A great sadness in the land. An open letter to my president, the Honorable Barack Obama.

By Dr. Jeffrey Lant

A special preface for my readers worldwide. Today, with a measure of reluctance, I step outside my usual role as a commentator on a myriad of facts, occurrences, events, trends and happenings to be what from my birth I have been and treasured, a Citizen of the United States, my country.

Today I shall not merely report on the news in all its many aspects, at home and universally, but I shall, in a small but not insignificant way, make history… which is what Citizens do when they consider their nation, its affairs and directions, its misadventures and glorious achievements and report their opinions, feelings, complaints, concerns and admonitions to the individual who is, for the moment, the chief magistrate of the Great Republic, a position granted by the people who remain the ultimate repository of all power… and who, therefore, are, in such reporting doing what they have the right and indeed the obligation and responsibility to do… for all that their language may, from time to time, become choleric, injudicious, and intemperate.

As one of these people, these Citizens, I am today writing for and immediately thereafter sending to my president my thoughts and observations at this moment in our history, for I sense a great sadness beginning to move across the land, which must give pause to every thoughtful member of the body politic.

I want you, Reader, to note the matter of how I have headed these remarks, for I am sending them not just to the President of the United States, but to “my president,” for first and foremost he is not just a quondam official, holding office from such a time to such a time. He is, instead, the lawful leader of my country, a nation in which my hopes and dreams, along with the hopes and dreams of unseen millions of my countrymen, reside. I therefore write because I must… for the stakes are far too great to be silent… and I trust that the first lesson to be drawn from this letter is that you, too, shall, with thought and high seriousness of purpose, send to your president the fruit of your wisdom and concern, for whatever divides us, we have everything to unite us…. the articles and means of governance, centuries of shared triumphs and adversities, the first fashioned, the second overcome by our united actions. We share hopes, dreams, visions, and the abiding knowledge that, of all peoples on this earth, we have created our realities… and so we must take action when our direction falters… and our vision is obscured.

… as it happening now, to the growing certainty, concern, lamentations and jeremiads of the people. And because all these are not the best of us… we call upon you, as we are in duty bound to do, to lead the people… exhort the people… lift up the people and return us intact, renewed to former greatness and greater greatness yet to come.

Mr. President, you came into office in a flood tide of exclamations, gratitudes, hosannahs… a man not merely of destiny but a man of reconciliation, joy, and healing purpose. You broke the stringent and oppressive color barrier, for every office and high position in the land, an invidious reality that too long oppressed a nation dedicated to eradicating the oppressions of others, yet for long unable to eradicate the oppressions we inflicted upon ourselves. You were a living symbol of all that is best in us. And we were glad of it… and thanked you for liberating all the people from the cancer of oppressing.

Now, however, the man who verily walked upon the water, is in danger of being swept out to sea, a victim of expectations too high, a man perhaps to be remembered and derided, for having peaked as president in his first hour on the job. What has caused this implosion, this great fall from grace and on high?

It is not the problems which assail us, for the Great Republic was conceived, born and grew strong and proud because of great problems greatly engaged. Because we believed — and still I trust believe — that only from great problems solved can a great people evolve towards perfection.

It is not that the political climate is more divisive, harsh, noisome and belligerent than our Founding Fathers and their generations of descendants faced, for the political atmosphere and actions in this pantheon of strong opinions have often been incendiary, ad hominem, vulgar, and abusive. As a people we know the alchemy for turning such bile into unity. It is our particular genius.

Nor is it that we are less dedicated and committed to the usages of our great system of governance and life, for the blood and passions of our forefathers run strong in us, too.

What then is the cause for our disappointment, dismay, and of the incipience of despair and growing disillusion? And what then must we do?

There are many causes, profound, significant, challenging… and many are at work even now to bring solutions to the problems at hand. But your office, our customs and immemorial usage all dictate that you, our oathed and solemnly sworn leader take precedence in action and constructive purpose. And here you have faltered, and I wish to suggest why.

I am writing to you now from a neighborhood and institution you know well and loved, Cambridge and The Harvard Law School. There you learned and then mastered the principles and procedures of the law, one of the glories of our entire civilization. Here amongst the grassy precincts and serene buildings redolent of learning, judgement, and, above all, due process you found yourself and grew. You were happy here… but it did not prepare you for your current responsibilities, turbulences, conundra, attacks and altercations. As a result you are suffering… for lawyers learn how to divide pies… not how to make them. You are now the duly chosen Chief Baker… but without a recipe for sustaining and improving your aggrieved customers to be had.

These good people were at first confident, then patient, then exasperated, frustrated and irritated, now they have turned angry and exigent. They know what you should know: the casualties inflicted by global economic maelstroms and a host of related economic and social realities are greater than the greatest of wars. If a wreath was placed on the door of every individual adversely affected we should fall down in disbelief and horror. For the people know how great is the trouble in the land where God once shed His grace.

Your job, your only job, is to put America to work… for only an employed America can be a happy land of serenity, security and sustained peace of mind. You are Commander- in-Chief. Thus declare war on America’s most pressing enemy, unemployment

Create a “war cabinet” and set up your headquarters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, already hallowed as a place to secure and defend America’s interests. Make it known throughout the land that this is not an Obama initiative; it is an American initiative and therefore you call upon all Americans to do their bit, as their parents and grandparents did in World War II. And if some oppose, let them. You have God’s work to do and cannot allow little men and their self-serving objections to hinder you. You are America’s leader, and you have America’s work to do.

Every time any business or organization adds a job, post a notice and laud the job creators. They are all heroes in a war we must fight and we must win. They deserve recognition. Set up a website where you list jobs created. Go live on the Internet at least one each day and show and tell the American people just what you are doing and results achieved. Our people do not understand our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. But they will all understand this. You are at a crossroads of your life and office. But there is a grand, honorable and necessary thing which you can do. Leave the many good things you would do if you had world enough and time. Focus on the one thing we must have now and without which we can achieve little else. Embrace your true calling, sir, and lead the endeavor to put America to work. It is what’s needed… a goal we can reach together and must start today.

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About The Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. Dr. Lant is also a syndicated writer and author of 18 best-selling business books. Details at worldprofit.com and JeffreyLantArticles.com

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