Things That Matter

Here Are Just A Few Of The Top Moments From President Obama’s Farewell Speech That Filled Americans With Pride

President Barack Obama delivered his highly-anticipated farewell speech last night in Chicago.

For a lot of Americans, this moment was filled with sadness, because it meant that Obama’s eight years as president have finally come to an end.

A photo posted by Barack Obama (@barackobama) on Oct 11, 2016 at 4:17pm PDT


Oh and btw, President Obama is only the 10th president in American history to present a formal goodbye, which is vastly different from the annual State of the Union Address, which he gave a year ago today. This occasion was more heartfelt and poignant, especially in such divided times.

Before the President even uttered one word, the Twittersphere was a hot mess.


But when the President finally did begin to speak, he said that the evening would be about saying thank you.

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Credit: The White House / Giphy

“My fellow Americans, Michelle and I have been so touched by all the well-wishes that we’ve received over the past few weeks. But tonight it’s my turn to say thanks,” Obama began.

“Whether we’ve seen eye-to-eye or rarely agreed at all, my conversations with you, the American people — in living rooms and schools, at farms and on factory floors, at diners and on distant outposts — are what have kept me honest, kept me inspired, and kept me going. Every day, I learned from you. You made me a better President, and you made me a better man.”

Obama is right about that. His administration was not perfect, but he was able to accomplish so much for the American people and clean up a few messes that were left from his predecessor. While he was able to secure protections for more than 750,000 Dreamers, he also deported more than 2.6 million immigrants.

That was all it took to get the crowd to start chanting:

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Please don’t leave us!

Obama said that even though progress “has been uneven,” America is defined by “forward motion, a constant widening of our founding creed to embrace all, and not just some.”

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President Obama went on to discuss *a few* of his accomplishments, such as reversing the recession, legalizing marriage equality…


Rebooting the auto industry, creating the longest stretch of job creation in our history, open a new chapter with Cuba, taking out the mastermind of 9/11, and giving 20 million people health insurance… NBD.

He said that the only way he was able to do so much for our country was because of us.

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“But that’s what we did. That’s what you did. You were the change,” Obama said.

He went on to say that right now is when we need unity more than ever. “Our founders quarreled and compromised, and expected us to do the same. But they knew that democracy does require a basic sense of solidarity,” Obama said.

“The idea that for all our outward differences, we are all in this together; that we rise or fall as one.”

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President Obama said that going forward it’s crucial to uphold laws against discrimination. “That’s what our Constitution and highest ideals require. But laws alone won’t be enough. Hearts must change.”


He said that we must understand that “politics is a battle of ideas” and while it’s healthy to have a discourse about it, we must prioritize different goals while maintaining “some common baseline of facts.”

On the topic of our environment, Obama said we must allow ourselves to pay attention to real statistics.

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“Without a willingness to admit new information, and concede that your opponent is making a fair point and that science and reason matter, we’ll keep talking past each other, making common ground and compromise impossible.”

But one of the most touching moments came when President Obama talked about the power of the Constitution. He called it “a remarkable and beautiful gift,” but reminded us that it has no power on its own.


“We, the people, give it power. We, the people, give it meaning — with our participation, and with the choices we that make and the alliances that we forge. Whether or not we stand up for our freedoms. Whether or not we respect and enforce the rule of law. America is no fragile thing. But the gains of our long journey to freedom are not assured.”

Then he said that if we don’t agree with how things are going on, we should run for office and make a change ourselves!

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We’re on it, Obama!

But undoubtedly the most touching moment of the night was when President Obama gave his wife and best friend, Michelle Obama, the most lovely mention.


“You took on a role you didn’t ask for and made it your own with grace and grit and style and good humor. You made the White House a place that belongs to everybody. And a new generation sets its sights higher because it has you as a role model. You’ve made me proud. You’ve made the country proud,” Obama said.

This is the moment that made both him and Malia shed a few tears.

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Of course, he thanked his kids too, which made everyone cry even more.


If you’re wondering about the youngest of the Obama clan, Sasha, she had a huge exam to take this morning so she stayed back in D.C. to prep. Hard work ethic runs in the family.

One of the most optimistic moments of President Obama’s speech came when he said he wouldn’t be leaving us. He said he’d continue to fight along with us.

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“My fellow Americans, it has been the honor of my life to serve you. I won’t stop; in fact, I will be right there with you, as a citizen, for all my days that remain… I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change — but in yours.”

He finished by saying: “Yes We Can. Yes We Did. Yes We Can.”

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And after all that, many couldn’t help but wish they were by him to reach out and do this:


Thank you, Obama.

