The Evolution of #ThanksObama

Article by Alfonso Syquia

The hashtag #ThanksObama was originally coined by those looking to criticize President Obama’s policies. Initially, #ThanksObama was used by conservatives to sarcastically ‘thank’ the president for things like health-care reform, the national debt, and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Though it was originally created to make valid criticisms, the hashtag soon turned into a meme with people sarcastically blaming Obama for minor things like burnt toast.

However, with President Trump’s recent inauguration on January 20th, people everywhere have realized that many took the Obama administration for granted. Twitter and Facebook feeds have since been flooded with tributes to the United States’ former president. Most of them use the hashtag #ThanksObama and #FarewellObama, with an accompanying picture of the former president walking through a doorway. Obama’s supporters have taken what used to be a sarcastic sentiment and redefined it into a genuine statement for their 44th president.

Moreover, many took to the streets on Obama’s last day in office in order to express their gratitude for the former president. Most notably, a group of people gathered in Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C. and held up a banner that read, “Thank you President Obama!! Your grace still echoes above the noise!” With Obama leaving office, his supporters have stripped the hashtag of its negative connotation and made it an expression of heartfelt gratitude to Obama for being an exemplary leader during his time in office.

Junior Claire Stevens says, “[Obama] is one of the most charming people I’ve ever come across, and he doesn’t deserve to have sarcastic remarks to be thrown at him after all the great things he’s done for the US.”

From supporting the legalisation of same-sex marriage, to maintaining a 69-month streak of job growth in America and implementing the Affordable Care Act, Obama is certainly deserving of the gratitude that people across the world have been expressing. So let’s all take a moment to say #ThanksObama.