On this your last day in office, President Obama, you deserve our honor, respect, and thanks.
If George W. Bush was my generation’s president growing up, you were our president as we became adults. From my latter years in high school through college, and even grad school, you were my president.
It was a pretty wild ride. You weren’t handed a well-ordered home; you got a dilapidated colonial with an overgrown lawn and cranky neighbors. Between a financial crisis, international crises like Syria, and domestic tragedies such as Newtown, you had a full plate every step of the way. Navigating such circumstances wouldn’t have been easy for anyone, as much as sideline critics might say otherwise. And I am confident you did the best you could.
You weren’t as incompetent or outrageous as some made you out to be. You weren’t the Antichrist, a communist, or born in a foreign country. You were simply different. You had a different vision for America, and you pursued it with purpose. I can respect that, even if we might disagree about some of the merits and particulars of that vision. You accomplished things – on healthcare, for instance – that some Americans have been attempting for decades. For better or worse, under your watch many aspects of our society have changed for the long haul. The LGBT agenda is case and point.
Perhaps most of all, you personified the progress of our nation and the dream that anything is still possible. As our first black president, you will hold a treasured spot in American history forever. Every American should take pride in that.
Thank you for your hope in our great republic. Thank you for your candor about America’s imperfections. Thank you for being a model family man. Thank you for your poise. Thank you for being the kind of president we’d want to watch March Madness with or play a round of golf with (even if you did a little too much of that). Thank you, Mr. President, for inspiring us to be the best America we can be.
Godspeed, to you and your family as you leave 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and transition into life post-presidency.