Fredi Magazine Winter 2016 / Volume 2 Issue 2 - Page 27

presidential legacy is a complicated thing, like an equation where his character, decisions, policies, promises, failures, successes, and anything of any consequence on a national or international scale are variables. Right now, people – not just Americans, obviously – are looking back on the last eight years in the U.S. and weighing these variables, tipping the scales according to their view of the world. If you’re a West Virginia coal miner, a African American schoolteacher from Chicago, or a journalist from Toronto, you’re going to see things differently. But as more time passes, the legacy will begin to look more similar to more people. A For soon-to-be-former President Barack Obama, that convergence of views is still a dot on the horizon. Right now, his accomplishments are being refracted through the prism of many worldviews, magnifying him into a giant of progressive causes in the eyes of many (including yours truly), and twisting him into something else entirely in the eyes of others. If the election of Donald Trump proved anything, it was that there were far more of those others in America than most expected. Consider, for example, the fact that he was the first African American to win the presidency. He had what many people would characterize as two successful terms, and yet Trump ran a campaign built on racial resentment – regularly saying things that should have disqualified him for the position – and won (if you’re not fully convinced of that, I should point out that the Ku Klux Klan is planning a parade in North Carolina to celebrate Trump’s election; or that the president-elect’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, is a hero of the white nationalist movement). Or consider the DREAM Act, a law that would prevent the children of undocumented immigrants from being deported. fredi winter 2016 • 27