An Open Letter to Barack Obama re: Term Two

Dear Mr. President,

I, like 50.4% of the voting population of America, cast my vote in favor of returning you to office for a second term. I congratulate you, and I cheered when you clinched the 270 electoral college votes required to return you to the Oval Office.

I, like millions of other Americans, have high hopes and expectations for your second term.

I, like millions of other Americans, was disappointed by many of your decisions over the course of your first term.

I therefore am writing you with the singular purpose of imploring you to action, common sense, and collaboration with those who you might have very recently considered enemies.

As everyone who has turned on a television or a radio in the last six months knows, the decisive issue in this election was the economy. The most important issue now facing this country is the fiscal cliff: slashing the budget and stimulus spending while hiking taxes on corporations and consumers will submerge the national economy in an ocean of problems that has great potential to ruin the financial future of my entire generation. I ask, therefore, in the name of my friends, parents, co-workers and citizens, that you define your second term by compromise, brokerage, and teamwork. I ask that you work with people, not parties; that you work with individuals, not ideologies. Democrats, Republicans, and Independents all can agree that fairness and equality are the end goal, that economic growth is our top priority, and that the American people are eager to go back to work.

I ask too that you attempt, once again, to be the broker of a compromise in a polarized world, that between the Palestinians and the Israelis. No one more deserves peace than they. For seventy years, their relationship has been one of strife, violence, and hatred. And though it may be a Herculean task to attempt, that is not a reason not to attempt, not when the alternative is more injustice, more death, more tragedy. And as the “Leader of the Free World”, there is no better way to earn your title than to address these problems before they become truly permanent.

And though your ability to compromise may define your presidency, so too will your strength and resolve. I ask that you stand firm on those issues that have been so critically mandated in your favor: women’s rights, gay rights, health care, and immigration reform. If there is one thing that was definitively established on Nov. 6, it was that Americans demand a return to the principles upon which our great nation was founded: equality rather than injustice, tolerance rather than exclusion, care rather than cruelty. We demanded that our government uphold the words of our founders, “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” We the people, who have elected you to the highest office in the nation – indeed, in the world – demand that you stand firm against the assault of those who would restrict our rights, disenfranchise American citizens, and reduce our nation to an ignorant and outdated footnote.

I have two more pressing issues to address, and on these subjects I can only speak for myself. First: That you assume the role of an advocate for and protector of the beloved world upon which we survive and thrive. That you stand stronger and firmer than you did in your first term on the issues of clean energy and environmental protection. That you encourage industry to move forward, innovate, and create jobs in new fields rather than to linger in old, destructive technologies that will only continue to pollute and destroy our beautifully green planet. That you stand firm against Big Oil, Big Ag, and Big Coal, who are dug so deeply into their polluted hole that they cannot see the sky growing ever darker and stormier above them. That you protect our air, water, and land so that we can forever cultivate the crops without which we cannot survive. That you recognize that of all things that will most strongly affect your children, my children, and our grandchildren, it is this issue: the preservation of the world around us.

My second and final point is an issue that, as I see it, ought to be of personal importance to you: that your second term be defined by communication, by involvement, and by dialogue, both with those individuals within the political sphere and with the rest of the citizenry. That you better explain your policies and ideas, so that your legacy will be one of clarity and transparency rather than of obstruction and obscurity. That you be your own messenger; that you advocate for your own policies. That you bring light, not confusion, to the table. That you speak to us and with us, not for us.

With deep respect, gratitude, and humility, I thank you for your time and for the tireless work you have put in for the American people. We are indebted to you.