Friday, February 13, 2009

Post to the President

Have you seen this website, Post to the President? I love this idea. First of all, I love the idea of getting in on the ground floor of something that could really be earth changing. Could you imagine President Obama reading each and every one of those posts, actually giving them all the weight they deserve? Equally importantly, I love the fact that this is such a 21st-century thing to do. He got elected largely through raising funds via his website. He gets major press for refusing to give up his Blackberry. If ever there was a president who would take a blog devoted to communicating with him seriously, this is him. But I just keep thinking about what I would say if I had the chance. And you know what? I do have the chance. I'm at least as intelligent, articulate, opinionated and important as Joe the Plumber, and his opinion was taken mighty seriously. So this is the post that I'm adding to the website:

Dear Mr. President:

First of all, congratulations. My son is five years old, and when he saw your picture on my computer this morning, I asked if he knew who it was. He thought a moment, then said, "Our president! Barack Obama!" I almost cried. At five years old, yours is the first presidency he will remember. He has no idea what a big deal that is. After 8 years of putting up with what can only be called a shitty administration, he will get to see what it's like to have a president you can be proud of.

I'm not proud of you because you're the first black president, though you certainly have broken down some barriers. And I'm not looking to you to stand up as an example for an entire race. To me, your color is beside the point. I'm proud of you because when you talk, I want to get up and act. You have called upon a nation to take responsibility for itself and you have promised to lead us on to better days. When I talk about you to my son, I talk about a man who is helping our country to find a better way. He asked me, "So the president can do anything he wants?" And I told him about being elected, about how the people choose who will lead them--and I told him that being a leader means helping people to get things done, getting people to work together, listening to the people and working toward their goals. It doesn't mean working alone; it means working with us.

So that being said, what are you doing and what can we do to help? All I hear about is the economic crisis. I send my oldest child to a school that is finding new and creative ways to make fewer dollars go further, and I'm trying to help. I care for my youngest two children at home, along with their friends and playmates. I don't eat out. I rarely drive. My sister and I pass garbage bags of baby clothes back and forth. I provide child care from home and do freelance work when I can. We do okay. But while we're managing, thousands and thousands of families aren't. We have health care we can afford--for now. We have a house we can afford--for now. We have jobs we can rely on--for now. I'm all for government doing what it can to help the people; government is supposed to be an entity, created by the people, that provides us with a way to create peace, safety, and prosperity. But you got where you are because you made people want to act. Now help us out. Do what you can from up there. Pass that stimulus package, get us out of Iraq, close down Guantanamo. I will trust your judgment and that of the people you have chosen to work with you. But since I have such faith in your ideas, pass some along this way. I want to do what I can to make this country a better place, but I don't know where to start. So here's your chance. Send out a call to action. Be the leader that makes us want to follow you. Show us the way to help one another, and we will. But you have to help us out. I don't have much in the way of money or time, but I have to believe that I can help this country get back on the path toward living up to its promises.

Don't be the first black president, because that's just a historical milestone that will be reduced to a date in a textbook. Instead, be the president who led the United States out of a period of fear and intolerance and into an unprecedented era of unity and responsibility. We will follow you, if you will show the way.

-- A mother and citizen in Minneapolis

Now is your chance. Take a minute and tell him what you have to say.

1 comment:

Aunt Becky said...

What an awesome idea!