overall I look back on a period where the leader of the free world was admired by our allies, feared by our enemies and respected by all but the most die-hard racists and troglodytes.

So as I prepare to spend time with friends and family, on a day that our nation long ago reserved for appreciating what we have, I will give thanks for having had the privilege of living through what may well be the pinnacle of America’s history. Thank you President Barack Hussein Obama, we will not see your like again.

To repeat Jacki O’s quote in a context that is verifiably true; "There will be great presidents again, but there will never be another Camelot."

Mount Rushmore Obama

 

Full list of: President Obama's accomplishments 

Jose Rosa

Jose Rosa

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