Friday, January 4, 2008

An open letter to Barack Obama

Dear Mr. Obama,

I watched and listened to your Iowa victory speech last night with great interest and optimism. You (or your speech writer) hit the nail on the head when you said, "I know you didn't do this for me. You did this because you believed so deeply in the most American of ideas: that in the face of impossible odds, people who love this country can change it." Because while you yourself are an inspiration--your story, your ideas, and, so far, your actions--the reason you won the Iowa caucus has less to do with Obama the man than it does with Obama the idea.

We the hopeful optimists of this country have endured eight years of demoralizing defeats. We have been tricked and forced into unjust wars. Our leaders have passed laws we did not want and ignored us when we called for laws that were needed. The beauty and sanctity of our own home, our planet, has been repeatedly violated and desecrated. Those who were supposed to guide our country into a more prosperous and secure 21st century have instead used their powerful positions for their own personal gain, ignoring some of the most important and basic tenets of our Constitution. They laughed at the idea of checks and balances, of those who would hold them accountable for their misdeeds, doing all they could to shelter some of the most heinous lawbreakers our government has ever known.

Our leaders have destroyed our beloved country's reputation worldwide, reigned down terror and bloodshed in our names, killed many and turned even more against us. In what was perhaps the greatest betrayal and most disgusting act so far this century, they used the events of September 11, 2001 simply as a means to grow their power and influence.

So it is from these catastrophes of governance that we the weary people of the United States turn to someone like you for guidance, for help finding the light again. This is no exaggeration, no hyperbole, no attempt at melodrama for the sake of getting attention. We really are at our wit's ends. And we really, really need a leader who will help bring about the change that's so desperately needed not just in our own country, but world-wide.

I have no illusions about you being a perfect human being or even a perfect politician. Even our greatest leaders were riddled with the faults of humanity: infidelity, prejudice, infirmity, etc. But it was their ability to relegate those things to their private lives alone, keeping them far away from how they made public decisions (or perhaps as motivation to make those better public decisions), that made them great. Most importantly, it was their recognition that one person alone does not an effective government make. Understanding that no one person can know everything there is to know about anything, they brought a whole team of talented and dedicated people with them to the White House to help out. And they listened.

What we need now is a whole new team, individuals uncorrupted by the habits and influences of past administrations. Part of the problem with the current president is the unsettlingly large number of former Nixon administration officials still serving under him. If ever there was more proof of people not learning from past mistakes, the Bush White House makes it difficult to remember.

Mr. Obama, if you would be our next president, I can only plead that you never forget the promises you make to the hopeful, exhausted people who will put you there, that you never forget where you've come from, and that you always remain willing to put in the extra long hours and effort to make sure every voice gets heard and that the right thing gets done.

We are more than ready for change. We demand it.

Best regards,
-Emily Mills
Madison, WI, USA

P.S. Please come to Wisconsin. I'd like the chance to hear you, and the other candidates, speak before this whole thing is said and done. We will happily bribe you with cheese that is far superior to anything California can produce.


The CDP. said...

Yeah! Good letter!

I can't really add anything that you didn't already expound upon (quite well, I might add), but I feel lucky that I get to see the 2008 Presidential race. Absolutely historic in every way.

Emily said...

Thanks Ryan.

Yeah, I'm finally excited about a presidential election again. My first and so-far only two were...disappointing, to say the least (2000 & 2004). This one is, like you said, absolutely historic.

I'm kinda hoping Ron Paul runs as an independent and Naders the Republican vote, too.

The CDP. said...

'Naders.' Poor guy has become a verb for ruining everything.

Emily said...

'Naders.' Poor guy has become a verb for ruining everything.


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