I sent this letter to President Obama the week before his inauguration. Of course I have no idea if he ever saw it, probably not. Still, I was wondering as we head into this summer of election chaos and frustration, are those of us that elected him happy with the result? I don’t mean in a lesser of two evils way, I mean do any of us really think he has done all he could have in these past 3+ years? If he manages to get elected to a second term should we expect more of the same or a renewed vigor and enthusiasm for the things he promised in his 2008 campaign?
Dear President Obama:
Tuesday, on the official first day of your presidency, I will have a request. I know many are expecting you to get us out of Iraq, Guantanamo, the economic morass, of any number of other problems facing us this year. The expectations are soaring, but the reality of how these issues will be resolved is more down to earth. Many expect that you and the people you have chosen for your administration will act quickly to solve these problems, and in doing so transform the current state of the U.S. and the World. It will be difficult, and in some cases impossible, to meet all these expectations. I am sure you know that and will handle that reality with your ever present aplomb. My request is for another kind of transformation, perhaps an even more important transformation.
You did your best to run your campaign with transparency, character and integrity. Please bring these back to the office of the U.S. Presidency. The dignity you displayed in the campaign will serve us all well over the next four years. You will be attacked by your political enemies. You will be frustrated by the complexity of the many issues facing us right now. You will be let down by some of those you have chosen to work with your administration. You will tire at times with so many of us expecting so much of you. But please, stay true to the message of inclusion and hope you displayed in the campaign.
Although in vastly different ways, both of our last two Presidents let us down. These letdowns have greatly affected the collective psyche of our nation and the world. Our last President worried all the time about what his legacy will be. I suspect that is not your style, but in the end all Presidents, without exception, will have a legacy. Please allow the character, integrity, steadiness, transparency, and hope many of us see in you personally not only be the pillars of your administration, but also part of your legacy.
The hope you can inspire in people is a beautiful thing and you have managed this inspiration well. But be cautious, even though hope has wings, please handle ours with care. Let it soar, but don’t let it fly away.
For what it is, this is my letter to President Obama. If you are inspired to write your own, whether now or at some point in the future, please insert a link to it in the form below. If you find others out there who have done the same thing, and their letter is not included below, please insert that link also. If you want to write a letter, but have no place to post it, feel free to include it as a comment on this post.