Dear Mr. President,
I can’t believe I’m siding with this current Congress, but I hope they vote down your request for war with Syria.
(Though before going further: if the U.N. inspectors deliver their research results and there is sufficient evidence that Assad is indeed using chemical weapons, then it’s time for the U.N. to act).
Maybe you spoke too soon, too casually. I campaigned for you and still believe in you. I believe that your Administration will find a way beyond this misstep (your misstep) for the good of the United States and, however possible, the world.
Your Administration deserves credit for many achievements. You took office in 2009 under unprecedented circumstances and performed well. Over the years, the growing shamelessness of your opposition—their willingness to throw the country’s best interests under the bus just to spite you—has become so out of control that it will ultimately be a stain on modern American history.
When it comes to Syria, I believe you said things to try and impress their right wing hawkishness. From what I’ve seen of you, you were probably doing it to create a bridge to start more dialogue about other American issues as well, break through their obstructiveness a bit. You are the type of man who tries to gain an understanding of the other point of view, at least enough to start a meaningful conversation.
Unfortunately, for many, understanding and basic human empathy are signs of weakness.
When it comes to our Congress, many are just looking for ways to demand your time and attention, divert it away from other interests. Your stance on Syria wasn’t as important as the fact that you were giving them your focus and energy.
However, I credit you with bringing them in on the vote. And I’m hoping they vote an attack on Syria down.
Including them was a very smart move on your part. From the world of politics, it was a very brave move because it will tarnish that image called Leader of The Free World. But in you, I see a willingness to help evolve that tired old image.
And this image is tired. Not only that, as time goes on, it increasingly insults “the free world” that it mentions. The phrase Leader of The Free World was created as a reaction to the Berlin Wall going up. That wall came down in 1989.
You, Barack Hussein Obama, are America’s first President 2.0.
That traditional, tried-and-true Leader of The Free World? He brought us through to the end of the last century wonderfully. I try to see the big picture of what the office has to encompass and assume responsibility for—The Leader of The Free World was a big job.
President 2.0 is also a big job. The Office contains many of the leadership qualities of the old image. And if America’s role in world affairs is changing, the relevance and need for our country’s greatness right now is more important than ever.
President 2.0 can walk back statements and re-think positions because saving face is less important than committing to another war.
If The Leader of The Free World would never walk back a statement like that, President 2.0 does so with humility, grace and an affirmation that President 2.0 remains open enough with their judgment that catastrophe can be avoided.
President 2.0 doesn’t make the same mistake twice, how’s that for a promise to the world?
President 2.0 is nimble-minded and learns quickly, with the continuous goal in mind of arriving at the best decision possible.
It’s a different world than the one that The Leader of The Free World oversaw.
President 2.0 is still an important force, but the role of the office was transforming long ago. You were still at Harvard when the role began to change.
George W. Bush was like the crossover between the two, and you, Barack Hussein Obama, are the first President 2.0.
Overall, in the grand scheme of things, you’re doing a pretty good job. I’m happy to have campaigned for you.
But walk back from a Syria strike. Please.