My mother was just 24 years old when she had decided she’d had enough. Without telling anyone else (including my father) about what she planned to do, she picked up a pen and went to work... writing the President of the United States, that is.
In short, she was tired of watching the exclusively-liberal (no TheBlaze or Fox News, et al, in those days) media harpoon President Ronald Reagan for the tragic 1983 Marine barracks bombing in Beirut that killed 241 Marines.
She wrote to him hoping to encourage the leader. In part, she wrote to express that as a young, newly-married (and just starting out on her own) American, she and my father felt safe knowing the nation was in the hands of someone who had never wavered in his resolve to protect the nation from its enemies.
President Barack Obama stands next to a painting of "Uncle Sam," during his visits with workers at 1776, a hub for tech startups, Thursday, July 3, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
My mother got the surprise of her life when Reagan wrote her back.
He briefly thanked her for her kind works of appreciation and encouragement in so sad a period. Leading the nation during what had been dark economic times as well, Reagan noted that it was my mother’s positive outlook that must be emulated if the nation were to successfully fight evil in the world and stave off other problems.
President Barack Obama went a step further than Reagan did in my mother’s case. He made a visit to my home state a few days ago (sadly for me, I was out of the country) in order to personally respond to Rebekah Erler, a woman who penned a letter to Obama about the struggles she faces. She spoke of the cost of living, of mortgages and of daycare costs - the burden of most Americans.
Specifically, Erler wrote, “I’m writing you to let you know what it’s like for us out here in the middle of the country, and I hope you will listen.”
The president made the trek to the Land of 10,000 Lakes and did what he’s done for the last six years: Talk about how great the “recovery” is and how much better everyone is under his leadership - while simultaneously blaming Republicans for how bad everybody has it.
When does someone raise a hand and point out that none of this has worked? In six . . . long . . . years?
It’s going to take a lot more than a visit and old rhetoric to bring our nation back to the glory it once knew.
So, I’m writing the president a letter.
Dear Mr. President,
I’m a little older than my mother was when she did this during the Reagan presidency... but not unlike her, I’m in a similar situation. My husband and I are young, and working tirelessly to build a life for ourselves and our future family. I only wish that my letter to the president was filled with as much calm about our nation as hers was those 31 years ago. Sadly, it will not be, because it’s six years later and we’re all still struggling.
My fellow Minnesotan Rebekah Erler wrote you a letter, to which you responded with a personal visit, ensuring her that “she’s not alone out there,” and that her's was “typical of a lot of letters [you] get every single day.” You further noted that these letter writers are “working hard; they’re taking responsibility.”
While we continue to struggle out here, Mr. President, why don’t YOU take responsibility?
Why don’t you take responsibility for the fact that the national average for gas has been above $3/gallon for nearly 1,300 days, and that your administration has actively worked to stop efforts to make us energy independent?
After releasing high level terrorists and kow-towing to dangerous nations, why don’t you take responsibility for the fact that the world no longer respects us nor do our enemies fear us, Al Qaeda isn’t on the run, and that we are not safer than we were six years ago?
Why don’t you take responsibility for the fact that while you worked hard to bring home a known deserter and suspected conspirator, there’s still a Marine rotting in a Mexican prison; a man you’ve done nothing to help?
Why don’t you take responsibility for the fact that your administration knowingly peddled a falsehood when it went to the American people and the world with the narrative that the Benghazi attack - where four Americans needlessly lost their lives - was a one-off spontaneous protest spawned by an obscure YouTube video?
Why don’t you take responsibility for the fact that American citizens died because of guns that your administration peddled across the American border into Mexico?
Why don’t you take responsibility for the policies that have left our southern border in the vulnerable, porous state that it is in, allowing for everyone from helpless children (which your administration has treated no better than herded cattle) to dangerous gang members to cross?
After health care premiums have skyrocketed and people are dropping like flies from their policies, why don’t you take responsibility for the fact that your health care policy has been an unmitigated disaster?
Why don’t you take responsibility for the fact that your administration still pays its female employees less than their male counterparts, while you continue to campaign that the so-called wage gap needs to improve?
Why don’t you take responsibility for the fact that under your watch, our nation is more polarized than it has been in generations? You’ve pitted American against American, minority against non-minority, and chiefly, rich against poor. At every turn, you’ve made it a priority to show Americans you favor who it is that they can blame.
Why don’t you take responsibility for the fact the labor force participation rate is at its lowest ever?
Why don’t you take responsibility for the fact that under your leadership, the national debt has nearly doubled, and that by your own standards your actions have been “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic?”
Why don’t you take responsibility for the fact that food stamp petitions have soared under your watch?
Why don’t you take responsibility for the heinous way our nation’s veterans are being treated within the Department of Veteran's Affairs system?
Why don’t you take responsibility for the fact that your administration has overseen an IRS that has targeted American citizens for their political leanings?
Mr. President, your assistant and Senior Strategy and Communications Advisor Dan Pfeiffer said that your visit to Erler was to get a “real sense of what’s happening in America and how we move this country forward.”
With all due respect, sir, you’ve just been voted the worst president since World War II. Six years into the game, we don’t need you and your administration to just now start talking about getting to know the country.
Rather than visit our hometowns and sit down for lunch with your fellow citizens (or visit Texas and ignore the current border crisis), you might try simply taking responsibility for your actions. Stop blaming Congress (which has all but done your bidding these past years) and stop blaming past administrations and opposing parties.
At 1,995 days in, this is your presidency... and it’s about time you acted like it.
Mary Ramirez is a full time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com--a political commentary blog, and contributor to the Chris Salcedo Show. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree
Feature Photo: (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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