Barack Obama Says America Lacks Leadership During His Commencement Speeches
Despite the cancellation of the traditional graduation ceremonies, Barack Obama made appearances in two virtual commencement lectures on Saturday, encouraging the college and high school graduates to listen to his addresses to be fearless and make their own path. The beloved former president also urged them to take the initiative.
Obama described these unprecedented times as a situation when American leaders have mishandled the coronavirus pandemic response. There are hours of gaps between these speeches, which not only focused on advising graduates to build community, do what is right, and be a leader, but also criticized the current administration's failure of handling an outbreak that killed thousands of Americans and destroyed the nation's economy.
According to a report by The New York Times, over 4,680,700 American people have been hospitalized due to the pandemic and at least 314,100 people have succumbed to the deadly virus. Keeping in line with that, Obama pointed out that the pandemic has completely eliminated the misunderstanding that people in charge know what they are doing.
Obama's first address, which targeted graduates of historically black universities and colleges, accused the people in charge of pretending to be not in charge. While he refrained from mentioning President Trump by name, it looked like he was strongly criticizing his successor in his addresses.
Contrary to that, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany released a statement that claimed President Trump's coronavirus response helped save several lives. The aforesaid statement cited the current administration’s travel restrictions, loan programs initiated for small businesses, and using the private sector to refilling the stockpile that the Obama administration left exhausted.
Targetting social inequities in his speeches, Obama touted the pandemic as a wakeup call for youngsters as it proved good leadership is very important and also showed that old ways of doing things do not work. Speaking about doing things that fit inside their comfort zones in a prime time special for high school seniors, the former POTUS said kids fancy doing things that are convenient and easy.
Obama said a lot of grown-ups, including those with big titles continue thinking like little kids, and that's exactly why things messed up. He encouraged young adults to adopt more permanent ground values, like hard work, honesty, fairness, responsibility, generosity, and respect for others. These were few of Obama's addresses to American people amid the outbreak.