The following is a letter I wrote back in August 2011. Some background: It was one of those late night rants. I never published it, but in honesty as I head out to precinct walk in Las Vegas, Nevada with fellow South Asians for President Obama, it was fitting I take it from the old note book I scrawled it in and transcribe it here to share with you all. A lot of the mixed emotions, feelings of being let down- even betrayed- are still there.
August 17, 2011
Dear Mr. President,
I write to you as a disillusioned young professional. For the past four years I have tried to remind myself why I voted for you and why as an activist in the American Muslim community I championed your cause. The answers to those questions appear ambiguous.
I look around to see that you have consistently dragged our hopes and aspirations through the audacity of extremist right wing agenda’s- people who hold American values hostage to an America they envision from the 1950’s. Not only have you made it difficult to champion your cause because you have given up on Civil Rights issues and immigration, blundered on healthcare reform, but, worse of all, you continue to champion draconian measures that pale in comparison to President Bush’s administration.
If I was a one issue voter I would stop there, but I am not. Instead I have to point out the horrendous development in the most dangerous policy using technological warfare has expanded under your watch. You have precipitated terrorist-like activities in the pursuit of our enemies, through undeclared wars, in violation of international law in the drone strike program. Worse, you have destroyed due process with the creation of a hit list, extra-judicially executing a 16-year old American citizen. All the while Syria bleeds and our enemies rally around a noble cause of democracy spreading their cancer within the ranks of Syrians seeking liberty, freedom and justice.
Domestically, instead of helping to shore up the home owners of America, you have aided in the largest bamboozling by corporate America of American taxpayers. Billions are given to those that robbed us and dragged our economy into the ground, all the while, millions of Americans are loosing jobs and their homes. Yes, the mess you inherited was not simple, its was immense and the worst since the Great Depression, however, handing out money to the Wall Street folks who should be sitting in jails and awaiting trials seems to be the rewarding of rich peoples complete disregard of the rules and decency that has long governed this nation.
You have cut short the aspirations of the very people who will build the future economy of America- our college students. Your floundering on the Dream Act is but a small indicative measure of your complete failure to provide for college students across the United States the conditions necessary to get an education and build the American economy.
Worse, as the reality of the so-called Debt Ceiling compromise is coming forth, we see that legislators eliminated the interest subsidy for a government-subsidized loan program for graduate and professional students. While undergraduate education will continue to be subsidized by the Federal government, the truth is Mr. President, your future economic vision does not rest on a nations undergraduates alone, in fact, it is clear that our economy demands an undergraduate degree, but future career require graduate degrees in order for young professionals such as myself to become capable of achieving the American Dream.
That reality frightens me because I am part of the elite 10% of the American population that has obtained a high school diploma, successfully pursued a bachelors degree and am seeking a graduate degree, yet will be locked out of my dreams. However, I am blessed, because the majority of our country’s students are left out of the education process and their doors to economic success are shut. This population also is on the federal altar for debt ceiling negotiations.
The question isn’t what has happened to you Mr. President, rather the question is, were you ever really committed to our cause, the cause for an America that belonged to all? If so, you are not fighting for us, rather your actions suggest you are fighting against us.
Mr. President, I have a hard time deciding to vote for you again. I can’t say I will campaign for you. The irony of my situation is that as our Presidential nominee you offered us hope, but as the President you have robbed us of that hope.
A Demoralized American
Whats telling about this letter is that I wrote it while the debt ceiling crisis was going on. The news articles, I remember them so vividly, were fear mongering and apocalyptic. The news was all around bad and I sensed that that mood doused my attitude while writing this.
A year and a half later, right after the November elections, a lame duck congress will once again be faced with a crisis, the magnitude of which is insane. In the impending debt crisis for the winter of 2012, our military budget will literally be gutted if Congress and the President don’t come up with an appropriate budget.