Dear Mr. President,
This week, we came together as a nation to return you to office. We overcame a host of odds – a hurricane in the East, a whole mess of drama in Florida, to cast our votes for the man we felt best suited to do the job.
You will follow the many men who overcame their own odds, and molded this country to be what it is today – the great nation history books speak of, and the beacon of hope we still strive to be.
I have taken the liberty of compiling for you a list of recommended reading. I hope you will take a moment to consider these men, and the mark they have made on this nation’s history.
Undoubtedly, you will leave your own mark on our history as well. I hope yours will be a time that will redefine us as a nation, and unite us as Americans, and I hope you will let these words about great men of character steer you in the right direction:
George Washington: While it may sound trite, he is the father of our nation. In a time when many were looking for a king, he quite literally defined what the leader of a democracy should be. To quote my occasionally wise brother, Washington “taught his people what it was to be American.” You may read more about him in “Washington, A Life” by Ron Chernow.
Abraham Lincoln: Lincoln was an example of true moral fortitude. He never wavered from his beliefs, though they were unpopular with a large group of citizens. He guided the country through the crisis that was the Civil War, and while he is widely credited with bringing about the end of slavery, he was more concerned with the preservation of the country as a whole, than the furthering of his personal agenda.
He once said:
“My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union… If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it…”
While in this case, his personally held viewpoint was quite honorable, he took upon himself the oath to serve and protect our nation in its entirety, and saw that always as his foremost objective.
You may re-familiarize yourself with President Lincoln while reading “A. Lincoln: A Biography” by Ronald C. White, Jr.
Franklin D. Roosevelt: FDR was a creator of reform, both economic and social. Regardless of one’s opinion of the long-reaching effects of his “New Deal,” it gave hope to the hopeless, and put thousands back to work when finding work was impossible.
As he helped to mobilize the country for war, he also began to usher in a new era of social reform, when woman and people of color would begin to be seen in an entirely new light.
You may also thank Roosevelt for the fact that you can only hold this office for two terms.
Read more about how he inspired a nation in “The Fireside Chats: All 30 Radio Addresses by FDR” by Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Other biographies you may find useful include:
“Eisenhower in War and Peace” by Jean Edward Smith
“An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy 1917-1963” by Robert Dallek
“An American Life” by Ronald Reagan
While these men may offer you wisdom, and help you chart your course, it is you, Mr. President, whom we have elected. There are many issues that divide us, and many problems to be solved.
We must come together as a country if we are to exact meaningful change, and we are looking to you to guide us. Follow the map you have been given, and lead us to a place that is better than the one we are leaving behind.
A Hopeful American