Why Obama is one of the most consequential presidents in American history

Why Obama is one of the most consequential presidents in American history


Let’s be clear about something: Barack Obama
has been one of the most consequential presidents in recent American history. “You can’t say it, but you know it’s true.” In the past eight years, he has completely transformed the American healthcare system.
He got tough reforms to Wall Street passed after the biggest financial crisis in decades. He appointed two of the 4 women to ever serve on the supreme
court, both of whom were part of the historic decision legalizing same sex marriage.
He put in place the toughest climate regulations in American history. He opened the US to Cuba
for the first time in half a century. And he reached a peaceful settlement to the nuclear
standoff with Iran that lasted for a decade before he took office.
You can celebrate or bemoan these accomplishments. Liberals will think they’re great, conservatives
will think they’re awful. But it’s hard to deny that they’re big deals. So…. where do we start?
Obamacare is a big fucking deal. For at least 100 years, the big goal of American
liberals on domestic policy was to get a national health insurance program done.
A lot of countries implemented universal health care in the 20th century — the UK, Canada,
France — but the US always lagged behind. There were attempt after attempt after attempt
by American progressives of both parties to try to get the US to where everyone else was
going. And each of those attempts failed. Teddy Roosevelt failed, FDR failed, Truman
failed, Nixon failed, Carter failed, Clinton failed… and then Obama succeeded. And he established for the first time in American history that healthcare is a right. The plan
still leaves millions uninsured, but it laid a foundation for universal health care. To understand what Obama did for foreign policy,
you have to go back to a moment in 2007, this moment in particular:
“Would you be willing to meet separately without preconditions, in Washington or anywhere
else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea, in order to bridge
the gap that divides our countries?” Obama: “I would. And the reason is this,
that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them, which has
been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration, is ridiculous.”
So, this was considered a gaffe. The safe thing that you’re supposed to say is “yeah,
diplomacy’s great, we’ll talk to some people, but there have to be preconditions.
No preconditions is silly.” And this is what other Democrats did say at the time .
But he didn’t accept that. And with two of the countries listed in that
question — Iran and Cuba — Obama led some of the biggest changes to those diplomatic
relationships in recent history. I’d be remiss in not mentioning the importance
of the fact that Obama is the first black president.
After 8 years it seems obvious to point out But the history of America is a history of
learning to deal with racial diversity, and with the legacy of white supremacy. In a very
real way the history of America is the history of race relations.
There’s a famous photo that still hangs in the White House of a black toddler in the
White House who asked to touch president Obama’s hair because he thought it was great that
the president had hair that looked like his. It seems cheesy, but it really is a big deal
that a generation of black children are going to grow up knowing that they could be the
president. Overall it’s a pretty extensive track record.
You can generally divide American presidents into two camps. There are the ones who were
maybe a little good, a little bad, but are sorta forgettable: Grover Cleveland, Benjamin
Harrison, Zachary Taylor, William Howard Taft, Bill Clinton.
And then there are the ones who were hugely consequential either for good: FDR
(ending the depression, winning WWII), Lincoln (winning the civil war), George Washington
(establishing what a president is), or for ill.
Andrew Johnson, destroying reconstruction and subjugating black people for a century.
Andrew Jackson committing genocide or ethnic cleansing against the Southeast Indians.
I think it’s hard to argue that Obama is in the sorta iffy, “eh” camp rather than the
big consequential camp. He did a lot, he accomplished a lot.
And I think in the next 10 or 20 years when we have a bunch more presidents many more of whom are alright or slightly bad but ultimately forgettable. We’re going to look back and realize what a
rare thing a presidency that active and that accomplished is.

100 comments

  1. One of President Obama's keystone legislations, the Affordable Care Act, has created a contentious legacy even among those who benefit from it. We traveled to Kentucky, to speak directly with Obamacare recipients planning to vote for Donald Trump: http://bit.ly/2Foh6pd

  2. Obama accomplished a lot. Trump accomplished wat?
    wait nothinggggggggggggggggggggggg…………………gg

  3. Cause he was half-black that's it. Other than that he did more damage to America than any other president I can think off. Vox is full of it and totally liberal and liars.

  4. NOPE.. wrong

    Affordable Care Act: Individual mandate repealed
    Iran Deal: R.I.P.
    Cuban Thaw: Rolled back
    Dodd-Frank: Rolled back
    Transgender protections: Rolled back
    Net Neutrality: R.I.P.
    Paris Agreement: Withdrawn
    Clean Power Plan: R.I.P.
    Supreme Court: Dragged to the right

  5. ACA still hasn't made healthcare affordable & millions still uninsured. Bank bailout holds none of the financial leaders responsible to tanking the economy. Terrible foreign & good climate policy were executive orders that were swiftly undone when Agent Orange took office. Obama presidency was a joke and so is this video.