READ: 11 Inspirational Obama Quotes To Remind You That America Is Great

Did you approve of President Obama’s eight years in office? Share this story and let us know your thoughts below. 

Indigenous People In Guatemala Marched On Their Capitol In Support Of Evo Morales

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Indigenous People In Guatemala Marched On Their Capitol In Support Of Evo Morales

evoespueblo / Twitter

South America’s poorest country, Bolivia, is in the midst of a political crisis, and Guatemala’s indigenous people are marching in solidarity with ousted Bolivian President Evo Morales. After the Guatemalan government joined the United States in recognizing extreme right self-appointed Jeanine Anez as the interim president of Bolivia, Guatemala’s indigenous people expressed their outrage in an organized protest. Hundreds of indigenous people marched in Guatemala’s capital Thursday to protest the change of government, which they view as a coup d’etat of Bolivia’s first indigenous president. With a “Brother Evo, Guatemala is with you” banner in hand, the protesters marched toward a heavily guarded US embassy. The next day, Morales announced that he won’t be “taking part in new elections.”

Before Morales rose to the presidency, he was a campesino activist, representing indigenous traditions and customs under attack by the US government. “We are repudiating the discriminatory and racist coup d’etat that took place in Bolivia,” said Mauro Vay, march organizer and head of Guatemala’s Rural Development Committee. 

Protesters proudly waved the wiphala flags, an indigenous symbol of solidarity.

CREDIT: @UKREDREVOLUTION / TWITTER

This man held an image that told the story of a thousand words. As a child, Evo Morales’ family were subsistence farmers, which allowed him to enjoy a basic education. He later moved to grow coca, the raw plant used to make cocaine. During the U.S.’ “War on Drugs,” coca farmers were under attack. Morales rose to defend the campesinos from what he called an imperialist violation of indigenous culture. His protests may have led to several arrests, but his notoriety grew to elect him to Congress as the leader of the Movement for Socialism (MAS) party. 

In Paraguay, Bolivian ex-patriates went up against the police to rehang the wiphala flag at the Bolivian embassy.

CREDIT: @WILL_J_COSTA / TWITTER

Several indigenous residents of Paraguay arrived at the Bolivian embassy to hang the Wiphala flag, which was reportedly taken down. They faced police resistance but eventually succeeded. The next day, the flag was removed. 

In 2005, Morales ran against former President Carlos Mesa and won, becoming the first indigenous president of Bolivia. 

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Then, it gets murky. By the time his first term was over, MAS rewrote their constitution to lift the one-term limit on presidents. Morales ran for a second term and won. Even though he claimed he wouldn’t run for a third term, Morales claimed the first term didn’t count because it was completed under the old constitution.  So he ran again and won for the third time. In October 2019, Morales ran for his fourth term, and won by a small margin, prompting a recount.

Just 24 hours into the recount, Morales ordered the recount to an end and declared himself president over his opponent, former president Mesa. the Organization of American States (OAS) conducted an audit that flagged the election as possibly fraudulent.

The OAS is not in the service of the people of Latin America, less so the social movements. The OAS is at the service of the North American empire,” Morales later said. Still, protests erupted across the country.

In a quickly developing government coup, military chiefs removed Morales.

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On Nov. 10, General Williams Kaliman, the commander of Bolivia’s armed forces, decided, along with other military chiefs, that Morales should step down. Morales tweeted, “I denounce to the world and the Bolivian people that a police officer publicly announced that he is instructed to execute an illegal arrest warrant against me; likewise, violent groups assaulted my home. A coup destroys the rule of law.” He added, “After looting and trying to set fire to my house in Villa Victoria, vandalism groups of the Mesa and Camacho coup docked my home in the Magisterio neighborhood of Cochabamba. I am very grateful to my neighbors, who stopped those raids. A coup destroys peace.”

Mexico offered him asylum and sent a plane to escort Morales to Mexico City.

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“This was my first night after leaving the presidency, forced by the coup of Mesa and Camacho with the help of the Police. There I remembered my times as a leader. Very grateful to my brothers from the federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba for providing security and care,” Morales tweeted. Right-wing Christian opponent, Luis Fernando Camacho, also called “Bolivia’s Bolsonaro,” led violent protests against Morales and his Indigenous supporters, burning Bolivia’s Indigenous Wiphala flag. 

Mexico, Cuba, Uruguay, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Argentina have maintained that his removal from office was a coup. The United States, led by a right-wing president, has recognized Bolivia’s interim right-wing president as valid.

Morales announced Friday that he won’t run for president in the reelection “for the sake of democracy.”

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Morales resigned Sunday after protests left four people dead. “For the sake of democracy, if they don’t want me to take part, I have no problem not taking part in new elections,” Morales told Reuters while remaining in asylum. “I just wonder why there is so much fear of Evo,” he offered.

