Dear Barack Obama,

As I sat down to write you today, it occurred to me that being President is a thankless task.

When you do something well, it is overlooked.

When you make a mistake, it is amplified.

Eight years ago, I dragged my children to stand in line on a cold and rainy Indiana day, so we could vote for you as a family.

They were so little at the time.

Chloe was 6 and Dravin 11.

I wanted them to experience this moment with me, because you were the first candidate in my lifetime that actually made me excited to vote.

I felt like you were going to be a legendary president and I wanted my children to be part of that.

I explained to my babies that “a long line was good for us, because it meant that Americans were standing up for hope and change.”

As I walked into the voting booth, I was surprised at how emotional I became.

I teared up as I filled in the little bubble next to your name.

Barack Obama was going to be my president.

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I think your presidency must have been one of the more difficult presidencies in our country’s history.

You faced opposition from all sides and dealt with a House that attempted to block everything you tried to do.

Yet somehow you managed to stop Keystone XL and pass the Affordable Care Act, which for all of its flaws, was a major step forward for millions of Americans.

I have not agreed with you on everything.

I radically opposed TPP and I was extremely disappointed that you did not speak up for the Occupy Wall Street protesters.

I read your book and loved your honesty, when you admitted that taking corporate money had negatively affected your presidency.

So you can imagine how disappointed I was when you endorsed Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders.

But I do not write you today to tell you about all the ways in which I agree or disagree with you.

I know you get more than your fair share of critics and detractors.

I know that all great leaders must make tough decisions and that people who are on the outside cannot understand the intricacies of these hard choices.

Even though my politics might fall far to the left of yours, I have defended you consistently and I believe that you are a good man.

I even voted for you again in 2012, because I still believed that you were our best shot at hope and change.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for caring and for doing your best.

Heavy is the head that wears the crown and with great audacity, I ask of you a favor before you leave office, one last swipe of your pen to remind the great people of America that there is still hope, even in the darkest of times.

The good guys really need a victory right now.

And I know you are one of the good guys, so I’m calling on your help.

I’m asking you to declare Standing Rock a federal monument.

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By declaring Standing Rock a federal monument you will stop the senseless violence against our Indigenous sisters and brothers and secure your legacy as a president who stood for hope and change.

I understand that corporations are powerful forces, but right now, you are even more powerful.

We can no longer “wait and see how this plays out.”

This is about more than just legalities.

This is much bigger.

It became bigger the moment that attack dogs and rubber bullets were brought in to assault these peace-loving people.

It became bigger when we watched the absolute brutality of our own government spraying freezing water on these good people.

Have the Native American people not suffered enough at the hands of this occupying force of which you are currently the leader?

After centuries of unmitigated rape of their culture, can we please, just this once, side with the people who rightfully own the land?

On behalf of our brethren in North Dakota, I can tell you that we will not back down, because our cause is just and at some point the American people MUST take a stand.

The winter will be long and difficult, but our numbers will grow.

My wife and children have asked me not to go, but I cannot, in good conscience stand by and allow innocent people to be treated with such aggression.

I believe, with all my heart, that the pen is mightier than the sword, so I ask you to look inside yourself and put an end to this atrocity.

I know you are a good man.

I know that you are losing sleep thinking about this situation, along with a hundred others.

You, Mr President, are our last hope.

If you do not intervene then I fear that this will ultimately result in the deaths of many good people.

Perhaps of equal import, is that we need to know that you hear us and that you are on our side, because in a few months someone will be sitting in your chair who is not on our side.

The American People need to know that our voices matter.

The American People need to know that our government still represents us, because the level of cynicism and despair is palpable right now, Mr President.

I’m asking you to make one more difficult choice before you leave office.

I’m asking you to make Standing Rock your legacy.

I’m asking you to declare Standing Rock a federal monument.

From one father to another, I want to be able to look my kids in the eye and remind them of the time we stood in the rain for over an hour, because we believed that you were truly on our side.

I still believe that you are.

Happy Holidays from my family to yours and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your service.

Sincerely,

Just One Voter

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Michael E Sparks is a father and a freelance writer. If you would like to support his work, you can click HERE to donate $1. But more importantly, please send donations to Standing Rock to help the brave water protectors with provisions for the upcoming winter.

 

5 thoughts on “Dear Barack Obama, Will You Please Help Us?

  1. Thank you for giving such beautiful and powerful words to the very same thoughts and feelings I have been experiencing during this horrific ordeal our Native American brothers and sisters have been dealing with. The Standing Rock Souix Tribe are always in my thoughs and if I had better health I too would be going. But second best thing anyone can do is donate funds directly to to tribe at http://sacredstonecamp.org/faq/

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  2. Obama has been one of the biggest disappointments of my 59 year life. He started selling us out on day 1 and has continued to sell us out worse and worse. I will never forgive him. He has done even more damage to the middle class (his shiny bauble in every speech) than bush did!

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