Dear Mr. President,
Eight years ago at the Democratic Convention, you told the world “there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America.” If I have been disappointed with you these past four years, it is because more than anything else you have forgotten those poetic words. The nation could not be more divided. While you are not entirely to blame, as the leader of the free world, you share responsibility for the state the union.
I hope, Mr. President, you will use your coming term to unite the parts of our country which have fallen away from one another. I hope you will reach across the proverbial aisle and compromise with Congress. The far right elements of Congress are, at times, absurd. It is hard to negotiate when, for example, Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, says, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” But I beg you, President Obama, to rise above and lead. The challenges and disagreements will not go away, but the I believe the ridiculous and selfish tendencies of our elected officials can be stopped.
All of our great Presidents have risen above the political fray to do what is best for the country. In truth, we don’t remember the ones who left the country worse off and divided. Mr. President, things were not easy for Lincoln or Truman or Kennedy. We remember those leaders because they did what was right in spite of incredibly high stakes. No one cares things were hard for James Buchanan. We remember him, if at all, for ignoring his morals and allowing slavery to go unchecked. I don’t think you will be the next James Buchanan, but I am waiting for you to make good on that promise to hurdle the partisan divide. The stakes are simply too high not to do so.
Mr. President, I want you to succeed, and I want the accomplishments of your second term to dwarf those of the first. Please, for the good of the nation, return to your calls for compromise and bipartisanship. I don’t want gooey rhetoric about hope. I want real working together.
“America,” as a great President from your home state of Illinois once said, “will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter. . . it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” Right our course, Mr. President, and quell the extreme partisanship that is driving us apart.
Written by Harry Wexner’13