Thanks, Obama

I need to say this write this. I have to.
8 years ago as an 18-year-old freshman in college I voted in my first presidential election. I voted against Barack Obama.

In 2012, as a 22-year-old first year law student, I voted in my second presidential election.
And I voted against Barack Obama.

I stand by my votes. I can defend my votes. I do not regret my votes.
I disagree with about 93% of Obama’s policy. (I really like oddly specific statistics.) On pretty much every level–economic policy, tax codes, health care, foreign policy, his role as a commander-in-chief…. I could keep going, trust me.

But I feel the need to reach beyond those single votes those years ago and express my heartfelt gratitude to the first President I experienced as a [kind-of] adult.

Thank you for your kindness.
Thank you for your dad jokes.
Thank you for never giving up.
Thank you for always smiling.
Thank you for giving really good hugs.
Thank you for taking the Office of the President to the people.
Thank you for putting your finger on the pulse of the American Dream and in your own weird way, for trying to renew it.

Thank you for fathering your daughters and guiding them through the tough years they spent growing up in the spotlight. The grace they carry themselves with reflects in you both you and your wife.

Speaking of which, thank you for loving your wife. Thank you for illustrating to an entire generation of young men that women are creatures to be both respected and cherished.

Thank you for the honor with which you treated your position.

Thank you.
Thank you for teaching me that while politics and policies and the way we prioritize them will always divide us, we can rise above that.

I have been privileged to be taught lessons about humanity that I otherwise never would experienced.
Lessons that say that character matters.
And that service trumps self.
Lessons that say that regardless of party lines and partisan divides, I can respect you and even God forbid like you because of the man that you are rather than the policies that you enact.

Above all, Mr. President, I just need to say thank you for your decency.

Love and Other Drugs,
E. Hunter W.


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