How it Felt Seeing President Obama Speak During Trump's Administration

Former President Barack Obama is nothing short of an inspiration to me. His election went against all odds and was a complete progression for not only Black people, but for what this country stands for. He is compassionate, uplifting, caring and everything this country should strive to have in a leader. Now, in my opinion at least, we seem to have a president in office that does not exactly stand for the same values and does not portray that same positivity.

I was thankful to be able to attend the Northam for Governor rally the evening of Oct. 19, with my parents, one of my best friends and her family. It was such a high energy event that did nothing but uplift my mood, spirits and love for politics. At the rally, in addition to the former President and Democratic Gov. candidate Ralph Northam speaking, I got the pleasure to hear Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Attorney General Mark Herring (who is running for reelection), candidate for Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, Congressmen Bobby Scott and Congressman Donald McEachin. What made the rally such a great experience for me was not only who I was seeing, but what I was actually hearing. The speeches were led with such intellect and good intentions. There was not lots of bashing or negativity, which is why I was able to appreciate it that much more. This made the event not only inspiring, but so refreshing to be apart of. Especially in comparison to Trump’s speeches, that don’t ever seem to give me that "feel good" feeling.

                  Photo of my family and I, taken by Candice James, edited by VSCO preset 

Along with the great words, there was great feeling in the crowd. The excitement, the support and class of the crowd made it clear that these people were involved and nostalgic of the energy this country had during the Obama administration, because I know for sure I was. When former president Obama came out, for at least the first 10 minutes of him talking, a girl in front of me was uncontrollably sobbing with excitement. That is something that I feel is so rare, to get that emotion for any past president, let alone our current one. It touched my heart to see the cheers and excitement, truly uplifting the hope that not only I have for our country, but the hope that is instilled in it.

As a young voter and student in politics, the main things I took away from this experience were to not lose our sense of hope and excitement for this world and country, and to stay excited for what my future field has to offer. Last year when things took an unexpected turn in the 2016 presidential election and as things increasingly seem to get worse instead of better like we had hoped, it's easy to feel that this country is doomed. After this experience however, I feel the total opposite. No matter who is in office at the time, or if every election is deservingly won, there are people in this world that still have that fire and that is so important. To have the patience, talent, intelligence and desire to lead this country through whatever the current issues are, is something that takes a special person, as well as special supporters. I feel that we will get that energy back in upcoming elections, this country depends on it. 

                                                            Photo taken by Eleanor Ritzman

Photo credits: Cover Photo taken by Eleanor Ritzman