This is coming from someone who didn't vote for Barack Obama in the 2008 primary but eventually did for the General Election and did again in 2012.
I often hear the horror stories about this Presidency...and don't doubt the emotional validity of them for that particular person. Whether it is rooted in fact or fear...it is true for that person. All I can do is share my experiences.
In the last eight years...
...my parents' urban neighborhood and the one I grew up in the near south side of Chicago (Pilsen) has experienced a financial and cultural resurgence;
...my former urban neighborhood just outside of Boston (Chelsea) became a hotspot for new home buyers;
...my current neighborhood in Sarasota, Florida went from being dominated by homeless people and drug addicts to 100's of new condos being built as I type this;
...I've had immigrant friends and family all over the country join the workforce and rise from lower class to the middle class. Many of them through their own entrepreneurial initiatives;
...I have seen children of immigrant friends excel in public school systems and start to successfully build careers for themselves. Many of them have served as positive role models for my daughters and these friends will always be close to my heart;
...during a time when we were both unexpectedly without work for a few months, the ACA helped my wife and I insure our family;
...dozens of friends of mine are no longer afraid to be open about their sexuality or who they love;
Eight years ago I had just been laid off from a multinational company that moved hundreds of jobs offshore. Since then I've worked for 4 USA based companies that are all growing and excelling domestically and globally.
I know that our country is FAR from perfect...There is so much work to be done and it is sometimes frustrating to see how little our politicians (including our President) do.
I also know that positive stories I share are not a result of one person or politician but of a system and a country that has allowed for this kind of forward progress. That's what makes our country so great and why I am proud to be an American instead of identifying myself with a Political Party or ideology.
Like my fellow 300 million Americans, we all have our own stories of up and downs, successes and failures. I just wanted to share how the last eight years have personally affected me.