January 10, 2017
Dear Mr. President,
The person who has been elected to replace you seems to be intent on dismantling all you have done for our nation over the last eight years. He's a hateful, vengeful person who clearly wants to destroy you and all you hold dear. If he succeeds in ruining everything you fought for, I want to reassure you that you will not be looked at as having failed us our the country, in any way. History will look back at this as a time when we, the people, failed you. We failed to stop this man's election and the election of so many others in his party, also intent on wrecking all you worked so hard for. It will be remembered as a time when we, the people, allowed the hate-filled to run rampant over all we cared about. Our hubris and our naivety allowed us to think that hate, racism, sexism, homophobia, and Islamophobia had been successfully overcome, when the reality is, we had barely scratched the surface. And sadly, these phobias and isms might take some of your legacy with them.
As your tenure as president comes to its natural conclusion, you have probably been thinking about your legacy a lot lately. A legacy is difficult to sum up. How does one quantify how many hearts you touched? Or minds you opened? Or people you inspired to be their best selves to others? It won't be fully known for years. When children today grow up and enter the world of politics to follow in your footsteps, then you will begin to know.When people like me, who usually write my thoughts out, take to the streets to fight for what's right, instead of ignoring it and hoping it gets taken care of by somebody else, it will show itself. When we stop looking at each other as enemies, and remember we are fellow Americans, then you will know. A program set up by the government is just a program, but changing minds and hearts is eternal.
Generations from now, we will hopefully see this moment as the beginning. The moment we woke up and fought back. Perhaps it will take losing what seems so obviously just and right, to make us fight for it all the harder. And when we get them back, we will have truly earned them, and will cherish them. It's funny, for rights that are supposed to be inalienable, we sure have to fight really hard for them, don't we? People like to hold power over others in any way they can, I suppose.
As I look back on the last eight years, I realize something. It wasn't a case of people who needed the rights not fighting hard enough for them, but a case of those of us who didn't need them, not fighting hard enough for those who did. For eight years, we let you do all the heavy lifting and all the hard work, while we sat back and rested on our laurels. We elected you twice and thought that was all we needed to do. We spent eight years basking in the glow of our liberality, and our open minds, which were sadly closed to what was truly happening in this country, assured that we had gotten the job done. We washed our hands of it, and returned to reality tv and movies to distract us. We squandered our opportunity. To reference Hamilton, we threw away our shot. We had so much potential, and we wasted it.
What I can see now, is that the battle never truly ends. There will always be those who fill their minds and hearts with hatred, and they will never stop finding people to hate. It will always be our job to fight against it. We owe ourselves, our country, our world, and you, no less than this.
In spite of the heaviness and weariness that accompanies this realization, I draw strength from remembering why you ran for president in the first place. You taught us to have hope, and never give up on it. And so, I look to the future, with hope in my heart. If any elements of your legacy are destroyed by the next administration, it will not be because they were wrong, but because they were ahead of their time. When we, the people, are ready, we will joyfully and willingly adopt these elements. And I will try my hardest to do my part in all of this.
If you stay in this fight after you leave office, we will stand with you. We will fight to maintain your legacy, and to build from it. But you rest up for a while. You've worked very hard for all of us for the last eight years. It's our turn to fight for you now.
With eternal love and respect,