Dear Mr. President,
After 365 letters I suppose I should be running out of things to say. Is a year enough distance to gain any perspective on all that has changed and all that still waits to? Tonight I hoped to make sense of it all; the personal and the political, the minutiae, the mundane, the profound, all of the things I've written about this year. As I look back through this year of letters, of one-sided conversations about issues and actions that defined 2010, I don't have any clue what it all means. I am still tired, still frustrated, still impatient with the progress we've made and the way you govern. But I'm still more like the girl I was in November 2008- stone sober and still too drunk off of election night euphoria- than I ever thought I could be. For all of the disappointments and frustration I have been so proud this year to call you my President. I don't imagine your job is easy, nor do I think I could do it better myself. I am often wrong. I am often too emotional. I use far too many commas.
For all of my shortcomings, I am still a voter and still a citizen and still, I believe, entitled to tell you what I think. Personally, I feel that the great tragedy of the disconnect between the people and our government in this country is not the disparity of money or even power but the way we converse. You do not speak or listen to people like me. When you do talk to me it is in form letters and speeches and talking points- language so polished as to be devoid of any real meaning. We do not have frank conversations. We do not hear one another. I listen to your Sunday addresses, your press conferences and your speeches and all I can say I know for sure is what you want me to think or feel, not what you actually think or feel. Perhaps the most important domestic issue is what you called the deficit of trust. This year has shown me, more clearly than I ever might have seen otherwise, how little trust our government has in the people or we have in it and how damaging this deficit is to all involved.
Deep down I still think that you are well-intentioned. If your caution and moderation do not always sit well with my hot head or bleeding heart, I can accept that you at least believe you are doing the right thing. That is what prompted me to vote for you, to phone bank for you, to write you 365 letters and to hope that I might cast my ballot in 2012 for you, again. Beyond your good intentions, I believe that you are capable of great things, that, should you overcome your fear and find the courage to make really the necessary, difficult decisions that will save this country from some of our worst tendencies, you will be re-elected and likely remembered well. I would not say that I'm a person with any tremendous amount of faith in anything, but I do have faith in you. 2010 didn't change that, and I hope to say the same about 2011.
Happy New Year, Mr. President. Good Luck.
To all of my awesome readers:
Thank you so much for all of your support this year. I will have a much more articulate and coherent reflective piece in the coming days, as well as some suggestions for reading, a bonus letter to President Obama from a guest blogger and information about the Espresso book I'll be making. I hope you all have a fun and safe New Year's Eve! See you in 2011!