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President Obama Gives Farewell Speech and Oh God, Please Don’t Leave Us

There’s just over a week left of President Obama’s time in office, and yes, that is the most depressing sentence I’ve ever written.

The president gave an eloquent farewell to the nation in a live address in Chicago on Tuesday night, presumably accompanied by the sound of quiet weeping in roughly half the country. The crowd of 20,000 broke out into a chant of “Four more years!” early on, which was disappointingly not followed up with a hearty “Fuck you, term limits!”

Staying true to the ideals that propelled him into office way back in 2008, Obama again and again returned to the themes of hope and togetherness. Much of what he said may offer us a game plan for getting through the next four years, as he reminded us that we can’t “retreat into our own bubbles” and that “change only happens when ordinary people get involved, get engaged, and come together to demand it.” Got that?

If you’re not a fan of President-elect Donald Trump and his death eaters Republican colleagues, do something other than post angry status updates about it. Vote. Speak to your elected officials. Donate to causes threatened by the incoming administration. We can’t afford to sleep through the Trump era (I know this, because I’ve looked into the cost of cryogenically freezing my family, and it is prohibitive).

That was the other big message of the President’s speech—don’t give up. He said that while “our progress has been uneven,” America has always been defined by its ability to move forward.

I think Obama must be the most optimistic and least petty man on the planet, because if I were about to hand over the keys to the White House to Trump, I’d be making plans for Home Alone-style booby traps and not so much calling on my fellow Americans for a peaceful transition of power. That’s what so many of us will miss most about Obama—the sincerity and the class and the grace that he’s shown us time and time again.

To think of Donald Trump following in President Obama’s footsteps, it’s like Monty Python to me: “And now for something completely different!” Because it must also be noted that on the same night President Obama was giving a passionate defense of democracy and a stirring call for unity, our next President was the butt of approximately one zillion golden shower jokes on Twitter.

If you’re not up on this story, here’s the short version: Russian hackers apparently compiled damaging reports on both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Until now, we haven’t known much about the dirt on Trump, but new (and I begrudgingly must admit) unconfirmed intelligence says the dude is into hiring hookers to pee on stuff.

This may shock you, but Trump then went into a Twitter meltdown over it, and there were SHOUTY CAPITALS involved.

I think it’s a little late in the game for Trump to suddenly start caring about fact versus fiction, so I’m going to go ahead and believe it. I might as well, because I’ll never be able to burn that mental image out of my head. And I have no idea how I’m going to get through four years of this circus.

There was a moment in Obama’s speech when he said, “I’ll be right there with you as a citizen for all my remaining days.” An image of him carrying me across a sandy beach a la “Footsteps” immediately flashed into my mind.

He won’t be around to carry us through the next four years we’ll likely spend as the laughingstock of the world, but if there’s anything that a man whose campaign slogan was “Yes, We Can” has taught us, it’s that we’ll be okay anyway.