  6. Record deficits were done under this president and had one of the weakest records to seek re-election perhaps had the worst record to be re-elected with. Gdp was what 1.5% annual under him going into 2012 election? Weak!

  7. Obama was ok but he rlly wasn't all that consequential. For most ppl if they didn't know power had been exchanged. Then they wouldn't be able to tell the difference between bush and Obama. The affordable care act was a joke and any apologetics towards it are disingenuous.

  8. Obama was great, Republicans like Mitch knew this which is why they did everything in their power to stop Obama from achieving more. They didn't want him to succeed because Obama succeeding would be a huge blow to the Republican Party.

  9. Obama is just something else. He may have secured the black vote on the basis of his race, but he was just a very intelligent classy guy. People who bring up his race as favorable to his election forget how unfavorable it was considered by half the population.

  10. He is a good man, a great politician and a family guy. However, he is the worst president since WW2. He divided America and changed nothing. I hate the fact that sometimes a good man is a terrible leader, and a terrible person is a great leader.

  11. I think he was personable and I enjoyed that. Not about politics, i just enjoyed seeing him play basketball, mess with Joe, and go out for burgers with people of such high power. He seemed Down to earth and for that, big fan of the guy 😁

  12. Yes he left us with the biggest consequence, the election of Donald trump as result of push back from the far right after seeing a black president

  13. Healthcare is not a right… I do still kinda like Obama though even though I'm libertarian… He's so much better than any of the options now

  14. even if you disagree with his policies, you have to say that Obama worked so hard while in office to do what he thought was best for the American people and I respect him for that

  15. Obama is horrible he destroyed healthcare he is with Isis he celebrated when 911 happened so I don’t think that’s great

  16. Healthcare failed, made premiums higher. Increased debt by 9 trillion. One of the lowest labor participation in history. More than 11 million on food stamps. 26k bombs dropped on foreign countries. GAVE military weapons to foreign countries.

    The only good thing he did was be half black and become president. The guy was awesome and I loved him. But he was NOT a great nor consequential president. People gotta stop watching this channel for politics man.

  17. Sure because treating Cuban politicians as they weren´t cruel dictators just because politics is soooo smart then people ask why trump won in Florida Pleaseeee

  18. This has to be the most one-sided Youtube channel… routinely going out of the way to talk down on conservative ideals while at the same time praising anything and everything liberal and left winged as if they arent loaded with flaws. It is blatantly ignorant to act like Obama significantly helped this country when in reality he plunged its future generations further in debt.

  19. Okay, for those who don't know,

    con·se·quen·tial

    /ˌkänsəˈkwen(t)SHəl/

    adjective

    1.following as a result or effect.
    "a loss of confidence and a consequential withdrawal of funds"
    synonyms:resulting, resultant, ensuing, consequent; More

    2.important; significant.
    "perhaps the most consequential discovery of the eighteenth century"
    synonyms:important, significant, major, momentous, of moment, weighty, material, meaty, appreciable, memorable, far-reaching, life-changing, serious;

  20. Obama succeeded because we were forced to have medical if not, face a hefty tax penalty. I look forward to MY income tax every year! 😬

  21. Obama opened the door for trump and his supporters not directly, but indirectly we are now feeling the consequences of Obamas presidency. Vote democratic 2020

  22. Even though I am a republican and support trump, I would take Obama any day over the Democrats running in the 2020 election. I have nothing against Obama and I genuinely think he did a good job as a president. Not only that but he and his wife seem so nice and great people to be around.

  23. You forgetting one thing folks, he was the first African-American President of the United States, that in itself is an incredible achievement within the context that at least half of the country is avidly racist. Wade Goodwin, The FAIR Digest, Cape Town, South Africa

  24. VOX: You failed to mention the one over arching, the greatest issue that had a huge potential to relieve the white/black tension. He did nothing, NOTHING toward this noble goal.

  25. Although Obama was doing foreign trading and let companies that were doing nothing for the economy and he was too much on feelings

  26. Get your history straight. Listen to Dinesh D’SOUZA. His research and knowledge is the biggest threat to the Democrats. YouTube search. He speaks at colleges. Hard to believe but true. We’ve been lied to for so long it’s hard to believe.

  27. Consequential, bc of all the consequences we now face thanks to his policies. Thanks, Obama! We appreciate all the racism you brought with you. It only got worse with a black man in office. Who could've seen that one coming? 😆 and black on black crime went up with him in office! Name one inner city community that was better off bc of him. I dare you.

  28. Well there’s plenty of Presidents that have been consequential… every thing they do in office has a consequence…
    but the fact the title uses the word “consequential” to define his actions, definitely says a lot. I agree for the latter from positive, besides the First Black President and role model for young black children(definitely positive).

  29. Sorry you lost me at health care. That was not transformative. Just about everything else was by executive order, easily negated (except the SCOTUS appointments).

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