I feel like this letter could probably be written to most Presidents for one reason or another by somebody at some point in time in their life. I feel like you write a letter to your President when you are in first grade, when the President is pretty much the cooleest person ever. I feel like you then maybe write a letter to the President when you are in high school and you first start to understand the world, our country and your place in it. I feel like the only other time you may write a letter to the President is if you are struggling or perhaps really trying to voice a concern or an idea you may have.
I was truly fascinated by the President growing up. I didn't totally understand the three branches of government and never fully understood how all three "worked" together, but I remember the President was an exciting concept to me. It sounded very sexy when I was little. How amazing and exciting to have so much power and to get to make decisions and "rule" the world. Granted, this was all totally naive and from a little kids perspective.
As you get older all of the sexiness fades away and you slowly begin to realize just how difficult of a position it really is. You begin to realize just how much you would be responsible for as President. You begin to realize just how much you and your family would be the subject of scrunity, similar to any celebrity. You begin to realize how much work, how much struggling, how much fighting, how much money and how much politics really may get in the way of everything you had hoped and promised in your campaign speech. You may begin to realize that once you are elected to the position, you are privied to information that changes your perspectives on so much. Things that you thought would be doable and easily, suddenly became impossible and dangerous.
Things that were only recently perceived as a good idea and bipartisian, are now considered silly and you are suddenly blamed for "taking us down the wrong path."
People begin to make acusations about your family, your religion, your history, your being.
I think the hardest thing for me, personally, would be to sit back and just continue to let people talk, while putting out the evidence for others to find. I would want to scream from the mountain tops that people were wrong. Watching Michelle Obama give her speech last night was amazing. She is a fantastic public speaker to begin with, but she also spoke with so much grace and poise. If people were attacking Greg as many people do President Obama, I am not sure I would be as good about idly sitting by.
Can you imagine the man you love the most, the father of your children being verbally abused daily by a large chunk of people and not fighting back and not getting the opportunity or the forum to stand up for that man. Can you imagine how difficult it must be for her, how difficult it must be for the President. I understand how silly it is all is, I understand how they probably think of it as a waste of time to try and fight back all the rumors and stop all of the bullies in their tracks, but I just cannot imagine how difficult this must all be for them. I also know this isn't unique to the Obama's however, I truly feel like it has reached a fever pitch like I have never seen.
I am sure this senitment was felt by the Bush's, the Clinton's the Reagan's the Carter's, the Nixon's, the Kenndey's. This list goes on an on. What is popular is not always right and what is right is not always popular.
Can you imagine being Sasha and Malia? I can only hope they are protected from all of the hatred and vitriol that is out there. Can you imagine hearing people out in the world speaking lies about your father. The man you love most in this world. Can you imagine how painful this must be for them. How confusing it probably is for them. How do Michelle and the President have these conversations with their daughters. I cannot even imagine those conversations and the challenges that come along with not being angry. I would be so angry. I would want to speak out and fight back. I would want to set the record straight. I would want to explain to all of those people that my father is the best there is. I would want to talk about how he took such good care of me, helped me with my homework, went to all my games, how we went to church on Sundays, celebrated Christmas and about how important he was to me. Again, I am sure Chelsea and Jenna and Barbara felt the same way about their fathers.
It is so intersting because it really seems, most often, people are attacking him personally, which is just crazy, in my mind. If you have a problem with his policies, vote. If you have a better idea, tell your senator, congressman, or maybe you should write him a letter. But if you disrespect the President of the United States to the point of attacking him personally, I am sorry, I have lost respect for you. I understand, just like the next person, that politicians these days make it harder and harder to trust them. I understand there is a lot going on in todays world that makes it challenging to know what is best for us as a country. I also know that the office of the President should be respected and also, understand that while the President is leading, the House and Senate need to be willing to act on behalf of things, not just against things.
I do not have a big enough back bone to ever be President of the United States. There is no way I could handle all of the crap that gets thrown their way. I think all of the Presidents have gone through their fair share of this. While I disagree with many descisions made, I still respected them while they were President and I still am grateful for their willingness to stay up late at night worrying about the issues we don't even ever hear about. I still appreciate them making the tough decisions, traveling to other countries (although I would love to get to see the world), enduring sleepless nights, unrelenting criticisms and totally losing the life they had in an effort to make ours a bit better. While I do not always agree (and there are MANY decisions I would change), I have no idea what type of information and guidance they have been given. As an outsider, in hindsight, it is always easier to judge and criticize and as it seems recently, demonize, not only the decisions but the person that we don't agree with. It is always easier to make the decisions in hindsight and argue what a ridiculous decision they were.
