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Letter of the Week—December 12th, 2011

Dear President Obama,

I was one of the voters who cast my vote for you in the fall of 2008. I voted for you because I felt that you would be the catalyst for the hope and change we so badly sought in this country, at a time when conditions both at home and abroad were worsening. I saw voting for you as an opportunity to bring the change all Americans wanted, so that unified, we could all make a difference together.

And three years later, I am not disappointed.

When I cast my vote in that November of 2008, I held no fantasy nor idealized notion that change would be easy. Quite the contrary. I knew that the place we had arrived at as a country took longer than three years to get here, so I knew that getting to a better place would require more time and more patience. I knew that my voting for you meant that I would be voting for a man who would be vilified by those who didn't share his views, and by voting for you I would be helping to put into the Oval Office a man who would have one of the biggest leadership burdens placed upon him in modern times.

And three years later, I am not disappointed.

I have watched you lead a nation that was on the brink of a depression away from the edge. I have watched you save one of our nation's oldest manufacturing backbones: the auto industry. I have watched you help form the foundation of a universal health care system—although not perfect—for all American citizens. I have watched you help bring an end to a ridiculous system that said gays and lesbians could not serve in the military for the country they love. I have watched as your administration tracked down and completed the demise of the world's most dangerous terrorist. I am watching you bring an end to one of this nation's longest wars.

The change that we sought is happening. It's happening every day, because average Americans are engaged more now than in any other time before in our country's political process. The change we sought is happening because although I may not agree with all of your policies, and wish you could do more sometimes, I understand you have to let government and the political process run its course, through the web of Congress and the House and through the sometimes tiresome ideal of hoping for compromise with opposing views. After all we did not vote to make you king—we voted to make you president.

Mr. President, I know you are not perfect. But I have seen the change. I know we are still fighting the fight, and as Dr. King once said, "There are difficult days ahead." But my confidence in our ability to become a better nation comes from believing in the change you—we—have brought, and the potential change we all together still can bring. Know this: there are others out there who believe these same things. And they are not all just liberals and Democrats. They are a collection of people as broad as progressives, conservative, liberals, independents, who want real change and believe in what you have done.

My family history is a blend of great-grandparents who were Republicans in the Deep South (as were most other blacks in the 1930s and 1940s), independents, and Democrats. I see myself as a simple independent-thinking American who believes in his country. My wife is a bold progressive, and yet my father-in-law is a firm conservative (I always wondered how she turned out progressive with two conservative parents!). Our fate as a family isn't any less unified because of these mixed beliefs by all of us. They are strengthened because we believe in America.

As 2011 comes to a close, the fight for our future is at stake. Make sure your campaign makes it known—and in great detail—to the American people what your administration has done. Fight the fight and win, Mr. President. For all of us—fight the fight and win.

Three years later I am not disappointed. I'll spend the next one helping you win.

—Daimond, Michigan

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