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Thursday, January 14, 2016

AN OPEN LETTER TO MY PRESIDENT

I can't remember any speech given by a politician that made me sit down and listen. Maybe it was a lack of trust in what they say, but YOUR words resonated, not only with me, but with many, many citizens from all walks of life. You brought people to the political stage that were never interested in that forum at all. You have their attention, but I fear that they will tune out to the next person that holds the title. That is the reason I write my first letter to a President. We need your help... still.

Back when you were first elected, as a country, we were tired of the empty promises, the apparent lack of recognition of those less-than-wealthy Americans, and the made-up words by our leadership in Washington. Ok, the wordingness of our former President made for some funny moments, but as a nation, we needed more than a chuckle every now and then.

We were ready for someone to give us hope for a better tomorrow and the day after. We wanted someone outside the beltway, someone not yet corrupted by the money and power available to those who prostitute themselves to take it.

We were ready for the chance to better ourselves. To earn more, to look at our country with pride, and have a sense that our leadership wanted to do the right thing, not only for those at home, but those abroad as well.

We were ready to put racial tensions behind us, erasing once and for all, the shameful past of our predecessors, offering equal opportunity to all. We would see all of our hard work rewarded, not because of who we know but by what we did.

We were ready for these and many other reasons for a change. You gave us hope for all of it to be possible.

So many problems and honestly, too much for any one person to solve. I reflect on all this the night of the State of The Union address. It was nice to hear something positive coming from that room. The message was hope for the future and the dream of a better life for all going forward.

It all seemed so 2008 again.

As I look at our country in 2016, I see an unreasonable trend that you mentioned in your speech. The top 1% own and control much too much in our economy and in our government. The slow boil of the middle-class is going to ultimately dissolve into the working poor. The United States cannot succeed with such an illogical pattern of "haves" and "nots". It was the creation of the middle-class that enabled us to be the envy of the world.

The news is filled all to often with evidence that we have other dilemmas that must be dealt with, the most heartbreaking is our racial inequality. As a white man in our confusing world, I cannot fathom why we shouldn't expect fair treatment from each other, our employers, our government, or even those sworn to protect and serve. To know we still have racism in 2016 is not only embarrassing, it is despicable. We reach across oceans to correct a violation of human rights, yet our own brothers and sisters inside our borders continue to be mistreated.

We won't even mention here, the problems of "protecting our borders", although it is an ongoing tragedy. How quickly we forget our family histories are filled with immigrants.

I do not want to express the disappointments in what problems we HAVE. I want to implore you, after you no longer reside at 1600, to more community service. My perspective is that you are uniquely positioned to affect change in the mindset of many, many citizens. I hope you can maintain their interests in the political scene, even after you are NOT a part of it. Many will return to indifference towards their representatives in Washington and locally because they feel THEIR man is gone. Their hope for ongoing success is dwindling every day you get closer to 1/20/2017. I hope you can rally my brothers and sisters who are so proud of you for being elected and also for not only being dignified, but for being cool too.

No longer do we have an image of our leader that reflects only a small part of our modern society. You give hope to children and adults alike that have a passion to make a difference. You show that we can all rise to whatever level we desire, no longer limited by invisible walls or unwritten understandings. You can stay significant and obvious to everyone, while having more influence than the constraints of the office of President allows. You can rally our people, not with a title you held, but through the respect earned by your service to all. You can gather our voices and channel them into a coherent message from the masses.

 That message would demand an ear from our elected officials, for if they don't, they will not return to represent us again. You can affect the opinion of non-voters, who will want to regain the use of their all-important right.

We also would demand the Press REPORT the story, not become part of it. No opinions, no guesses, no half-truths. Just  the facts please. We need to be able to trust what we see and hear from the media - our last defense to liberty. Without the watchdogs, the system will rot from corruption and misdeeds.

We also would have to demand better from ourselves. We must look at each other, not with our eyes but through our hearts. We all have a history to be proud of. We all have a history to be ashamed of. We are all linked together, hand in hand, in success or failure. Our nation must become ONE. We must respect and recognize the many similarities of our brothers and sisters. We must marvel at our differences as well, knowing that if we befriend these strangers, it makes us all family and nothing is stronger than that.

The magic of humanity is that we can DO the unimaginable. The opposite is also true. We can destroy in unimaginable ways. You can help us Mr President, with all of that and more. I hope you take up the challenge.

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