Auf Goodbye.us schreiben Amerikaner Abschiedsbriefe an George W. Bush. Hier der komplette Brief von LC, einem gar nicht so desillusionierten jungen Obama-Wähler.
Dear President Bush,
There’s always something special about a first. A first word, a first smile, a first step, a first book, a first date, a first kiss. Regardless of how that first turns out—good or bad, a treasured memory or a regretted decision—a first is forever remembered, for better or for worse.
You were my first president...
Oh, not literally. I’m not under the age of eight. I was born when the Reagan administration was in office, finished preschool during your father’s term, and attended elementary and middle school with Bill Clinton as my president. But you were the first president I understood. I learned about your policies in my high school government classes, debated your war tactics with my friends, and discussed the implications of your educational and environmental acts with my parents. In 2004, I went off to college and your election became the defining event of my first semester. You were my high school years and my college experience. You were on the first ballot I filled out—and you were the first presidential candidate who I didn’t vote for.
There is an endless list of examples of your mistakes, missteps, and flaws, but nothing quite compares to seeing the wide-eyed idealism of the just-barely-old-enough-to-vote population crushed by eight years of bad policies and unsound ideology. In school, we were taught to believe in the ultimate strength of education, in the force of the United States as a world power, and in the justice of the system of democracy. Out of school, however, we received a different message, a message of failure, hate, and death. On the news, we watched Iraqi civilians killed by American soldiers, Afghan museums bombed into dust, and an entire U.S. city swallowed by natural disaster. We watched the other world powers laugh in disbelief, the dollar weaken, and the U.S. economy falter. We watched the ideals of compassion and acceptance to which we had aspired become threatened by a religious ideology that we did not share. Most of all, we watched a president, somehow chosen by the democratic process so highly praised in our government and political science classes, fail to lead.
We left college and fell into a failing economy in a country scorned by other world powers and led by a president approved by less than a quarter of the American people. We felt this crumbling economy acutely as we struggled to find jobs, just as we have felt the massive shortcomings of the No Child Left Behind Act and the loss and pollution of our precious environment. And where were you? Were you leading us through these trials? Hardly. Forget fireside chats, you didn’t even address a panicking population until several days after financial crisis had struck. You instigated the bombings and the environmental destruction, failed to provide the necessary policy decisions to support citizens after natural disasters, and continued to advocate for your backward and discriminatory views on science, medicine, and sexuality.
For my peers and me, you are not merely a first, but also an only. We have never experienced leadership that we trust. We have never been able to travel without feeling obligated to apologize for our president to our new friends. We have never been able to be, unequivocally, proud of our country. And for that, you will remain in our memory forever, never forgotten and never forgiven. You were our first and we will always remember you.
And when I cast my vote on November 4th, I knew that I would have a new first: helping to elect a president whom I can believe in.