Obama is my president. As I grew up, I realized I wanted to be like him; pragmatic, careful and smart. He made me believe in the sanctity of our Republic and of the presidency. When he spoke, I believed our country was this great experiment that may stumble, and sometimes stumble big, but at our core, we were working towards profound good.
Washington, Lincoln and Obama created and embodied a sacrosanct presidency. Washington only ran twice to save our Republic. Lincoln knew that the United States is not are. Obama never took the bait as his name was dragged through the mud by cowards. He stayed the course and put our country on the right path. These great men gave me a beautiful vision of what leadership is; but this conception better belongs in Platonism than reality.
That presidency is gone. It does not mean what it meant anymore. We made the “You’re fired” guy president. A bullying, bumbling braggart who will disembowel everything that office stood for.
Knowing and believing in my heart that Secretary Clinton could have brought us together makes me more disheartened than I have ever been. She could have continued the legacy of powerful erudite leadership that Obama passed on. She could have elevated the presidency further.
My hopes and dreams for our nation which I share with so many of you are so vehemently and violently opposed to that of our demagogue-elect. Our nation has not been split so divisively since the Civil War. I fear violence, trauma and irreconcilable pain.
I spent the early morning hours on Wednesday wondering if I am just a “wacky liberal college student”—as I am sure some lonely Wisconsinite will inform me I am in future Letters to the Editor—but I do not think that is what this is. I want an equitable country. I want Syrian refugees to come here safely. I want my community to have access to healthcare specifically safe and legal abortions. I do not care about border security. I do not care about gun rights. I do not care about “voter fraud.”
I care about my community. I care about the people on this campus who do not feel safe. I care when white supremacists feel so emboldened that they can walk down the street and make our streets not safe for the people I love.
If you are not viscerally afraid of violence after the statement sent by Appleton community members dressed in Klan robes and Templar armor, then you should talk to your marginalized friends and listen.
We have a common enemy. We need to come together like we never thought possible. Many of us are scared and far from the people and places we love. We need to affirm each other and stand for what is right even when it is scary; especially when its scary. In the midst of my mourning for the country I was raised in, I considered not wearing my yarmulke until I was home for break. As quickly as this thought entered my mind I was sure I could not take it off. I will not let the terrorists win, nor will I turn my back on Lawrentians who cannot take their identities off. I stand with all of you and I will never give in to that vision of America. Thanks Obama.