Thursday, November 6, 2008

An Open Letter

Dear Barack Obama,

Let me be among the millions of people reaching out to congratulate you on winning the Presidency. What you did yesterday is what I call kicking ass and taking names. If you've been reading my blog (you have, right?), you probably know that Hillary was my gal. But, no matter, that's water under the bridge now. I'm proud that all people of color in this country can look up at a President who resembles them and someday, my daughter and I will do the same with a woman in the oval office. Your win makes everything seem possible. Mostly, I'm energized by the fact that my children live in a world that didn't seem possible to a good many people even a few weeks ago. I'll admit it, I thought this thing was going to come down to the wire and it would be either voter fraud or racism. I'm so glad I was wrong. Just yesterday, and old African-American man that works in the mail room of my office was practically singing when I saw him in the morning. He had his "I voted" sticker still on and I said to him "you didn't fall for that old trick, did you? The election was yesterday." And he shouted back "Oh no, Sister, I didn't fall for that one. I voted on Tuesday, but I'm not taking this sticker off until it falls off. In fact, I'm going to wear this same shirt every day this week." All day the excitement was palpable in that mail room, and it made me just a little bit prouder to have voted for you - in a swing state. I used to say that nobody cares how I vote, they care how I spend my money. But this time, I think people cared how I voted.

You may be a black man, and I may be a white woman, but the truth is, we have a lot in common. For starters, I, like you, have two young children. And, just like you, I have big dreams for them. I dream they will live in a United States that is, to quote you "more just, more equal, more free, more caring". Like you, I think the country can do better and can get health care to everyone. I think we have no business being in Iraq. Just like you, I support our troops and I do this by hoping they come home alive. Soon. I think wealthy people ought to pay more taxes because I recognize that much innovation in this country that leads to great wealth is fueled by government investment. I remember meeting Bill Gates Sr. a few years back when he was pushing for an estate tax and he pointed out that without the government's investment in the internet and computing, his son never would have become the wealthy individual he is today. He considered taxes nothing less than an investment in the future. Even those who claim to be self-made, often had government support backing them, though I find it remarkable that most never recognize this. Like you, I think the country could be a more welcoming place. Heck, President-elect Obama, we both even have moms from Kansas.

And do you know what, President-elect Obama? It seems as if the majority of the country feels this way. And together with that majority - you know, the one that covers the rust belt, the Northeast, the West Coast, and the Mid-Atlantic and even Florida - I have so much hope. Finally, after eight years of crap from the oval office, dealt out by a man who seems to care little about human lives, particularly those from other countries (yet has an uncanny fascination with those that are in-utero), I see an opportunity to be proud of my country again. Finally, after eight years of frivolous tax cuts that the country can't afford, we have an opportunity to think about balancing the budget again, or at least not mortgaging our children's futures as much as the current administration.

But I have to tell you, President-elect Obama, I remember having this same feeling of hope and optimism sixteen years ago when Clinton was first elected. I thought everything I wanted from my government was going to happen because, other than a few choice pieces of legislation in the previous 12 years, there just hadn't been much to smile about. As it turns out, I was in for a whole lot of heartache. Not as much heartache as I would've been in for had the other guy stayed in office, but heartache all the same. But through this all, I shared with you this very important fact. I have "an unyielding faith in the decency and generosity" of people who live in the United States. And it is that faith that brought me to the polls to vote for you.

Kindest regards,
A mom of two in Virginia


  1. That is the most well written and beautiful letter I have read in a while!