READ: A US-Backed Opposition Leader Has Declared Herself President Of Bolivia Amid Outrage At Her Comments About Indigenous Bolivians

House Committee Holds Impeachment Hearings And Democrats Are Laying Out All Of Their Evidence

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House Committee Holds Impeachment Hearings And Democrats Are Laying Out All Of Their Evidence

PBS NewsHour / YouTube

This past Wednesday, the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump moved into the public spotlight when the House Intelligence Committee opened hearings in the Capitol. The day was marked with back and forths between members of the committee, both Democrats and Republicans, that further displayed the political divide in this country. The issue at hand is whether Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate his political rival, Joe Biden, by freezing U.S. military aid. 

One of the key figures in leading the proceedings is Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who has been a frequent target of President Trump. The congressman is heading the Democrats’ investigation into whether Trump abused his presidential powers for political gain and against national security interests. The proceedings are expected to last at least 10 days and will be a showcase of what many Democrats believe is an opportunity to show the American public why Trump needs to be removed from office. 

“Our job is to shape public opinion, not just follow public opinion,” Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee told Vox. “It’s to do what we think is right, for our country, for our national security, and to persuade people of that.”

One of the biggest moments on the first day of the impeachment hearings came from Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) who made the argument that Trump’s actions were “criminal.” 

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), who is the chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the chairman of his brother Julián Castro’s presidential bid, had one of the most notable moments on Wednesday. In speaking to Bill Taylor, the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Castro tried to make the case for President Trump’s actions as criminal. Taylor is a key figure in the  proceedings as he was the top U.S. official in Ukraine as the scandal was unfolding. 

In a tense moment between the two, Castro asked Taylor if he considered President Trump’s actions worthy as being labeled as “criminal.” Castro didn’t back down as he made the comparisons to Trump’s actions to other criminal offenses. 


“So ambassadors, is attempted murder a crime?” Castro asked, repeating his question. “Is attempted murder a crime?”

“Attempted murder is a crime,” Taylor said.

“Is attempted robbery a crime?” he asked.

“Neither of us is a lawyer,” Taylor began before Castro interrupted.

“I think anyone in this room could answer that question,” he said.

“I’ll go out on a limb and say yes it is,” Taylor said.

“Is attempted extortion and bribery a crime?” Castro responded. 

“I don’t know sir,” Taylor said.


The moment resonated with many people on social media who agreed with Castro’s reasoning. 

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Castro’s questioning prompted varied responses from people online that agreed with that Trump had indeed committed a crime by withholding money from Ukraine. One of those people included U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) that echoed similar thoughts to that of many Democrats. 

“This is what I have been saying over and over again. Attempting a crime is a CRIME. #ImpeachmentTrumpNow,” Talib tweeted. 

In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer later Wednesday afternoon, Castro reaffirmed his position on his questioning with Taylor. “Based on the evidence that I’ve seen, the President… either he committed extortion and bribery of a foreign official or he committed attempted extortion and bribery of a foreign official… it’s still a crime.” Castro said.

This moment is huge for Castro outside of just the hearings as he pursues to challenge U.S. Senator John Cornyn, (R-Texas). Many are looking at Castro’s role in the hearings as an opportunity to make his name known in the Democratic party. 

“It’s an opportunity in the national spotlight,” Mark Jones, a Rice University political science professor, told The Statesman. It’s a chance “to reemerge on the national scene and bolster his overall relevance in the Democratic Party.”

This was one of many big moments on the first day of these impeachment hearings. 

Credit: @alexismhodges / Twitter

If these public hearings are anything like the first day, there will be a lot of action on both sides of the political aisle. Wednesday showed proof that Democrats will pull out all the stops in presenting their case for impeachment to the American people. 

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has been one of the most staunch opponents of the Democrats’ attempts to impeach President Trump. During the hearing, Jordan said that the whistleblower was “the reason we’re all sitting here today” and that they should testify before the impeachment inquiry. The goal in doing so would be to discredit the whistleblower’s credibility. 

But Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vermont) quickly responded to Jordan’s claims by naming the actual person who started the entire Ukraine scandal.

“I’d be glad to have the person who started it all,” Welch said. “President Trump is welcome to come in and sit down right there.”

The quick exchange produced laughter and applause from some in the room. Even Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez chimed in on the moment. “Don’t sleep on Peter Welch!” she wrote on Twitter. “He’s great.”

If Wednesday is anything like the rest of these hearings we are all in for a real treat for the next few weeks. 

READ: Remembering Pedro Zamora, The HIV-Positive Man Who Changed Hearts And Minds While On ‘Real World: San Francisco’