Barack H. Obama is the Greatest President of Modern Times

Barack H. Obama is the Greatest President of Modern Times

President Obama

President Obama

By: Hrafnkell Haraldsson
PoliticusUSA.    Monday, December, 29th, 2014  

It is difficult to compare presidents outside of a narrow context of time. It is like trying to compare baseball players, like Ruth and Aaron, or football players, like Johnny Unitas and Peyton Manning. For athletes, the games they play were different then; and for presidents, not only the country, but the world is different.

There is no way of knowing how a president today would have fared when faced with the prospect of the First or Second World War, or how they would have handled the advent of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. These are answers we can never have answered, and speculation is pointless. Despite any internal similarities, the external contexts cannot be ignored: Korea is not Vietnam and Vietnam is not Iraq.  

What we can do is judge them by their accomplishments, by how they faced the challenges of their time. Coming off arguably one of the most disastrous presidencies in our history, that of George W. Bush, who cut taxes yet involved us in two un-paid for wars, and crashed our economy and that of the rest of the world as a result, we found ourselves with our nation’ first black president.

Not only did Barack H. Obama face the deeply entrenched racism of the nation that elected him, but a Republican Party determined to obstruct his every move, to make him a one term president and that term an utter failure. All the while, he had to face his real work, that for which he was elected: digging our nation out of the hole into which his predecessor had dragged us.

And it was a deep hole. Hated by the world, our economy in shambles, two wars continuing and with no real end in sight, let alone any idea of what, exactly, would constitute victory, Barack Obama stepped up to the plate, and like Babe Ruth calling his shot, made his play. Like Ruth, he hit it out of the park.

This is not hyperbole. The facts prove it:

The wars are over, the economy is booming <> . Unemployment, like gas prices, are dropping and we have seen record levels of job growth <> . By any measure of success, including that of Republican candidates in 2012 <> , his presidency has been a success. Even businesses and Wall Street agree <>  that Republicans are killing the economy, and the evidence proves <>  that the economy grows more under Democratic than Republican presidents.

And not only did he end the wars (and without getting us into any of the new ones proposed by Republicans) and restored the economy, but he helped speed along social change by embracing marriage equality, kicking DOMA to the curb and ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; he has supported women’s rights, including equal pay <>  and the right to manage their own reproductive rights <> ; He has fought for workers and for a living wage <> ; battled on behalf of the environment <> ; and fought for the rights of immigrants <> . And with the Affordable Care Act, known fittingly as Obamacare, he has given all Americans access to healthcare <>  for the first time in our nation’s history.

His list of accomplishments, even minus any opposition, would be staggering. Considering the odds against him, they are truly monumental. In all these areas, he has made life better for Americans. Not just for the rich, but for all Americans.

Right off the bat, President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize <> . This was a measure of the world’s relief at being rid of President Bush as much as anything else. The world heaved a sigh of relief. And that alone spurred the much-needed cycle of healing. But it is what President Obama did as himself, rather than as not-Bush, that has really sealed his legacy.

We have just seen that he has been named by Americans as the most admired man in the world for the seventh straight year <> . There is good reason for that. And it is not because he is FDR or JFK or even Abraham Lincoln. It is because he is Barack H. Obama, and that is no small thing in itself. He was, like so many other great men in our nation’s history, the right man in the right place at the right time. And he answered the call.

He may not have been as liberal as some of us would have liked, but neither was he as far left as Republicans imagined. That he seemed to them to be a Marxist shows not how far left Obama was but how far Right they had moved. In many respects, Obama is a Republican out of the past, embracing many policies once embraced by the GOP. These make him much more of a centrist than someone to the far left of the political spectrum. But that might have been exactly what we needed in 2008.

Some have complained and continue to complain that Obama did not bring the change he promised, but he did bring change, and a great deal of it. Republicans have asked if we miss Bush yet. No, resoundingly, we do not. We can quibble, but it would be wrong to judge him according to what he did or did not do from our own personal lists of things we wanted done. What matters, and what alone matters, are the results.

And the results, as I pointed to above, are spectacular. Despite a steadfast refusal to do their jobs, despite every roadblock Republicans could put in his path, President Obama has persevered, with class and with style, holding his head up proudly like the American he is, sharing credit for his successes and accepting responsibility for his failures.

It is impossible not to compare Bush and Obama: the man who got us into war and the man who got us out of it; the man who destroyed the economy and the man who restored it; the man who alienated the world and the man who makes friends of enemies, including Cuba.

But ultimately Obama must be judged for who he is and not for who he is not, and according to those standards, he is a great man indeed. He is, I will assert here and with complete assurance, if not the greatest American president ever, the greatest president of modern times.

Source: <>

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  • CATHRIN KISSOON  On 03/07/2015 at 5:25 am

    You’re living on another planet. Get ALL the facts right, before you write any article. Better yet stop writing articles. Date: Sat, 7 Mar 2015 03:01:43 +0000 To:

  • albert  On 03/07/2015 at 12:09 pm

    Cathrin dont cut and paste. Write your own views if you have any. I have lived through all the US presidents since Kennedy and I agree 100% with this article that he is the best of the modern Presidents. Its difficult to imagine a president with so much on his plate, and a republican opposition which opposed him at every turn, could still accomplish so much. This country is lucky to have such a man as leader.

    Look what the Republicans are using for criticisms…….mere petty stuff. Business is booming, unemploymeny is minimal…..nothing major to attack. So now they are creating issues like bringing Netanyaho to criticise his foreign policy with Iran.

  • Thinker  On 03/07/2015 at 3:13 pm

    I think that the affordable Care issue was serious attempt to give some protection to ordinary people. Even if it is eventually struck down by the Supreme Court I would like to see what the Republicans would be offering instead to protect ordinary citizens. Will they also undo the progress on Gay Rights? How will they solve the issue of the 11 million undocumented? He achieved the lowering of the unemployment rate to the level that Romney had promised. Would the Republicans have already bombed Iran by now? Do we want all abortions to be banned and restrictions on birth control? How would they have cleaned up the mess in Iraq and Afghanistan without the loss of many more US lives and money. Should the EPA be dissolved? Is climate change a lie? The economy seems to be on the rebound. It is a bit too soon to talk of greatest President but Cathrin should be able to answer a few of these questions.

  • FJ  On 03/07/2015 at 3:42 pm

    Undoubtedly President Obama has done a lot for this country , given the mess he inherited. Yes he may have promised some more, but the odds are stacked against him on the opposite side of the aisle.He stood up for the majority…. and that is the essence of a true democracy.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 12/29/2015 at 6:06 pm

    Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers posted an image on her official Facebook page, slamming the Affordable Care Act on the fifth anniversary of President Obama signing it into law in 2010. She asked constituents to share their Obamacare nightmare stories and well, the response probably wasn’t what she expected. Below are a small sample of the comments constituents left on her page:

    Thanks to the ACA, my cousin was able to get affordable insurance despite her pre-existing condition. So grateful.

    I suspect the people who support Donald Trump and the Republican-Tea Party need a reminder every now and then, that President Barack H. Obama is the best thing that ever happened to the USA and the World, in general.

    Happy 2016 to You All – note this post is a year old and the President gets better, like fine wine – the world has an Arms Control Agreement; Paris Climate Change Agreement; and more …. in spite of all the obstruction of the opposition.

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