An open letter to my President (ps: he’s a total boss)

Politics is a tricky business. Sad but true to say, especially since it should be neither tricky OR business, but there you have it. In spite of this, it is the cross we must bear in order to self-govern, though this is not a new conundrum as many would have you believe. Politics has been tricky – (hello John Adams and your cheeky midnight appointments) and business-y (before the tea-party, there was the Teapot Dome, and it was a dirty business, eh, Mr. Harding?) and straight dirty (Old Hickory would give you an earful on this railing on about the Corrupt Bargain of 1824, and the subsequent accusations that his beloved was actually an adulterer – not to mention the Petticoat Affair of which Daniel Webster said: “It is odd enough, that the consequence of this dispute in the social . . . world, is producing great political effects, and may very probably determine who shall be successor to the present chief magistrate…” – what would he say today??)

Basically my point is this: politics is a rough arena. As such, I am generally skeptical of those who would actually want to be in politics. But, someone has got to do it. And so when I listened to the keynote address at the 2004 DNC with utter amazement, I had a feeling I had not had about politics, probably in my life. I called my parents immediately and told them to listen. This man matters, I said.

A mere four years later, it was clear I was not the only person who had felt this way.

It was almost immediately that completely unheralded responsibilities were thrust upon this man. It was a to-do list no president had ever seen on their inaugural date before. Regardless of all sorts of ridiculousness (where race is never that far behind,) the man, and his entire family, have been nothing short of the poise and grace that our head of state was desperate to demonstrate.

Obama has not been perfect. There are some very specific examples that I could point to that have been personal disappointments (Guantanamo, Afghanistan, initial position on marriage equality…) but the reality is that Obama has gotten shit done. And he has done this in a stupidly hostile environment, not only politically, but culturally, and racially. He has been chastised for being too smart, too foreign, too weak, too bull-headed, too rich, too brown, too hip, too institutional. He has stuck to his guns, and as VP Biden succinctly pointed out: Bin Laden is dead – General Motors is alive. And through it all, he has kept his cool.

An old friend of mine posted this on my Facebook page: “I’m so going to take hate for this, but I’m a Republican. Only cause you have to choose. But this party sucks… so do the others. On paper, they all look great. I’m an Obama fan. Actually, any nimrod that wants to ‘run the country’ deserves a bit of respect. But The Muslim President destined to destroy this country (according to FNC) actually stands a chance to recreate the process. In a constructive way.” I would say that sums it up pretty nicely.

So on this day, when it appears that the US Supreme Court has risen above partisan bullshit (well, at least five of them have) and one of the fundamental programs that our president backed (I like to call it “The-Audacity-Of-A-First-World-Country-Actually-Providing-Its-Citizens-With-Healthcare” plan) has managed to withstand all kinds of attacks, I want to write a letter to a man who took on the hardest job in the world, at the worst possible time, with the most vile critics in the history of humanity to say: Thanks, man. I believe you do got this, and as a result, we got your back in this next round.

Dear Mr. President:

I am not sure how much the voice of one person matters in this giant sea of verbage, which appears more tsunami-like with every passing day in the run to November, but I wanted to tell you, I’m voting for you again this year.

I voted for you in 2008 for so many reasons. You have heard them all before: hope, change, positivity, Palin… and a deep desire to no longer be embarrassed by my elected CEO while I traveled the world. Looking at the list it looks pretty self-indulgent, but to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t really thinking about you. Until November 5, 2008. When I woke up and realized that we might have inadvertently colluded to set you up for a Sisyphean task unfit for any human.

But you have persevered. You have not bitched and moaned. Your hair has gone grey, and I reckon you are kicking up the nicotine habit these days. But, you have risen above almost all the shit that has been slung at you. You have kept your sense of humor. You still smile.

There have been some times when I have really wanted to send you a quick text: WTF?! True story. There have been some serious shake-my-head moments. But today, as I watched the internet blow up with the news from SCOTUS about the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, it dawned on me: You are a total gamer. Strictly game!

I don’t know why it took so long for me to see this so plainly – I mean I have seen you play ball, literally and figuratively, and I should have known. You have been waiting for this lame duck term to knock shit out of the park.

And I got so excited about it. About everything. About four more years of sanity, intelligence, passion, grace, and kicking-ass. I am so down.

Keep the interest rates manageable for college kids, protect my right to govern my own uterus, kick the corporate criminals into the pokey, keep us on the right track in the world, stick to your guns… they’ve been on target this whole time.

Harding (not my favorite president, but bear with me) famously pointed out what you have known all along: “My God, this is a hell of a job.” So, props Mr. President. Thank you for taking on this job like a total Boss.

Stay Game. Sincerely,
Amanda in CA

Up from the basement to my best friend’s farm
Where we’ll work so hard, we can do no harm

We’ll till the land and duck our debts
Underneath soft sun, chewing Nicorette

This will be a better year
This will be a better year

Make a little money, take a lot of shit
Feel real bad, then get over it

This will be a better year

Oh I keep pushing boulders
I stay game till sun’ll shake my shoulders
Oh, I keep feeling older
I stay game, stay game, stay game

The East Coast kids, man, we just don’t know
Singing wait, wait, stop, drop me, go, go, go
But I’m taken by the hand to a blue pay phone
We can break blue laws with our skin and bones

And now I’m back in the city, I’m counting frick frick frick
Heard of milk great things, speaking soft and thick
He said, “If life gives you lemons, then thus god bade.
So put a little bit of bitter in your pink lemonade”

I’m sick of thee sheep, I’m sick of thou shepherd
Sick of dressing like a human when I’m feeling like a leopard
I’m sick of slow rock, I’m sick of quick quips
Sick of holding on to nothing when I just want to hold your hips

This will be a better year
This will be a better year

Make a little money, take a lot of shit
Feel real bad, then get over it

This will be a better year

Oh I keep pushing boulders
I stay game till sun’ll shake my shoulders
Oh I keep feeling older
I stay game, stay game, stay game

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About Amanda

I am repatriating expatriate trying to work it all out. Well, to work some of it out anyhow. I am writing here for sanity, focus and general over-sharing.
This entry was posted in Letters to Friends, Perception, Politics, Race, Things I Wish I Would Have Thought Of, true stories, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to An open letter to my President (ps: he’s a total boss)

  1. Jacqueline Cardenas says:

    Reblogged this on Naked Poet and commented:
    Add yLove this girl. My sentiments exactly! Poetic indeed.

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