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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Letter To A Fearless Leader

Foreword: Fairly early on, I promised myself I would not get involved in politics on this blog. It is the one area that can get me quite irritated. Yet here I am, feeling the need to acknowledge the hardship of the role of President of the United States. Ironically, I am not a U.S. Citizen and can't even vote....
August 29, 2011
Letter To A Fearless Leader
Dear Mr. President Obama,
Courage – defined as "the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc."
Nearly four years have passed since your election to Commander in Chief with the task to lead this nation into its next chapter. Your election brought hope to a country that was facing war and an economic crisis at the time. You became the symbol of the American spirit, we looked at you as the "American promise that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain." As so well stated in your acceptance speech, you made us "fix our eye not on what [was] seen, but what [was] unseen, that better place around the bend."
Anyone who has ever led a team or made a decision impacting more than a handful of people can appreciate the challenge of "doing the right thing" and pleasing the people you lead. If we magnified this sentiment and challenge by 1000, we would still not capture the burden carried by the position of President of the United States.
The role of President is defined by living in the public eye, being confronted with the consequences of decision making that is always accompanied by harsh, public criticism and the sobering citation of poll numbers. Let me state clearly that I do not and have not always agreed with your priorities and decisions. Neither with those of Congress. Yet public outlashing as so often heard is disrespectful and unnecessary.  Strong emotions are understandable when the fundamental beliefs of the people are impacted and you are dealing with people who believe and care about human rights and their country. That is what makes this nation so great.

The idea of living a normal life as President simply does not exist. There are no text books written on how to answer ethical questions raised by your daugthers. How do you explain that you cannot join your family for dinner because you have a war to lead and an attack to order?
The burden is mountainous: war, healthcare, unemployment, immigration, education, balancing the budget. The tasks are plentiful and never ending. The twists and turns are unpredictable, results delayed. None easily addressed. No right or wrong - though everyone not in your position believes otherwise and generally disagrees with the decision that was made independent of what it was.
One could argue that we are facing similar challenges today as we were in 2008: war and economic crisis. Political challenges in Iraq, Iran, Egypt, and Libya, the fight against terror, the Taliban… all challenges that we have faced before and continue to face. Many changes have taken place, some progress has been made. But many of these challenges remain and will remain; they are not contingent on who the leader of this country is.
At the beginning of your tenure in the White House, you committed to "end[ing] this war in Iraq responsibly and finish[ing] the fight against Al Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan...I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation, poverty and genocide, climate change and disease. And I will restore our moral standing so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future."
An admirable call for duty, a dream worth fighting for. Chances of accomplishing them in the current political system, let's be honest, rather slim. The constant fight surrounding partisanship, which consistently blocks progress toward the overarching, possibly best solution.

How do you prioritize which goals to focus on? What is more important, saving the lives of our soldiers or creating jobs for our nation? Establishing a health care system that supports everyone, even the poorest, or making sure "no child is left behind"? Saving thousands of lives by preventing genocide and offering help to restore other nations' governments? All while balancing the budget and making sure the economy does not fall apart and managing the consequences of natural disasters.
Few live up to the demands of this job with grace; criticism is constant and unavoidable. Your presidency has raised the level of our international credibility, which we had lost for many years. You spoke of "restoring legacy" and your stewardship has raised our image across many nations.
Your governance, care, and intelligence have been respectable. You have set high goals for your tenure, which have been hard to accomplish and in the end may lead to a turnover in presidency come 2012.
Your dreams, efforts, and hopes whether accomplished or not, have been appreciated. Your courage is admirable. Stand tall, keep dreaming, and keep fighting.
All I ask is please do not mortgage the future of our children and think about the legacy: Yours and that of our World.
Courage – the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc.

1 comment:

  1. Great piece
    Hopefully It makes it across his desk
    You have alot of keen insight!