a moment of clarity.
"Whether you have approved of the Obama presidency as a matter of policy or not, it is impossible to argue that Obama was not a man of principle. Whether you agree with individual decisions or the content of his rhetoric, it is impossible to argue that he did not conduct himself with dignity and respect and that he did not lead the country with those values as a guiding light.
I have not always agreed with the president’s positions or tactics, and this feels normal to me. Freethinking people are bound to disagree occasionally, even if a vast majority of their values align.
...none of those differences in opinions about strategy injured in any way my profound respect for the characteristics of the man we came to take for granted: bracingly smart, exceptionally well educated, literate in the grand tradition of the great men of letters. He was scholarly, erudite, well read and an adroit writer.
And he was an orator for the ages. We got so used to elegant, sometimes masterly speechifying, that I will admit I sometimes tuned it out. We had an abundance of riches in that regard.
But listening to the president’s farewell address, I was hit with the force of a brawler that the decency and dignity, the solemnity and splendor, the loftiness and literacy that Obama brought to the office was extraordinary and anomalous, the kind of thing that each generation may only hope to have in a president."
...Obama wasn’t perfect, but neither is anyone — you or I — and neither was any other president. But Obama is a good man and a good president. Some would argue that he was great on both counts.
We will remember that — and miss it — when Trump’s whirlwind of scandal, conflict, crudeness, boorishness and vindictiveness barrels into Washington."
THE NEW YORK TIMES: Ode to Obama