First let me start by saying what a profound impact you have had on my life. Actually, I can't really describe or quantify the impact that you have had on my life, only know that I, like millions of people in the world, have been forever changed by your words, thoughts and writings.
That said, I read your post on The Huffington Post with equal parts eagerness and trepidation. The title hinted at the content, but since it was written by you, I was compelled to read what you had to say on the subject of President Obama. I have purposely tried to avoid negative and non-constructive criticism of his presidency, mainly because I have no recollection of Mr. Bush's first year being so fraught with critiques and negativity, especially not by the people who elected him to office. I have been slightly dizzied by the turn that supporters of Mr. Obama have taken, so much so that I have stopped listening.
However, I read your post and some of the comments that followed. Ms. Williamson, I understand the deferment of the dream. The dream of Mr. Obama marching into office, bolstered and empowered by an historic win, and TRANSFORMING life as we know it. We would all wake up to a world that is on its way to true peace, an America that provides health care to its people, a comprehensive overhaul of the educational system, women's and gay rights safeguarded and Wall Street and corporate America having been firmly punished and set on their heels. I would be lying if I said I didn't wince when Mr. Obama was awarded the peace prize. I whole heartedly believe "that wars are poor tools for building peaceful tomorrows."
So, I get it and I understand. However, two things occur to me that I feel absolutely compelled to mention.
First, we elected Mr. Obama to be the President of the United States. Not just the president of liberals and progressives. The United States. In his inaugural address, he made it a point to speak directly to those who didn't vote for him (something like 43% of voters). I was there and I remember thinking that he really meant that. He is, and has always been, a man of moderation and unity. That is who we elected to do the job. Ms. Williamson, not everyone in America shares our vision. Not every woman believes that women should be able to decide when and where to have a baby. Not every American believes that healthcare should be a right. President Obama is our president as much as he is the president of all those who marched under the Tea Party banner. And here is the kicker, he is actually taking that very seriously. We the people have the health care plan we want. We the people have the health care process we deserve. And that, unfortunately, has nothing to do with Mr. Obama's spine. Would you really want George Bush? Just a George Bush who does what WE want? Because we are right? Because we are more moral? I don't want that, Ms. Williamson, and neither do you. Yes, it would be great for a minute, but the reality is, that would make "us" no better than "them". I never felt that George Bush was my president, and he wasn't. He didn't care about what I thought and he glibly and callously proved that with every choice and decision he made. It occurs to me that the real change is that our President actually believes and trusts in the ideals of democracy and sees himself as a servant. Perhaps that is why he looks as though he has no spine. Because he is a servant, to all of us. But, that is the job description. Public servant.
Second, miracles occur everyday. All the time. And Ms. Williamson, it is always darkest before the dawn. Mr. Obama is right, it does take audacity and boldness to hope, to believe. Especially in the face of what looks like defeat. We are not defeated. We can still believe that a better day is around the corner. We can still organize for health care, education, abortion rights and gay rights. It is not over. But the miracles have to occur over here where we are, on the ground. Just like the miracle of emancipation and the right to vote. It happens when WE continue to believe. And then march. And then continue to believe. And VOTE. And continue to believe. And right letters. And continue to believe. We cannot let our disappointment define us in this, the most important moment in what can still be a significant movement in American history.
I have nothing but the upmost of respect for you Ms. Williamson. From the bottom of my heart I thank you for your contribution to the world and to my life. You are truly a gift. I also want to thank you for reading this email. It is means the world to me to be able to correspond with one of my sheroes!
May this year bring us all the peace we desire. Many blessings to you in 2010, Ms. Williamson.