Now I do truly believe that money in politics has made everything more complicated. I like to be a bit naive and believe that our politicans, in the deepest corner of their soul, do have the country's best interest at heart (although after hearing about the Republican's "secret" meeting the night of President Obama's inaguration, I am starting to dought this). This has been challenged recently more than ever, but I like to think there is potential. Call me totally naive, but I truly believe that when it comes to the office of The President, at least, they do have our country's best interest in mind. I truly believe that at the end of the day, if nothing else to save their own ass, they think about what makes the most sense and what is best for us as a country. I have to believe that. I have to believe in the office of the President. I just have to.
So, I guess I just wanted to publically take this opportunity to thank our current President. I am not sure one thank you blog means anything to him, but I am sincere in my thanks. I cannot imagine all that comes along with being President, all I do know is that they often look much more tired and gray when they leave than when they came into office. I wanted to thank our President for fighting the hard fight and not the popular one. I wanted to thank our President for keeping the campaign promises he could as he continues to try and make good on more.
Coming out in support of gay marriage, repealing don't ask don't tell and fighting hard on Obamacare and the Lily Ledbetter act are all huge in and of themselves. But, not only were they huge, they were risky. They were also all red meat for the Republicans. I appreciate the President being bold and rescuing GM, I am grateful we aren't still experiencing awful job losses each month. While I have NO doubt more could have been done and there is still so much more to be done, I am grateful for what we do have, at this moment.
I would like to thank Sasha, Malia for giving us their father for at least four years. I would like to thank them for giving up the life they had, the friends they had and the privacy they had to move to Washington and suddenly live under a microscope with less freedom and privacy than they probably ever imagined. I have no doubt they will never forget their experiences and memories living in the White House and being a part of the First Family, but I feel like I need to express my appreciation to them as well.
I lastly, would like thank Michelle. For being a role model to us all. For fighting for our veterans and our kids. For being out there and vocal about important issues of our time. For still believing in a country that throws hatred at her husband, daily. For still being willing to do what she feels is best even though it appears some want nothing but the worst for her and her family. I appreciate her being the bigger person on every occasion and for adding to the confidence I have for her and her husband's heart, integrity and decision-making ability.
As Michelle said so eloquently last night, "being President doesn't change who you are, it reveals who you are." I couldn't agree more and I am thankful and grateful that someone else had to make the tough decisions. I can only hope that whatever happens in November, President Obama knows in his heart that he truly made a difference, that he has my utmost respect and that I have no doubt that he genuinely did what he thought was best for our country, at every turn. I also have no doubt that if he is not re-elected, it is only because of money and false claims. It was laughable how many lies were told last week, but I digress...
Maybe I should make a thing of writing a thank you letter to each President, every four years. I know I would struggle with some letters more than others, but again, I cannot imagine being President. The opportunity sounds inspriring and endless, but I feel like there is so much that makes it the least appealing job, ever.
I also feel like in today's world of the 24 hour news cycle and social media, you truly cannot escape. Every word, movement, outfit and hairdo out there to be judged, analyzed and conspiracy theoried. Can you imagine if every conversation you had was put out into the evening news cycle. I cannot even count the number of times I have mispoke, changed my mind, worn a horrible outfit or had messy hair. If I was President, I am sure people would be calling me dumb, anti American, overweight, underdressed, not religious enough. People, I am sure would call me out and make me feared. Anything can be taken out of context. Heck, the Republicans made the theme to their entire convention "We Build It" and if you watch the entire speech, it is laughable how ridiculous it is that that was their theme. My point being, anyone can become a racist, anti American, dumb, communist if you take a fragment of a sentence said at some point during the day.
So, again, thank you Mr. President for continuing to believe and fight for us, even though so many of us do nothing but disrespect you. Thank you Mr. President for working hard for us every day, even though some of us do nothing but work hard against you. Thank you Mr. President for being willing to put up with us for four more years with all of our hatred, lies, politics and anger. Thank you Mr. President for doing the best job that you can at what remains to be a very thankless job. I have no doubt you are grateful for the opportunity and honor you have had serving as our President, I just wish we had more thanks and honor for you. Thank you, Mr. President for doing all you do for $400,000 a year. Granted this is a huge salary, but when I stop and think of all of the people in this world who do a whole lot less for a whole lot more, nevermind the fact that you are responsible for the wellbeing and success of roughly three hundred and eleven million folks who live here, thank you.
Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you!
And thats all she wrote....