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A decorative image with a white background and sketch renderings of a garland comprised of the American flag, a panel in red with white stars, a panel in blue with white stars, across the top, and a silhouette of the White House. Text reads Presidents Day 2022.

Here in the U.S., today is Presidents’ Day 2022, and it’s a bank holiday. Normally, I don’t post on bank holidays and weekends, to keep in line with typical business days. Today, I’m breaking with tradition, and we’re gonna talk about presidents. My first choice is Barack Obama, and that’s what we’ll make today’s post about, along with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. We’ve talked about Obama before on MLK Day and the National Day of Service last year.

The 2007-2008 election year was my second time being able to vote, with Bush/Kerry being my first. I remember that whole clusterfuck like it was yesterday, and like in the South Park episode from around that time, it was Turd Sandwich vs. Giant Douche.

As an aside, choosing between two bad options isn’t a choice at all. It’s blackmail. I voted third-party that year, if memory serves me right.

For the 2007-2008 election year, I had just transferred to a four-year university from the community college. We had also since moved, and our polling place was the same as it was at the old house. I placed my vote, and when we were done, we went back home to watch the results come in on the news. We didn’t have cable then, only network TV.

Barack Obama won the election, and I was so excited. In 2008, when he took office, I remember feeling a huge sense of hope. I thought about this guy on Oprah several years ago, George Dawson, who learned to read and write at the age of 98.

He died in 2001, and I wished he could have been here to see this.

The following year, Obama held two inaugural balls, and they aimed for a carbon-neutral event on both occasions. I remember seeing some of it on TV, but unfortunately couldn’t stick around for all of it on account of work for class.

During the first half of Obama’s presidency, I noticed that there were fewer people who held idiotic prejudiced worldviews toward him, and at the time, I took that as a sign that things were changing for the better.

The second half of Obama’s presidency, with his re-election in 2012, I went through some stuff, and was a little too preoccupied to fully appreciate the presidency for a bit. In fact, I’d lost my marbles and started leaning a different direction in the political spectrum.

Thankfully, I came to my senses, and savored the remaining three years he held office. I remember Michelle Obama coming up with the Let’s Move initiative. There was a lot of backlash, and a lot of people took it as a statement about them as a person. It really wasn’t. Unfortunately, I was in the middle of my own struggles with my weight, and having spent my childhood obese and morbidly obese, it wasn’t fun.

It’s kinda sad that I’ve come to appreciate the program only now, that I’ve come out on the other side. Let’s be honest, these kids ain’t the ones bringing in the junk food, nor did they vote to do away with the salad bars at lunch in many schools.

True story, my school did away with the salad bar after 1st grade, but that’s a story for another time.

Circling back to the topic of racism and prejudice. As we saw with the successor to Obama when he left office in 2016, racism and prejudice never went away. It just went underground and hid in the shadows. When the successor to Obama came into office, those who held those rotten worldviews felt safe enough to let their asswipe flags fly.

I never once felt safe throughout those four years he held office, and neither did a lot of people for a whole slew of valid reasons. I felt cautiously optimistic at first, and tried to find something to like about him early on.

He was a WWE fan. So am I. But I’m not gonna let him ruin that for me, and I hope none of you do either.

I’m not gonna let some mutant Cheeto loudmouth ruin my beloved WWE or anything like it.

After that, I threw in the towel, and hoped that any Powers that Be would keep him from doing too much damage. Luckily, he didn’t get much accomplished, and from what I’ve seen, he was mostly bark and no bite.

Then came the riots on January 6th, 2021, just before Biden took office once again. So many people got hurt, and we lost Officer Brian Sicknick, who got caught in the crossfire after having suffered two strokes the day before he became one of the first responders to the riots.

After Obama’s successor left office, Biden took office. This time around, he would be President instead of Vice President, with Kamala Harris taking his old spot during the Obama administration. To me, it felt like Obama’s legacy came full circle, and I hope we get a second term for Biden and Harris.

As a parting thought, here’s a little nugget of wisdom from Obama. I’ll be adding this to the list of quotes below at some point this week.

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

~Barack Obama

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