Barack Obama

I have a lovely 2015 personal letter from President Obama regarding gun violence. In addition, during his last week in office, President Obama sent out a letter, apparently to everyone who sent him a letter over the eight years that he was in office.

From someone else his text might sound like a collection of platitudes. However, considering all that the President endured — from Birthers to The Party of No; from killing Bin Laden to sequestration; from restoring our economy to ridiculous fights over the debt ceiling — the sentiments are genuine. I will quote from portions of the letter:

And so, while serving you has been the greatest privilege of my life, I want you to know that when I leave the White House, I’ll still hold the most important title of all: that of citizen.

“And as a proud American citizen, I believe that we are a constant work in progress. Our success has never been certain. None of our journey has been preordained. There’s always been a gop between our highest ideals and the reality we witness every day. But what makes us exceptional—what makes us Americans—is that we have fought wars, and passed laws, and reformed systems, and organized unions, and staged protests, and launched mighty movements to close that gap. To bring the promise and practice of America into closer alignment. To form that more perfect union.

“So our collective future depends on our willingness to uphold our duties as citizens: to vote, to speak out, and to stand up for others knowing that each of us is only here because somebody, somewhere, stood up for us. And for the rest of my days, I promise I will be right there alongside you, continuing to do my part to build a better, more prosperous, more diverse and inclusive America—an America with a future full of hope.”

Related content:

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.