He delivered the possibility of it. A hope of hope. And that’s really what you’ve got to cling onto. He delivered the hope of hope that America can be a better place, that America could be better than a greedy place built on confrontation and violence against others, and violence against itself.
When he has not delivered, it has been in part because the conflicts of the world are so big that even hope isn’t enough. And he often didn’t do what was needed in terms of tough action to fulfil hope. If you look at gun control, he will go down as a failure. He could have come in and made a signature difference, spent eight years saying ‘I know it’s going to be tough, I know about the gun lobby, I know about Congress, but I’m going to do something about it because this cannot stand, this cannot be tolerated.’ And he has done nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Change in America isn’t brought about by a president. Change comes about from a lot of good people continuing to pursue the fulfilment of hope. Those people who pursued LGBT rights, including same-sex marriage – those are the people who fulfil hope. Those who are raising the issues of economic deprivation and social deprivation and police confrontation with certain communities, especially African-American communities, those people deliver hope. Those people that talk about the dignity of women and girls, and kick back against this horrible climate we have now, those people deliver hope.
Obama opened up the space for those people, and credit to him for doing that, but he did not fulfil that as much as those people did.