Obama pushes values in final address
UNITED STATES: With a final call of his campaign mantra ‘‘Yes we can’’, US President Barack Obama urged Americans in his farewell address yesterday to stand up for American values and reject discrimination as the US transitions to the presidency of Republican Donald Trump.
In an emotional speech in which he thanked his family and declared his time as president the honour of his life, Obama gently prodded the public to embrace his vision of progress, while repudiating some of the policies that Trump promoted during his campaign for the White House.
‘‘So just as we, as citizens, must remain vigilant against external aggression, we must guard against a weakening of the values that make us who we are,’’ Obama told a crowd of 18,000 in his home town of Chicago, where he celebrated his election in 2008 as the first black US president.
Trump, who will take office on January 20, proposed temporarily banning Muslims from entering the US, building a wall on the border with Mexico, upending a global deal to fight climate change, and dismantling Obama’s healthcare reform law.
Obama said his efforts to end the use of torture and close the US prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba were part of a broader move to uphold American values.
‘‘That’s why I reject discrimination against Muslim Americans,’’ he said in a clear reference to Trump that drew applause.
‘‘If anyone can put together a plan that is demonstrably better than the improvements we’ve made to our healthcare system, that covers as many people at less cost, I will publicly support it,’’ he said in another challenge to his successor.
Trump has urged the Republican-controlled Congress to repeal the away.
Obama also said bold action was needed to fight global warming, and ’’science and reason’’ mattered.
Obama, who came to office amid high expectations that his election would heal historic racial divides, acknowledged that this was an impossible goal. ‘‘Race remains a potent and often divisive force in our society.’’
However, he remained hopeful about the work that a younger generation would do.
‘‘Yes we can,’’ he said. ‘‘Yes we did.’’ - Reuters ‘‘Obamacare’’ law right
Death sentence for Roof
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New look for Monopoly
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US President Barack Obama waves to the crowd after giving his farewell address at McCormick Place in Chicago.