Just nine days before his presidency ended, Barack Obama stood at a podium in Chicago and gave his farewell address to the nation. He acknowledged the swing in the pendulum of power and declared that while the nation was “not a fragile thing,” the people must always be vigilant (Obama, 2017). He spoke of diversity and unity: “Democracy does not require uniformity. But democracy does require a basic degree of solidarity” (ibid.). The president was not referring simply to the bonds among Americans. Solidarity for him – a lawyer and a former university professor of constitutional law – involved the obligation to participate in protecting a system of government that was one with the ideas and rules framed by the Constitution of the United States. This solidarity was the glue between “We, the People” and the government. Obama warned that solidarity can be imperilled. “Our democracy is threatened whenever we take it for granted,” he said. The outgoing president worried that the present era was one of those times and he offered a solution: “Show up. Dive in. Stay at it. Sometimes you’ll win. Sometimes you’ll lose” (ibid.). Then he addressed himself directly to the younger generations and their future prospects: Let me tell you, this generation coming up – unselfish, altruistic, creative, patriotic – I’ve seen you in every corner of the country. You believe in a fair, and just, and inclusive America.
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