My letter to Obama

November 9th 2016 was a difficult day for many Americans including myself. I walked to work feeling numb, shocked, broken, and angry. How could more than half the nation choose such a sexist, racist, lying sack of shit to be our next president? Did I live in such a bubble? Why were we all so foolish and blind to not recognize the anger and aggravation of half of our nation? How could we let this happen? How could we take such a big step back? Questions continued to pour into my head, and no one seemed to have answers.

In the middle of the day I found myself on the White House’s website, filling out a form to write to President Obama. It wasn’t to complain about Trump or beg for any sort of explanation. I honestly had no idea what the point of my message was, I just knew that I wanted to write to him.


Hi Barack,
With everything that has happened in the last 24 hours, I decided to write to you. I’m not really sure why — I don’t even know you personally. However, by the time I’d written everything below, I realized it was just to say thank you.
I’m a 25 year old woman living in Oakland, CA, who moved to the US when I was 6 years old. I am one among millions of heartbroken Americans who woke up numb this morning.
Since you were first elected in 2008, I have been in utter awe of you and your family. Your speeches get my blood pumping and my inspiration soaring. I learned to feel confident in myself as an individual as I grew to recognize the possibilities I possess and the possibilities of other young Americans around me. Michelle’s quote ‘when they go low, we go high’ inspires me every single day to be the best person I can be, to take the high road, to not to engage in petty arguments, to bite my tongue if the fights not worth my breath, and to take chances to fight for what I believe in. I even quoted it to my dodgeball team when we played in our league’s semi-finals two weeks ago.
I truly believe you have been a remarkable President. I don’t know how many times over the last year I’ve wished to myself (and out loud) that you’d stay in the White House. I just told my coworkers that I was writing to you and we unanimously voted — we think you should just stay on as President. You can do that right? Unpaid Presidency? Just kidding, that sounds too much like a dictatorship and that’s definitely not the road we want to go down.
I guess I just want to tell you how happy, lucky and freakin’ proud I feel to have been alive (and of the age to understand everything that was going on) during your 8 years in office. I strongly believe that yesterday’s election result was NOT because of anything you did in office — I believe it was completely out of your control and I really really hope you recognize that too. People were angry and misinformed over things that you could not control.
You’re seriously the coolest, most down to earth, in touch with reality, get shit done for the right reasons President, and I really hope you one day I get to meet you to tell you this in person. Heck, if you want to come and sub for my dodgeball team, we always need subs (www.RADLeague.com).
You rock Obama, don’t forget it.
Lisa Baird

As you can see, by the end of the letter I realized I just wanted to say thank you. While I believe it vital not to live in the past and ignore present day, I think it is important to occasionally remind ourselves that we have been inspired by our leaders, even if the years to come challenge those feelings.

I got a ‘Response’ from The White House about a month and a half later. It was a generic response, but that’s fine. Part of me knew that Obama would never see my message. I think it was just a way for me to digest my feelings that day. I wanted to be reminded of the good that had been done over the last 8 years. I wanted to appreciate something I had long taken for granted.