By Noah Barnes
The speech was greeted by chants of "four more years", but were dismissed by the President. And he talked about the perils of living stuck within separate realities and indulging our resentments without really considering the merits of those who live a different reality and connect with different narratives.
Consider it another example of the personality-obsessed, social media-fueled early 21st century we live in: After President Barack Obama delivered his farewell address Tuesday night in Chicago, one of the burning topics of online conversation wasn't about the outgoing chief executive's call to service to USA citizens when it comes to defending the nation against threats to democracy. "And more often than not, your faith in America - and in Americans - will be confirmed".
Paying tribute to his place as America's first black president, Obama acknowledged there were hopes after his 2008 election for a post-racial America.
Less than a year after taking office, Obama delivered his views on the conditions for using force as he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize.
"If you're exhausted of arguing with strangers on the internet, try to talk with one in real life" said Obama. You can see it not just in statistics. Obama, a former law professor, is very involved in drafting his speeches. But Trump's victory no doubt dampened the enthusiasm of attendees.
The Rev. Michael McBride, director of PICO National Network's Live Free Campaign, called Obama's farewell address "a primer on resistance". Such a vision, however well-intended, was never realistic.
Throughout the evening, there were echoes of Obama's keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Then the president dabbed at his eyes with a white handkerchief. Obama cited the rising rejection of immigrants as a threat, pointing out that America from the start has been a nation of immigrants and draws much of its economic and cultural strength from the mix of races and nationalities that have merged within its borders.
Despite progressive criticism of a Republican-led Congress that seemed bent on obstructing his agenda, Obama argued that "democracy does not require uniformity". "[But] democracy does require a basic sense of solidarity".
"For all our outward differences, we are all in this together. we rise or fall as one". Obama's innovation was his attempt to, as Jonathan Chait has put it, "make technocracy lyrical", to glamorize with his coruscating oratory the arcane processes of government crucial to liberal achievement.