In response to the editorial of Nov. 7, “For America’s sake let’s all support President Obama,” it behooves me to explain that when I think of the phrase “I support you,” it is associated with feelings and abstract solidarity that I might offer to friends in time of need.
President Obama does not need my support.
As my president, he may warrant my respect, which I will afford him as a responsible citizen.
For things to truly move forward in this country, it is Congress, that beautiful arm of this representative democracy, which needs my support.
And more than simply my support—my involvement, my encouragement, my accountability.
I cannot call the president and tell him how I would like him to vote on particular issues because that is not his role. While he has immense power, he does not vote for me.
I must contact my congressman. This is my duty. This is where my support is needed—with the men and women elected as my representatives in our local, state, and national governments.
The Congress is where the struggle now lies in which I can take part, passing laws, creating legislation that will shape our country’s future.
It is not up to President Obama to change America. It is up to the country that elected him to continue to participate in and drive the change.
The editorial in the Nov. 7 issue expressed many sentiments that need to be expressed—civility, courteous dialogue and engaging in conversations with people from whom we have been alienated in our families, work places and schools.
But let us not confuse the possibly sentimental term “support” with what is needed of us as our civic duty.
It is not emotional; it is active.
Modern Foreign Language