Dear Barack Obama,
I’m not exactly sure how to start this letter, but in the past few days, it’s become quite clear on just how much of a “thank you” we owe you. When you were first elected back in 2008, I was only 12 years old and I didn’t fully understand how important the president is or how much responsibility comes with the fancy title.
In fact, it wasn’t until my junior year of high school in my college-level U.S. History course that I started to see everything that’s comprised within being the president. I began to understand that when America fights a war or is stuck in a battle, we, as common citizens, fight through a protective sheet of glass. The president, though, faces these obstacles head-on without any sort of protection. I started to grasp that being the president doesn’t always allow you to make all of your own rules because sometimes, there’s conflicting parties in control and suddenly, getting things done becomes extremely difficult. Needless to say, during junior year, I also let go of my childhood dream of being president of the United States- I’m sure that we all wanted to be president at one point or another, but for me, that ship has passed.
As I think back to my United States History class, I remember learning about every president in fine detail and eventually started forming my own judgments of them- some were too stubborn, others were too aggressive, some weren’t strong enough, some were too easy going- the list could go on. When it came to watching you on television and paying attention to your actions, though, I realized that I didn’t have any judgments- you weren’t too demanding, you weren’t too controlling, and you weren’t too flexible. You had everything in moderation, and in my opinion, were one of our strongest, if not the strongest, presidents.
As November 8, 2016 inched closer, I remember sitting in my Community Environmental Problems course, listening to my professor lecture, and just wishing that it would somehow be possible for you to be elected for a 3rd term. As election day came closer, this wish of mine grew stronger, until I eventually had to watch it slip from my hands like grains of sand. You may not have been the perfect president, but you came pretty doggone close to it. I know that there are some things you didn’t get to accomplish that you would’ve liked to, but it’s understandable because of the road blocks that you had in your way. Despite the obstacles you encountered, though, you still accomplished a lot more than some of our other presidents, you tried and fought for a whole lot more, and you were on a path that would’ve created a better America for everyone- not just the rich.
In 6 days, we’ll officially have the next president inaugurated into the White House. To say that I’m scared is an understatement, but on the bright side, it makes me realize how blessed we were to have you as president for 8 years. For 8 years, I was able to live in America, knowing that the president had our best interests at heart. For 8 years, I was able to live in America, trusting that our president would make America a safer place. For 8 years, I was able to live in America, believing that our president had a good heart and would use his ethics and morals to protect our country. For 8 years, I was able to live in America and see a glimpse of the sparkling “Land of Opportunity” that once defined our country decades ago- a place where the poor were brought up, a place where opportunities weren’t exclusive, and a place where we worked for the common good- not the good of the wealthy.Barack Obama, thank you for your professionalism, humor, inspiration, the example you set, and your down to earth moments the past 8 years. It is extremely hard and fearing to see you leave the White House, but trust that America was in good hands under your leadership. Your presidency gave me a renewed sense of hope in Americans, and despite it fading now, that's a big freaking deal.