The Enshrinement Of Barack Obama

The Progressive Hall of Fame is to a great degree modeled after baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Like in baseball, there are very few “first ballot” hall of famers in progressive politics. Although this is the first article has published since his political retirement, it is without reservation that we enshrine Barack Obama in the Progressive Hall of Fame in recognition of his progressive achievements.

Universal health care has been a major progressive goal for longer than I have been alive. The closest we have come to achieving it is the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. Need I say more? For this alone Obama would be worthy of induction. He accomplished much more and against very long odds.

The first piece of legislation he signed was the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which strives to protect women’s right to equal pay for equal work. (Incidentally to all misogynists who happen to be monitoring me today it also protects you.)

Another social achievement during the Obama administration which he was a catalyst for is marriage equality. With a very important push from his Vice President, Joe Biden, Obama “came out of the closet” and expressed his support for same-sex civil marriage. A couple of Supreme Court decisions later it is now the law of the land.

In health care, women’s rights and sexual orientation equality there is still much work to be done! Despite the setbacks we can expect under the Trump administration, American society is moving in a progressive, inclusive direction and much of the progress can be attributed to Barack Obama.

All the social progress in the world is wonderful but average Americans still have to put food on the table; and oh by the way they need a table and a roof over it. When Obama took office we were on the brink of a complete global economic collapse. America was losing over 750,000 jobs per month. Within a few months and despite a hostile Republican delegation in the Congress, Obama and his team turned that around and once the “zero line” was crossed posted steady economic growth for the remainder of his time in office. In fact it was the longest sustained period of economic growth America has ever experienced.

A controversial auto industry bailout in the form of loans literally saved the American automobile manufacturing industry and the millions of jobs that go with it. Most of those jobs are well paying jobs which enable a person to support their family.

Speaking of saving things, Obama led the effort that resulted in the Paris Climate Agreement. If humans can’t inhabit the planet nothing else really matters does it? How much is your job or home worth if you can’t breathe the air or drink the water? Like Obamacare, the Paris Climate Agreement isn’t a panacea, but it is a hell of a start.

On the terrorism front, unlike his predecessor, there were no major terrorist attacks on American soil during his time in office. One death to terrorism is one too many but at least the carnage was kept to a minimum. In fact more Americans were killed by domestic terrorists in mass shootings than foreign terrorists since 2009. Another accomplishment of the Obama administration that the George W. Bush administration (complete with its tough talking Vice President Dick Cheney) couldn’t achieve was bringing Osama bin Laden to justice. If you think Obama was soft on terrorists I suggest you ask bin Laden. Oh wait, you can’t because Obama ordered the operation that resulted in his being killed.

I could go on for pages but I think I made my point. I compare Obama to Franklin Roosevelt. Their presidencies had many similarities. Considering my age, it is highly unlikely I will live under a future president greater than Barack Obama. It is with great pride that I enshrine him in the Progressive Hall of Fame.

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