Barack Obama sure was something, wasn’t he? Now that new elections are (maybe?) on the way in the United States, everyone’s anxious to see whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden will be the one to rule the world’s most powerful nation for the next four years. One thing is for sure: he won’t make us forget about how lovely Obama was. But why do Americans consider him to be the best president of their lifetime? Let’s take a look.
The Age Effect
Well, let’s not beat around the bush here: we’ve currently had 4 years of Trump. Before that 8 years of Obama, then 8 years of Bush. So if you’re going back to the first semi-decent President before Obama, we’d end up with Bill Clinton, which is already 20 years ago. Taking into account you don’t start voting before the age of 18 (and hardly anyone cares about politics before the age of 18), there simply hasn’t been a real contender for the title for anyone under the age of 38. And if you think Obama is better than Clinton was (which you should, by the way), that means no contenders if you’re under the age of 46. All we’ve had before that was George Bush Sr. and Ronald Reagan. Basically, unless you’ve lived through World War II, it’s hard to find a president that’s objectively as good as Obama.
He Was Eloquent
While George Bush did manage to communicate on the level of the blue collar workers of America, Obama was the first to do it without making it sound like he was purposefully using easier words. If there’s anything we all miss from Obama, it’s his ability to speak for huge crowds and make sure that everyone understood what he was saying.
His First Lady
While Barack himself was a more than competent president, there really hasn’t been a First Lady quite like Michelle Obama. We no longer felt like we were watching the president’s wife, but we were actually involved in the lives of the Obama family. This made them appear very close to the people and improved their image of being regular people that go through the same motions as the American people.
Despite it already having been revoked, something like Obamacare was a modern, progressive policy that not too many US presidents have achieved. While the Democratic presidents are usually a lot more progressive than the Republican ones, Obama was way ahead of the curve – even as a member of the more progressive party.
His Fight Against Income Inequality
Barack Obama made huge efforts to increase taxes on the higher incomes and using those new taxes to invest more in health care and reduce budget deficits. Contrary to what most leaders would do and raise taxes for everyone, Obama got the money where money was to be had. Lower income families barely noticed any changes under the Obama administration, while the wealthy and super rich paid more taxes – but nothing they couldn’t bear to miss.
Obama (eventually) ended the war in Iraq, which was a war that led to next to nothing. Started under the Bush administration as a result of 9/11, the war in Iraq cost the lives to thousands of American soldiers. While we could technically also credit this to the Trump administration as they’ve greatly reduced military action abroad, Trump is a bigger fan of economic warfare than struggle through military means. In that sense, Obama still remains a bigger pacifist than his successor.