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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

We Will All Miss President Obama

And not because his radically pro-abortion agenda is right or good. Not because Democratic economic plans are great. Not because he makes great picks for the courts. In fact, there are scant few things he and I agree on at all.

But to this very day, he is an indelible symbol of hope and possibility. Not just for black Americans, but for everyone. Raised by a single mom, with heavy-duty dad issues. He definitely took some wrong turns. He had some great opportunities, and almost botched them, but didn't. He faced enormous obstacles, and persevered. What a quintessentially American story, in all the right ways.

He is the faithful husband of one wife, and the doting father of two brilliant daughters. This is no small thing, for a man whose own family was broken. And perhaps he hasn't made the right calls in foreign policy, but we're still here, and that's no small achievement, either.

He might well be a narcissist, I don't know, but in light of his probable successors, this criticism seems laughable now. I doubt that such a criticism will have currency for much longer.

We'll miss that cool head; for all the talk of a feckless foreign policy, sometimes the best wars are the ones you don't start. More controversially, I agree with him that "Islamic" radicalism is not an existential threat to the US, and the West more generally. Not directly, anyway. You can be completely safe, or free. Pick one.

I think he has bathroom reading more advanced than whatever Donald Trump reads. I think he's more  willing to listen to other views than Hillary Clinton is, and we'll know how important that is much too soon, and too late, you might say.

I hope that we vote for the descendants of African slaves enough in the coming decades that Obama can comfortably and not cheekily be America's worst black president. For now, I understand why so many people wept at a thing they thought they'd never see.

In the end, we could do worse, and we will.

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