During a recent interview with historian Doris Kearns Goodwin of Vanity Fair, President Obama made a statement about what he’ll be doing after he leaves office that will certainly have conservative heads exploding. While that in and of itself is extremely satisfying, it’s the underlying message of the president’s sentiment that really hits home.
While discussing how he plans to use his voice at the grassroots level and his abilities as a community organizer to make a difference, he delved into why that sort of activism and the power of the presidency don’t always go hand-in-hand:
“With that power, however, also comes a whole host of institutional constraints. There are things I cannot say. There are things that I cannot say, not out of any political concerns, but out of prudential concerns of the office. There are institutional obligations I have to carry out that are important for a president of the United States to carry out, but may not always align with what I think would move the ball down the field on the issues that I care most deeply about.”
What he’s saying is that the Office of the President of the United States isn’t about a single man, it’s an institution. It’s not a pulpit; it’s not a soap box. It’s the most powerful office in the world and it needs to be treated with the respect it deserves by the person occupying it. Contrary to popular conservative belief, President Obama has done just that for nearly eight years.
That sentiment is also the reason Donald Trump will never be fit to hold the honor of the office he seeks. Trump would absolutely use it for personal gain, to aggressively pursue an agenda beneficial to the wealthy elitists of America and to bolster his massive ego and narcissism by bullying small sovereign nations and destroying the respect it took President Obama to regain after the last buffoon who used the office as a tool for greed.
No matter what the haters say, President Obama will go down in history as one of the greatest people and one of the brightest minds of our time. He stood in the face of what most would call insurmountable hatred and obstructionism and achieved two terms of success that history will judge kindly. Donald Trump will be remembered as a reality TV show host who nearly bought an election with bigotry and rage. His antics won’t soon be forgotten; they’ll be used by standup comics for years to come.