Thank You President Obama
A Letter to My President
Dear President Obama,
On November 4, 2008, I cried tears of joy as I watched the news announcing your election. The way you carried yourself was refreshing and your message of change was inspiring. I knew the next four years would be special with you at the helm. As a 16 year old, I drove from Michigan to Washington D.C. with my mother to watch your inauguration. The tears continued to fall. I could not believe that I was lucky enough to share your inauguration day with you and your beautiful family.
While monumental, to reduce your legacy to being the “first black president” would be a disservice to your presidency. That title alone simply does not encompass everything you’ve done for this country and for a generation of black youth. I could speak at length about the policies you introduced and the decisions you made. I could discuss your strategies that allowed the US to slowly remove ourselves from a long-lasting war. I could talk about how the Affordable Care Act, while by no means perfect, was an incredible step to improving the lives of all Americans. But I won’t. I want to discuss your character. On top of the success you achieved in your official presidential duties, your approach to the presidency deserves praise. I believe your success as a president stems from your success as a man.
Over the past eight years, I witnessed incredulous attacks on your character and competence. While you earned the title of “president”, the respect given to almost every predecessor was lost on you. You were called a liar by a House representative, your wife and children were disrespected by people who had never even met them. You faced adversity at every turn, but your love for the American people never dwindled and thus your love for me never dwindled.
Regardless of what hardship America faced, for the past eight years I never felt for a minute that my president didn’t love me and that he was not working tirelessly to ensure a better future for myself and my countrymen. As you prepare to pass the torch, I wonder if I took that feeling for granted. I fear that unconditional love may not be present over the next four years and I worry for what that means for this country.
We were lucky enough to experience eight years of a respectful, strong, capable leader whose passion for bettering our country was apparent in every decision you made. To be able to come of age under a president like you meant coming of age during a time when anything was possible. Your presidency signaled the end of an era where it was laughable for someone who looked like you or me to hold the highest office in the land. The ambition you had to improve our country made it easier to strive ambitiously in my own life.
I look forward to the day when I can tell my children and grandchildren about your presidency and the passion you ignited in a generation. You made a difference in all our lives and we thank you for your service to us and our country.