The one, true president, Barack Obama, had a lot to get off his chest on Wednesday while speaking in New York: He tore into Republicans and their continued efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act, and also addressed climate change and white supremacy, all in the same breath.
Obama must be just as fed up as the rest of us.
According to CNN, while giving the keynote address at a New York City event sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Obama slammed the “aggravating” attempts by Republicans to deny vulnerable Americans health care.
“When I see people trying to undo that hard-won progress, for the 50th or 60th time, with bills that will raise costs, reduce coverage and roll back protections for older Americans and people with pre-existing conditions ... it is aggravating,” Obama said.
Obama encouraged those who are mobilizing to protest efforts to do away with his landmark legislation to keep on fighting. He also noted that while it is frustrating, that is how the job gets done.
“It may be frustrating that we have to mobilize every couple months to keep our leaders from inflicting real human suffering on their constituents,” he said. “But typically, that’s how progress is won.”
Obama didn’t stop there. He also took on the issue of climate change, which he called the “threat that may define the contours of this century just about more than anything else.”
If only certain people’s administration saw it that way.
However, without directly taking a dig at his successor, Obama called on everyone, individuals and organizations alike, to continue finding solutions to save the planet. He also tipped his hat to the Paris climate accord, which he called a “small agreement to save the planet,” and said that progress is still being made and will continue to be made, “even if the federal government is not as engaged on these efforts as I would like.”
Rounding out his comments and touching on all the biggest things near and dear to our hearts over the past few months, Obama also took a minute to address nationalism and other harmful sentiments, which he said could restrict efforts to fight poverty and disease.
“Nationalist thought, xenophobic sentiment ... a politics that threatens to turn good people away from the kind of collective action that has always driven human progress,” Obama said. “We just have to reject the notion that we are suddenly gripped by forces that we can’t control, and embrace the longer, more optimistic view of history and the part that we play in it.”
Obama adopted an optimistic outlook himself, stating that America today is a far better place to live in than it has ever been, despite the flood of negative news that has seemed to plague the nation
especially in the past nine months.
“I know that statement doesn’t seem to jibe with the steady stream of bad news and cynicism we’re fed on television and Twitter,” he acknowledged.