Dear President Obama,

I’m not the nostalgic type, it just isn’t in my nature. It’s ridiculous to think of 2008-2016 as “the good ol’ days.” That kind of wistfulness is reserved for my parents’ generation. But I truly miss having you as the leader of our country. I miss who we were when you were President.

I miss having an eloquent president who draws on his actual knowledge, answering questions thoughtfully and rationally. Now we have a village idiot, stringing together superfluous long words to mimic intelligence.

I miss having a president who so clearly loves and is devoted to his family. Now we have a serial adulterer whose three oldest offspring are poster children for nepotistic white privilege.

I miss having a president who spoke to all of us. Instead we have a man who intentionally appeals only to wealthy white men who benefit from his tax cuts, and red-hat-wearing rednecks who’ve lost the ability to feel shame for their fully exposed bigotry.

I miss having a president who respected women and fought for our rights, and the rights of our daughters. Now we have an almost cartoonesque villain who uses our bodies as bargaining chips for Evangelical hypocrites who would be only too happy to see witch trials return.

I watched as Trump mocked you, criticized you, damned you, and led the birther movement against you. But since he became president, without fail, every single day, with every act he takes or word he speaks, he proves that you are an infinitely better man and leader than he is or could ever wish to be. But I don’t find any comfort in watching him fail so spectacularly at a job for which he spent so many years criticizing you. I find no joy in his shredding the reputation of this country, and I wonder if we will ever fully recover.

As much as it pains me to admit, the right-wing trolls are right about one thing: no, I never got over the fact that Trump was elected. And I never will. After almost three years, I still struggle to believe that a man who brought out the best in America was replaced by a man who has brought out the worst in us. But with each passing day, with each hateful comment I hear and read, I’m forced to accept there are millions of gullible Americans who either vote based on racism, bigotry, and stupidity, or are willfully blind enough to be just as complicit. The hatred, ambivalence, and disdain is frightening.

The way the GOP has acted, or more likely has not acted, over the past three years has given me a brief window into what you must have dealt with behind closed doors for 8 years. They were already insufferable in the years you were in office, but their stubbornness and cowardice gives new meaning to “new low” on a daily basis. I have nothing but contempt for these “pretend patriots” and how they conduct themselves under Trump’s administration. Even after the countless disgraces Trump has inflicted on the country, I’m still consumed with fury when they stand by idly or even defend him. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve said, “If Obama had done that, the GOP would have burned DC to the ground,” through gritted teeth.

So yes, I miss you and Michelle. I miss living in the country you led and who you made us. I thank God for your tweets and Facebook posts. They are missives of comfort when we need them the most: reminders of who we once were and can still become. Again.



This letter was submitted to the ‘Open Letters’ series. Click here to subscribe to free newsletter.