An Apology to Barack Obama
Greetings Mr. President.
There is a slim chance you remember me from prior letters. I remember clearly the day you won the Presidency in 2008. I was waiting tables and was so relieved by your victory that after 8 years of arbitrary color coded alerts and the spectre of “Terr’r” and FEMA disasters and financial armageddons that when the election was called I broke down and wept in the rest room. I sent you a “Dear Santa” style letter asking you to inform me of anything I could do to help you with the task ahead, secured in the knowledge that at least four years of reason would follow. Little did I know the recalcitrant enmity that would greet your arrival to the Oval Office. When some website or another demanded that I sign your birthday card, I asserted that you were the coolest president we’ve ever had. I sited James A. Garfield’s ability to write in Latin and Greek at the same time and that in spite of this esoteric skill, and the notable achievments of several other commanders in chiefs, your elan, your erudite interviews, your game participation with popular satire programs on the teevee, your tireless patience and, most of all the unassailable beauty of your relationship with the First Lady, a woman whose rampant popularity I am sure is no surprise to you, made you not just a great President but a representative for our generation and a model for world leaders forever. Speaking as one who admittedly bounced up and down in his seat at DisneyWorld when at the end of the herky-jerky Hall of Presidents attraction an animatronic Barak Obama broke the monotony of the previous stuffed shirts with your standing address. I imagine it is greeted with mixed reviews it being in the Sunshine State.
ANYway. I owe you an apology Mr. President. I was asleep at the switch. I was watching streaming television and working 60 hour weeks waiting tables. I was acting in little plays and little films. I was paying bills and watching videos of otters frolicking and people’s pets online and not paying attention to the avalanche of adversity you had to contend with.
When Merrick Garland was denied meetings let alone a senate hearing I should have been donating and marching and emailing congress and tweeting bloody murder and screaming to the heavens.
When the unfortunate initial botched health care marketplace rollout was released online I should have been calling radio stations and writing opinion articles explaining the difficulty of such a herculean task as reforming modern health care and defending its greater intended purpose.
The very moment congress sat down together and smirkingly decided they would obstruct everything you proposed even when they ostensibly agreed on the result of a given bill or if it meant defaulting on already agreed upon loans and thereby lowering America’s credit rating globally, I should have called, picketed, and rallied against this brinksmanship.
I was lulled by a false sense of security thinking people were reasonable and that the greater good would prevail. I did not want to believe the notion that principle had left politics. Indeed, it had left long before I was born and that since Nixon won on a platform that courted those to whom the notion of equality and Civil Rights are intolerable, and every subsequent policy argument is a sour icing atop a cake the ingredients of which are racism, exclusion, and disenfranchisement. If that last sentence rings hyperbolic to any reader, I invite you to look into the current Republican vs. Republican argument against mail ballots in Montana because, should every citizen there have a convenient mail-in vote, Republicans may not win. Their effort is to spend taxpayer dollars to KEEP THE CITIZENRY FROM VOTING.
But apologies, Mr President, I do digress.
I should have been there for you fighting congress the way we are now, at last, because many among them are too cowardly to face their constituents now, now that they know what is on the line. They sneak out the back door, they refuse to meet with us in person, because they know that things are different and they have to actually contend with the will of the voters.
It should have been this way 8 years ago but perhaps we expected more than was possible within our current system.
With my sincere apologies,