Dear Mr. President

Probably, no nation is rich enough to pay for both war and civilization. We must make our choice; we cannot have both.~Abraham Flexner

I’m happy that you are back for a second term. Although I was distressed (and maybe a bit disgusted) by the “politics-as-usual” campaign, I’m hoping that, since you needn’t worry about re-election, the next four years will be more what I imagined your presidency to be.

My chest-swelling optimism in 2008 was perhaps naive. I knew that there is a limit to what any one person can do as president of the United States; yet I still believed in miracles. I thought that you could make huge strides, even against high odds. And you have done some good work (click for list).

You can do more. Please re-visit your stated goals in 2008: to cross party lines; to mediate; to bring peace, healthcare, and education to the forefront of our country’s concerns. I want to see what I saw in you then: a peacemaker.

I’ve wanted to write you since before the election. Veterans’ Day has helped me find focus; because I am heartbroken each time I see and hear the stories of the soldiers and their families who are scarred and broken by war.

Can you help, Mr. President?

Can you work with EVERYONE, (not just the two-party system) and stop the life-blood of our country from spilling into economic and retributive wars? Can you gather the wisdom of leaders of the United States and the world  to transform us into a country where our children are fed, educated and sheltered? Can you shake hands with Mitt Romney and form a team to study what is working and has worked in other countries instead of allowing us as a nation to feed a war machine that is strangling us with debt and starving the minds and bodies of our citizens?

Because war is our problem.

One needn’t look far in the world to see countries that provide necessities to their populaces. These countries, however, are not military machines.  They join with NATO to protect third world countries against genocide and other atrocities. They help to keep the peace.  And they tend to their people.

I do not resent taxation. What I resent is that my taxes support a cause that is destroying my country. And I don’t believe that I am alone.

The majority of us go through life trying to do our best. We support our friends, our families, our country and its troops. And we don’t believe that our government officials are doing their part. If this is their best, we are doomed.

Do your best, Mr. President. Inspire those around you to do their best. You can’t succeed if you trade your idealism and inspiration for greed and corruption and self-interest. Don’t be a politician.  Be a statesman.

I believe you have it in you.

NOTE TO READERS: As with all of my letters, please feel free to change to fit your needs and use. In this case, send your letter to Mr. Obama here.


  1. I am not an American, but what you write can be the same message that every country can send its Chief Executive. What a world we live in!

    Brings to mind Eisenhower’s speech in 1961!
    ” Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

    This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

    In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”


  2. I hope that there will be millions sending letters to the White House that express the same hope. As you said so well, there is a limit to what a President can accomplish but this Herculean task can be done if citizens are willing to speak their minds and help with the work. The merchants of death have made many friends in government. Unfortunately, our defense strategy has evolved into a belief that we are always at war or building up for war. It will take many, many strong persistent voices to change that strategy. It will take those same voices and meaningful actions on our country’s part to show the rest of the world that we are ready to change. I believed in 2008 that we could move in this hopeful direction. Nothing will change unless there is a push for change from the people.
    Thanks for the push, pass it on.


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