Well, Mr. Obama, it looks like you will be our next president. I’m really happy about that because, well, I sincerely think you’re the right man for this job. I don’t envy you your responsibilities or the struggle it took you to get where you are (and where you most certainly will be this coming January). However, now that you’re (almost) my president, I have a few minor requests. I make them on behalf of myself and my family. We don’t ask for much. As you can see, we aren’t bothering to write this letter to the current president, because, Mr. Obama, I just don’t think he really cares about people like us. You, on the other hand, seem to care a great deal about people just like us. So, I can wait a few more months. Think of it as an early Christmas wish list. Of course, by the time you get into office, it will be a late Christmas wish list. And, to be politically correct, we should refer to it as a holiday wish list. So here goes.
1. Please make a socialized healthcare system of some kind. I know there are people out there who like to say that socialized medicine is a bad idea and that it hasn’t worked in other countries. Other countries that have longer life expectancy and better quality of life than we in this country have. They say that socialized medicine turns healthcare into a nightmare of red tape, and that we will all have to wait in line to receive healthcare services. Barack, last time I checked, the ER lines were 3-4 hours long here in this country. I would rather see everyone wait in line than see some of my fellow Americans go without healthcare of any kind. Sometimes I think that those of us who have health insurance are just as badly off as those who don’t. I’m a nurse. I have had to see a patient get sent home from the hospital when they weren’t really ready to go simply because some guy in an insurance office somewhere decided that he didn’t deserve to stay and complete his treatment. What is this country coming to when the insurance companies that are supposed to protect us in times of crisis are the worse kinds of “fair weather friends”?
2. I’d also like to request that you fix social security. It seems almost like the current president has used it like his own personal piggy bank, withdrawing anytime he felt the need to fund an unpopular war. I don’t know the nuts and bolts of the whole thing but I do know that the social security program is in grave danger. It says so on the statement I get every year from the Social Security Administration. It says that even though I have paid in to the system all my working life, there won’t be enough to pay out my fair portion by the time I retire. To be honest, I’m more concerned about my parents than I am about myself. I have made alternate arrangements for my own retirement, so, while a pension check from SSA would be nice, it won’t make the difference between whether or not I’m (ever) able to retire. My parents, on the other hand, will need that check in order to make ends meet. They are good people who have worked hard all their lives. They don’t deserve to be reduced to poverty in their old age.
3. My next request is that you help us put the Earth on the road to recovery by setting policy which puts us at the forefront, not the very rear, of the effort to end global warming. My daughter is only 4 months old sir. The Earth is going to need to be around for a very long time if she is ever going to bounce great-grandchildren on her knee. I really can’t see anything much more important than that, can you?
4. Next, I’d like to stop all this nonsense with “relief at the pump”. It may be incredibly bourgeoisie of me, but I don’t see lower gas prices as the answer to all our problems. I want to stop standing at the pump entirely. Please stop all this nonsense about drilling for oil and providing subsidies for families to pay for the gas to fill up their SUV’s. We need alternatives. There is technology out there already that would allow for us to end our dependence on unfriendly countries for oil. Unfortunately, our country’s leadership has been in bed with the very people who make a lot of money off of our dependence on foreign oil for a very long time and I fear that they are the ones funding this push to invest still more in spinning our wheels for years while actually doing nothing to change the status quo. We need someone in Washington who hasn’t been around long enough to be in bed with anyone. That is why I actually think your “inexperience” might be just what we need Mr. Obama. You just might be naïve enough to get the job done right. Isn’t it a strange coincidence that, just about the time that our economic stimulus checks arrived this summer, gas topped out at over $4 a gallon? Does anyone else think it’s kind of like George W. Bush wrote a big huge check to the oil companies only he used us as the middle men?
5. I think it’s time we got a new women’s rights issue and put the Roe Vs. Wade case to bed for good. The thing is, while most women feel that they should control their own bodies, abortion just isn’t that big of a deal to most of us anymore. The vast majority of women have never considered, nor ever will consider getting an abortion. We’re just smarter than that. We know how to prevent unwanted pregnancies by now and we feel that by focusing on this tiny little procedure that we all can agree is unpleasant and in most cases unnecessary, all women lose. We want to focus on equal pay for an equal day. I won’t fight for my daughter to have the right to an abortion. I will fight for my daughter to have the right to the same treatment in school and the workplace as any man. Maybe that’s why the so-called “conservative” right has tried to distract us with the abortion issue for so many years. If it were equal pay, they might actually have to come up with some argument that doesn’t involve “God says so” in its response.
6. Speaking of my daughter and school, can we please put some money into the public school system so my daughter can have a world class education? I don’t mind paying taxes if I know that the money is going to stay here and in our schools instead of being poured into an unpopular and unnecessary war. I plan on teaching my daughter everything I can about values and respect and how to develop her own philosophy of the world we live in. I’d like to know that when I send her off to school in few years she will get a good solid education to add to that foundation. I’d like to think of my child’s education as a team effort. I will do my part. I will do the school’s part if I have to but I’d much rather focus on what I’m good at (nursing) and let the teachers focus on what they are good at. That’s what they’re talking about when they say that it takes a village.
I know there are other issues that are very important that I don’t understand fully. After all, I’m just a nurse. I will leave nuclear proliferation and peace in the Middle East in your very capable hands. These issues are the ones most of us here in the U.S.A. care about. We just want to enjoy the right to work, play and raise our families. We don’t mind if there are people out there who have a whole lot more than we do. We only object to the fact that it seems like the decisions being made in this country have been stacking the deck more and more in favor of those people for some time. We the middle class are the backbone of this country. If we lose, everyone loses. Mr. Obama, we can’t wait to see you become President Obama in a few short months. We just know that the change you have been talking about is more than a slogan. I’m sorry if this letter seems like the mother of all “honey do” lists. However, if you show it to Michelle, I bet she will agree that these are the things that really matter.