Dear Mr. President

Obama+delivering+a+speech.+Photo+courtesy+of+Pixaby.

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Obama delivering a speech. Photo courtesy of Pixaby.

Cassie Bundrick, Guest Contributer

Dear Mr. President Barack Obama,

I was 9 years old when you were first elected. I wasn’t really sure what politics were, but I knew people voted on this big decision that tore families apart. I knew adults freaked out every four years over the red elephant or the blue donkey, but those don’t always mean much to an elementary school kid.

I remember in 4th grade, my whole class wanted you to win. You reminded us of all the old presidents we had learned about like Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, John F. Kennedy. You were our heroic president who made sense. We didn’t even know who McCain was. We just knew we wanted you.

You were unique and special. Never had we seen an African-American run for presidential office. It was unprecedented. You were a trailblazer like no other. You were fresh and fun. You made jokes on the campaign trail. You were everything I imagined a cool Mr. President being.

I didn’t know your tax policies, what you thought on Iraq and Afghanistan. I had no idea you were a lawyer, and a senator. I didn’t know any of the things that made adults support you. I just knew that you seemed right. I knew that I would love to see you on TV shaking hands with famous people, just like President Bush did.

All I knew was that 9 year old me wanted a President Barack Obama.

And I got exactly what I wished for.

When I graduated 5th grade, I got a Presidential Academic award and your signature was on there. I thought you had actually signed it, so I hung it up above my bed because I was so proud of it.

Your next election was 2012.

It was the beginning of my 8th grade year and I was in US history. I had been listening to my dad rant about how much he despised you for the last four years, and I didn’t know why. All I knew was that you helped people everywhere. You were doing the best you could do in the Middle East. You were trying to bring our troops home. I knew you were a good man, all the way down to your core.

A lot of people didn’t want four more years of you. They thought you had your chance, that you didn’t deserve another chance at your Presidency.

2012 was the first time I heard someone say they wanted “that Muslim black man out of the White House.”

I didn’t understand what your race had to do with it. Race and religion didn’t make a person  better. I was taught that actions defined a person, and all your actions seemed moral enough to me.

Despite the criticisms and the putrid anger in our nation surrounding you, you won again. I felt so overjoyed to know someone I could have faith in was in the White House again.

I was glad it was you.

And then it was 2016.

And you couldn’t be elected anymore. You had served all your terms.

Your hair had faded to grey, you looked a little more tired. A little more sad. A little more weary and beaten down after eight years in one of the toughest jobs in the world. But in the face of the most unqualified candidate in the history of American Politics, you were a beacon of hope for me.

You, our President, would help guide the nation in the right path. You spoke in the name of justice and freedom for the values I held dear to me. You spoke for human rights in a time of darkness for our great nation. You spoke of a choice we had to make as Americans to prevent a disastrous four years in our future. To preserve this nation for its youth, we had to make the choice our hearts agreed with.

That’s when I appreciated you the most, I thought.

But now, less than a week from our Presidential election, I have never appreciated you more.

Mr. President, thank you for every single moment you have spent fighting for the United States of America in your presidency.

Thank you for making me want to learn about politics and government and how I can make a difference in the greatest country in the world.

Thank you for your support of groundbreaking social issues such as Marriage Equality and Transgender Rights.

Thank you for staying composed, even when people accused you of horrific things that simply weren’t true.

Thank you for being a gracious President, loved by many others around the world.

Thank you for being historical in every way possible, and paving the way for our first woman president of the United States of America. Even if she isn’t elected now, I have confidence we women have greater chances after her history making campaign.

Thank you for being my President.

Sincerely,

Cassandra Bundrick, a citizen who will miss you very dearly.