An open letter to the president | As It Turns Out | November

Dear President Obama,

You don’t know me, we haven’t yet met. I live in a little town across the Puget Sound from Seattle, Kingston, which you probably have yet to visit. Please feel free to bring the motorcade over this way. Kingston is known for putting on a fun parade, so we can certainly make the trip worth your while.

We work hard here on the Kitsap Peninsula and are all quick-witted, good-looking and law-abiding Americans. But we have yet to fulfill our American Dreams. We regularly include you in our prayers, in hopes that you’re up to the task of solving our financial predicaments – particularly the recession and the lack of jobs and health care.

However, we know your plate’s been full and that you’ll probably need more than nine months in office to accomplish everything.

You must realize that people expect nothing less than a stupendous job from you, Sir. While all leaders fail in some areas, it would be simply insufferable for the most famous person on the planet to stumble and fall during his presidency.

Could the expectations of the world be putting too many demands on you? No, I didn’t think so.

Congratulations on your Nobel Peace Prize honor, by the way. We were initially caught unawares on that one. Bet even you didn’t see it coming, what with the wars with Iraq and Afghanistan – and, as I write this letter, your possible escalation of troops in the latter.

I hope you don’t mind my saying, but there were those who mocked your honor and did you disrespect. They said things like you only got the Peace Prize because you’re a superstar, or because you deliver good speeches. Some said it was a premature award, that you hadn’t done anything worthy yet.

Some of us understand why you received the Peace Prize. You were brave enough back in the days of your presidential campaign to buck the existing political winds by vowing to set a new American course for international diplomacy.

Unlike the last president, the one everyone wanted to barbeque with, your design veered away from the arrogant world-power mongers that had become synonymous with America.

The previous administration thought that its was the only road to world peace, even after eight long years to prove their case. They failed miserably and took the world for a very scary ride in the process. Now we’re trying hard to pick up the pieces and ignore the shock jocks. Lord knows you have inspired the majority of our tattered world.

You pledged to open new diplomatic dialogue with the usual suspects – like Iran, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel and Palestine – that will help ease tensions. You pledged to ban torture and close Guantanamo. You pledged nuclear disarmament and and a reversal on climate change policy. These are wonderful goals and achingly needed.

You pledged a great deal, and we know that those vows can’t be fulfilled in a year or – in many instances – even four or eight. But you will forgive me if I say that, so far, it looks a lot like what we had before. I thought we (the electorate) gave you the tools needed to win battles. Am I wrong?

We’re awaiting some palpable substantive results. The world needs to feel safer. That indeed deserves a prize.

Best regards,

Marylin Olds