Barack Hussein Obama was the first African American president, making him a president unlike any other. He served as the 44th President of the United States from 2009 to 2017. He formerly served in the United States Senate, representing Illinois from 2005 to 2008. From 1997 to 2004, he was also a member of the Illinois State Senate. During his campaign, he promised a new future that would be prosperous, and he advocated for near plurality, free access, and diversity. He has made public his domestic and foreign policy goals, such as a televised healthcare alternative, economic recovery in the United States, and a nuclear settlement with Iran. After his victory, his supporters from all over the world were hopeful that he would fulfill most of his objectives if not all. This essay aims to present an argument that Barack Obama had been a positive influence. This paper will further categorically explain how he is a good influence by providing specific examples.
He has been interested in improving the healthcare sector for the people around him. When he was the Illinois State Senator, he ensured that the healthcare coverage was expanded to extra 70000 children through the KidCare program and later it was made permanent. In 2009 after he was elected president, he expanded the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) which requires reauthorization every ten years (Austin n.p). In 2010, he signed the Obamacare into law which extensively expounded the healthcare coverage for the citizens since it introduced subsidies and insurance relations. Consequently, the care expanded to Medicaid which was passed in 1965 for the provision of health insurance to low-income earners. The implementation of Obamacare ensured that more citizens were insured even after Medicaid was ruled against by the US Supreme Court. Therefore, it is evident that Barack Obama is a man of his words and should be emulated.
Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) conducted a poll in 2009 to 2010 to find out the effect of Obama in the world. The poll established that the influence of America in the world was seen as more positive than negative (Schmidt, Shelley and Bardes 233). This was all because of the election of Obama as the new president. The survey that was conducted reported that 20 out of 28 countries viewed the United States as the most positive influence in the world.
Elimination of racial profiling and punishing inequality in drug-related crimes was one of Obama’s platforms in 2008. This was witnessed in sentencing disparities involving crack and powder cocaine. In 1986, the Anti-Drug Abuse Act had passed a minimum sentence for crack which was to be mandatory. This greatly affected the African American communities. The legislative authorities argued that crack cocaine was more addictive and thus dangerous compared to powder cocaine. In 2010, Obama was able to pass the Fair Sentencing Act where he tried to decrease the ratio of powder to crack to 1:1 (Maraniss n.p). However, the Senate Judiciary Committee threatened to block the bill has it changed from 18:1. The bill also got rid of the mandatory punishment which was five-year sentencing for first-time possession. This proofs that Barack Obama fights for equality and fairness for all the citizens regardless of their race.
Obama was against privatization of the Social Security since it meant that Americans had to spend in financial markets. These markets had suffered a great recession that was caused by irresponsible banking practices. Privatization of social security would have led to the loss of retirement assets during the recession. He opposed the privatization in 2008 and 2012 despite facing opposition from the Republicans. The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, was passed by Obama (The Editors of Time n.p). It was beneficial to the aging American group who paid taxes and hoped that social security benefits would cover their retirement funds. This indicated that Obama had the people’s wellbeing at heart.
The US economy was not good when Obama became the president for his first term. The poor economy was as a result of financial mechanism complications that were put in place to maximize profit without considering ethical guidelines. To fight this, Obama passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 and 2010 he passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. These legislation Acts ensured that the government controlled the US banks. Also, it ensured that the auto industries and banks were simplified and the interest rates were maintained at zero. This resulted in a much stronger economy in the United States (Andrew n.p). Consequently, the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and returned over $11 billion to more than twenty-five million families who had been defrauded by financial companies. This evidently indicates that Obama had impacted the lives of many Americans positively.
In conclusion, Obama had a positive influence on both Americans as well as other people all over the world. His efforts in making America a better place for all the citizens made him a public figure who is to be emulated. He promoted fairness, equality, and justice to the citizens of the US without considering the race of the party that people supported.
Andrew, Mark. “Obama’s lasting impact on America.” StarTribune (2015).
Austin, Elizabeth. “In Defense of the President: Barack Obama’s Impact and Legacy.” International Policy Digest (2016).
Maraniss, David. Barack Obama: The Story . Simon and Schuster, 2012.
Schmidt, Steffen, et al. American Government and Politics Today – Texas Edition, 2011-2012. Cengage Learning, 2012.
The Editors of Time. TIME Barack Obama: Eight Years . Time Inc. Books, 2016.