On Tuesday night, Barack Obama gave his final address as President of the United States after eight years in office. Although he did warn of the threats to democracy, the speech was mostly positive with a hopeful look to the future — a future which will be led by those who grew up during his presidency. Although the nation seems more divided than ever, it’s important to remember what we have accomplished over the last eight years, which President Obama summed up thusly:
If I had told you eight years ago that America would reverse a great recession, reboot our auto industry, and unleash the longest stretch of job creation in our history — if I had told you that we would open up a new chapter with the Cuban people, shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program without firing a shot, take out the mastermind of 9-11 — if I had told you that we would win marriage equality and secure the right to health insurance for another 20 million of our fellow citizens — if I had told you all that, you might have said our sights were set a little too high.
But that’s what we did. That’s what you did. You were the change. The answer to people’s hopes and, because of you, by almost every measure, America is a better, stronger place than it was when we started.
Watch the full farewell address below and take some comfort in what we’ve accomplished and have hope for all we do in the future.