I've placed many calls over the past three years to inquire what President Obama might be thinking when things occurred in this country. Stating my concerns to a White House "comment taker" was less than satisfactory, but I did it. I probably fooled myself more than once that a summary of my comments might somehow get beyond the person on the other end of the phone. Today, I picked up the phone to do it again, but at that moment, I realized I was done with all that.
So I wrote this letter to him instead.
Dear President Obama:
I write this with a very heavy heart. You have finally--finally--lost me. I cannot and will not support your presidency any longer. I was one of your biggest supporters, working for your campaign and doing what I could through donations to bring you to the White House because I thought you would make a difference and bring about the changes you promised to make as you campaigned to win our votes.
I watched for the first three years--glad when some of the things you promised to do happened--and disappointed when I realized that you were not going to do others.
I watched as you left the Public Option behind you, I watched as you extended the Bush tax cuts, both of which deeply disappointed me. However, I hoped you would find your voice and your strength among the Republicans who wanted to see you fail.
As time went on, I became less and less sure of who you were and who you really wanted to represent in your time as President, but still I supported you.
Monday night, that changed. I have waited for you to make a statement--just one statement condemning the actions of the police as they brutalized and harassed peaceful protestors who have a real need to see our democracy restored. But you remained silent. I waited for you to address the nation about even one of the issues Occupy Wall Street is pleading with our government to recognize and deal with.
Monday night, a peaceful occupation in Zuccotti Park was torn apart by a goon-like squad of riot police. Personal possessions were confiscated or destroyed. One young man suffered the loss of his deceased father's watch--all because the Mayor and his goons needed to make the protestors feel intimidated, fearful and humiliated.
I have come to learn that many of these crackdowns on OWS encampments have been guided and aided by the Department of Homeland Security. YOUR Department of Homeland Security. You made a feeble statement afterward that you believed in "free speech, but not at the risk of the health and safety of the community."
With those words, and the deafening silence around them, you have lost me forever, Mr. President.