Dear Mr. President,
Within a few days the American people will once again have chosen a new President to lead us into the future. While most of the recent attention has been focused on two Senators and their running mates, my thoughts turned toward you and the eight years you are wrapping up. I have to admit, I’m somewhat amazed that you’ve lived through them. That comment has nothing to do with conspiracies or assassinations and everything to do with the pressure and stress of the position you have held. You have faced some remarkable circumstances and have received unrelenting criticism from many of the people you’ve served. That kind of stress can be overwhelming, even a danger to health and life. But in spite of it, you’ve stuck to your convictions and continued moving forward – a clear demonstration of the grace of God. And for that I say, “thank you.”
Less than a year into your service as Commander in Chief, our nation was rocked by the first major attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor. September 11, 2001 is a day that few of us will ever forget. The repeated videos of airplanes slamming into the World Trade Centers and the smoking hole in the side of the Pentagon left their unforgettable marks. The unthinkable was suddenly reality – and the uncertainty of what would come next, or what to do next was very real. On that day and the weeks that followed, I was very proud of my President. I saw a man who understood the merciless nature of the battle we had been thrust into – and a man who seemed willing to do whatever it took to ensure that we did not lose. You recognized that we could not fight a conventional war because we faced an unconventional enemy. More than anything, you understood that if we lost, we would not only lose a war, but our most precious freedoms and our very way of life. You warned us that it would be a long, hard battle – and you were right. I only wish more citizens had understood what you really meant. And while I have only as much information as the average American, I’m fairly sure that at least some of the reason that we’ve not experienced more such attacks is because you and those under your leadership have been diligently on watch. Thank you.
It’s laughable to me how we everyday citizens second-guess you when we have less than 1/10th of the information you do about the situations you are facing daily. Don’t get me wrong, some things are obviously wrong, even to a casual observer, and as citizens of this country we have a responsibility to hold you accountable about those kinds of things. But when it comes to world politics and the dynamics of nations and national security, few of us have an inkling of what it takes to effectively make those kinds of decisions, much less play “armchair-president.” Yet we do exactly that – brain-washed by the talking heads on cable news shows into thinking we could do a better job. To me, that is foolishness, plain and simple. I’m sorry that the average American feels more prone to criticize you than to thank you. You’ve taken on a job that few of us could do, much less endure, and in times that we never imagined possible. Thank you.
While there are many things you’ve done that I have disagreed with, the way you’ve been demonized is reprehensible and foolish, and I’m sorry for your sake that it has happened. No doubt, you’ve made your share of mistakes, but in spite of that you’ve persevered in an amazingly difficult job in the most difficult of circumstances. I thank you for sticking it out and being an example of courage under fire. I pray the best for you as you retire from Presidential service.
Buena Vista, Colorado