May 31st, 2012
09:00 PM ET

Letters to the President #1228: 'Wit's end'

Reporter's Note: President Obama works late at the White House. I work late at my office…often writing these letters.

Dear Mr. President,

Perhaps you saw that video of the Illinois lawmaker yelling and throwing papers all around the legislative chamber. I don’t know what it was all about, don’t know if his actions were justified or not, but boy do I understand.

Frankly, I think voters all over this country, Democratic, Republican, an Independent, feel the same way on any given day. At such times, we think everything is broken. Our political system doesn’t work. Our economy is a mess. We can’t agree on what…if anything…is “right” or “wrong.” So we take it out on each other with bitter words, accusations, and a hardening of our hearts that would do the Hatfields and McCoys proud. (Btw, did you watch that series? Really good I thought, except for that simpering blond guy who kept romancing the neighborhood and getting people shot.)

I try not to let it get me down, but so often I find myself looking into the void and asking, “Where is the leadership?” Left, right, and center, it so often feels like the qualities it takes for people to win a seat of leadership…in politics, business, social circles…are antithetical to the qualities it takes to actually lead once there; qualities like courage, conviction, and decisiveness.

So, like I said, I don’t know what that guy was mad about, but some days I feel pretty mad too. I firmly believe that we are a better nation than what we appear right now; we can care for each other more, we can encourage each other more, and we can respect each other more for all of our differences. At least I hope that is true…otherwise I see a lot more flying papers and raised voices in our future.

Call if you can. Seriously. It would be nice.


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