by Truman Ross, Editorial

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In the past eight years, America has seen a lot of change. Gay marriage was legalized, the unemployment rate fell below 5% for the first time since the 2008 crash, and the first African American was elected president of the United States.

President Barack Obama offered all that he had to give for our country. Since he took office in 2009, 15.6 million private sector jobs were added. The Affordable Care Act made it possible for nearly every American to acquire the financial benefits of health care.

When Obama took office, America was facing many challenges. The economy had taken the biggest blow since the Great Depression, Osama Bin Laden was still at large, coinciding with rising tensions in the Middle East. Through all the darkness, however, Obama orchestrated America out of all the turmoil that it had suffered through.

From ordering all troops out of Iraq, to the capture and killing of Bin Laden, to passing the Stimulus which created 3.7 million of the 15.6 aforementioned jobs, Obama handled all of the hardships he was faced with with grace.

Even though some of the accomplishments in his terms were not made directly through Obama, he had the courage, the strength, and the compassion to support programs that had never been supported by any standing president before him. From marriage equality to removing barriers to opportunity, President Obama believed in America’s earliest concept: that all are created equal.

Although there are those who fear some of the stances of president elect Donald Trump, I urge you as intelligent, accepting Spring Lake students to look towards our next leader with hope rather than concern. We need to give him the respect that he needs to be an effective leader, the respect that he deserves.

As president Obama once said himself, “There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America–there’s the United States of America.” The beauty of America is the simple fact that we are allowed to choose who becomes our leader.

President Elect Donald Trump was chosen to be our leader, so he deserves the same opportunity that we have given to every president before him.
A leader is defined as someone who inspires, unifies, and orchestrates a body of people towards excellence.

In the past 8 years, America has seen a strong example of a leadership. As president Obama leaves office this month, we salute him with honor, with commendation, and with hope; hope that tomorrow will shine as brightly as today.

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