Dear President Obama,
Back in 2008, I was actually really excited to vote for you. After eight years of George W. Bush, it was time for change, and it sounded like you really cared about the same issues that I did — health care, ﬁxing the economy, ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and restoring civil rights in this country. You seemed like a strong leader, and people naturally followed you. You assembled a smart, strong team of people who seemed young and exciting and like the right people to be leading this country into the future.
And then… what happened? Health care fell apart, and Iʼve still got family members suffering from serious health problems with no access to health insurance. The war in Afghanistan is still a quagmire. And most appalling of all, the prison at Guantanamo Bay is still running, and thereʼs been no public effort to restore the freedom and reputation of those who have been wrongly imprisoned. Who knows whatʼs going on at the US-run military prisons around the world?
Not to mention, civil rights havenʼt improved that much, either. The reign of security theater that started under Bush has just gotten worse, with “enhanced” TSA checkpoints at airports that violate the privacy of everyone who just wants to get on an airplane, with no observed beneﬁt to actual security. I appreciate some of the strides youʼve made on gay rights, but womenʼs rights are constantly in peril, with Planned Parenthood losing funding and anti-abortion legislation narrowing the deﬁnition of “rape” to deny reproductive rights to as many women as possible.
I know that your job is difﬁcult, and that it must be very stressful to be up for reelection next year and to know that there are a lot of people out there who hate you for no reason, or for stupid reasons, and will do everything they can to get you out of ofﬁce. But running away from any controversy is not the way to increase your support! Your base needs you, and you need them if you want to get reelected. Please, Mr. President, take a stand on something. Weʼre going to need a strong leader in the coming years.