In my Cub Scout journalist days, I thought Barack Obama would be a historic figure beyond his obvious perch as the first African American president.
His words soared as if he could part the seas; his talk about a post-partisan America gave hope to a real draining of the swamp—the type Donald Trump conned millions into thinking he would deliver on.
But as the years went on, it became painfully clear the president was not the progressive he convinced millions of Americans into believing he was.
And, along with the Democrats running the most bought-off, tone-deaf, inauthentic candidate in history, Obama's fundamental choice to not fight for progressive legislation, and instead, preach incrementalism—aka, more corporate welfare with crumbs for working people—is one of the major reasons a circus act, con-artist like Donald Trump will be our next president.
Did Obama have an extremist Republican party and other obstacles few presidents ever faced in his way?
He sure did.
But, as with anything in life, politics is about fundamental choices. Obama chose to play nice with extremists and tweak around the edges instead of recognizing the best opportunity since Franklin Delano Roosevelt's presidency to enact real progressive change.
So, as he bids "farewell" Tuesday, Bernie Sanders must realize it's time to make a fundamental choice: Work within a bought-off, completely in-denial Democratic Party, which, after losing to the most unpopular candidate in the history of America, still refuses to sever its ties with Wall Street, big oil, and big pharma, OR, backed by millions of politically reinvigorated working class people, and millennials politically energized for the first time, fight both the corrupt, corporate Democrats and extremist Republicans.