I was reading icebergslim's diary, and got to the end with the number for the white house. I was so enraged by that point, I picked up the phone, hoping to leave a message. Alas, no voicemail at the whitehouse. So, I took their suggestion and went to 'contact us' at whitehouse.gov.
First, some background, after the jump.
I did not canvass for Obama, I did not go to other states, I never made it to a rally (well, there were NONE in NY!) but I did phonebank, and blog, and talk him up to anyone that would listen, and wear my button, my bumpersticker and put out my yard sign (all in a red rural area of upstate NY) and I donated. I have a house with leaks in the roof, problems with my well and then some - and am underwater on my mortgage. I am a single mom who has tried for 5 years to live one of my dreams - I started a nursery (plants) and landscaping business. I work two part time jobs year round, and pick up another one in the winter, sometimes more. It is not enough, as the season is too short up here and the winters are long. I refinanced the house the first few years, cashed in some insurances and watched my business grow - for the first three years anyway. Then last year the income dropped, what with gas prices and all - but I had HOPE. And this year, phhhtt!
So, each month, I play the pro and con game - do I walk away (i.e. stop paying the mortgages) this month? Of course, that means I would have no home AND no business. And without other work lined up (been applying to various FT jobs for the last 10 months, hoping to climb out of this hole and still have my nursery at least on weekends), I really have no where to go! There are places for me to actually go - family, one sister in particular who would love the company (but will only take the dog, and not the cat - so she says, anyway).
And in the midst of this, I donated, and donated. Never a lot, but enough to get me on the FEC lists overall! I gave up cable years ago, this past year I gave up garbage pickup - in between, I gave up most everything else - vacations, newspaper delivery, hell, even help at the nursery, my phonebook ad and more!
And now, as I read in someone's comment, I feel like the knife is being turned. In Icebergslim's diary, Valadon referred to the 'emotional pain' he is seeing in those around him. I am one of those people.
I stand to lose everything in the near future. I don't have all that much to begin with. I struggled for everything I do have - was never married, never had any child support. My daughter, 22 and an only child, has severe chronic medical issues. Thank God, she has medicaid (though might lose that due to a PT job she recently started - we are working with the county to keep it, all while we wait on her 4 year old disability claim).
I do not mind working hard. I don't even mind not having a lot to show for it - just a decent home, food on the table, and, it sure would be nice, a few dollars to be able to see my family occasionally. I can be content with very little. But not when my country is being chewed up by rabid republicans and the man I believed in so much is going to cater to their desires instead of those like me who have supported him for so long.
I am generally not an overly emotional person, but I spent a fair amount of time this past week in tears for our loss of Ted Kennedy. Being so let down by Obama on the heels of that, in the FACE of that, truly is heartbreaking - the kind of heartbreak when your heart really does physically ache.
So here is my letter:
Dear President Obama,
I am so disheartened at what I am hearing coming out of the Whitehouse. I don't know how far back your records go, but if you searched my name, you would see that I first wrote to you in support when I heard of your exploratory committee. I wrote how disillusioned I'd been for so long, and how you had renewed my spirit and given me HOPE.
I donated to you - several times. And I am broke, perhaps going to lose my home and business in the coming months (have been holding on month by month for almost a year now). I have had no insurance for six years. I have not been able to do house repairs (including getting my furnace going - the nights are already down in the 40's here in upstate NY, so I guess I need to figure out how to pay for that one soon!).
And now, worse than not getting a public option, is the fact that you are leaving us all behind. I made phone calls for you. My sister canvassed for you. I blogged, I e-mailed family members, I gave my heart and soul to your campaign. And now you can't understand WHY we are drawing a line in the sand with the public option.
Despite your best efforts, you seem to have been caught in the bubble. May I suggest going back and listening to the speeches you gave at all the rallies and town halls in 2008. Listen to a few months worth of them, like we did - watching and listening to the same stump speech day in and day out. We never tired of listening, because the words were exactly what we wanted to hear. The plans were exactly what we wanted to have done. THAT is why you won our heart and souls.
And now, we, and our desires, which equal the desire of 77% of the population - SEVENTY SEVEN PER CENT!, are being cast aside in the spirit of bi-partisanship. I am sick to my stomach that you would bail on the American people for the sake of pretense that there is any negotiating to be done with what passes for the Republican party these days. These liars, these cheats, these heartless bastards who are reveling in inciting anger, hate and violence across the country are being elevated by you at the cost of me and those that are like me - those that did support you, that believed in you.
For eight years, I could not read the papers or watch the news. I was so heartbroken at what was happening to my country, at what was being done in my name. I have a feeling, by the time this fight is over, I will be much more heartbroken - and it will no longer be disillusionment I suffer, it will be disgust - with government and those who play with our lives, not to mention our hearts and pocketbooks.
I do hope that the sliver of hope I am holding on to that you will ignore your own and other naysayers and do the right thing is the piece of me that is right and will survive this mess. I am hanging on very thinly - in so many ways.
Please, President Obama, serve the people and nothing else.
God bless you and your family and keep you safe.
I asked for a response. Probably shouldn't have, as the rote words will probably be worse than no response at all.
Thanks you for reading this far, really just needed to vent.