I received an e-mail message from the White House today. At 1:31 in the morning, I found waiting in my inbox an e-mail message from President Barak Obama. I don't work at the White House. I don't work in government. I'm a citizen of the United States of America and I received an e-mail message from the President of my country. True, I wasn't the only one. I'd signed up to receive e-mails, somewhere along the way of this President's candidacy and ultimate win, along with thousands, possibly millions, of others. Right now, I am in awe.
The message didn't say much. It was about health care reform. It talked about an "unprecedented commitment from health care industry leaders." It talked about pledges to reduce health care spending growth rates. It talked about affordable health care for all. It was pretty much typical political equivocation. Yet, I am still in awe. I received an e-mail message from the President.
I can't foresee how President Obama's time in office will ultimately turn out. He's begun to return our country to where it was 8 years ago. I don't actually consider that change. We had taken 100 steps backwards during the Bush administration, and we are slowly taking steps in a forward position. The President has an inconceivable challenge ahead of him. He not only has to bring about our country's recovery from the past 8 years of unethical, uncaring and ignorant policies of a privileged dilettante, but once he's done that, he has to actually start to implement the change he campaigned on...all in 4 years. I remain reservedly optimistic. I am still in awe because I received an e-mail message from the White House.
I went to the Inauguration in January. I'm like that. I like to go visit the Lincoln Memorial on President's Day. I dislike politics, and yet I still love government. When it works the way it's supposed to, democracy is one of the great wonders of the world. I'm a bit Capraesque that way, I guess.
Those wealthy white men who established our country's government may have been creating a self-serving government, but they were not stupid men. The democracy of which I speak was laid out in the Declaration of Independence, and we witnessed its craftsmanship with the election in November.
"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
The people spoke. It was in a way a revolution - a peaceful one, but a revolution. We needed a change. We asked for a change. We have gotten a change. This President has the potential to be truly progressive, and I remain reservedly and respectfully optimistic about what he will accomplish for the people of this country. I'll never give up on this country. I believe that we are worth fighting for. And I was reminded that I'm not alone in that belief. If nothing else, President Obama has returned a small piece of our government to us, the people. He has reminded us that we are supposed to be a country "of the people, by the people, for the people." Just by including us, even if it's merely a token e-mail, in the process.
I received an e-mail message from the President of the United States of America today. And that's a good start.