Even with election day two weeks away, you remain the most prominent figure in American discourse (as Oliver Stone’s hit biopic W. shows) and the largest target of uninspired venom (Stone, again). As your memorable administration winds down, I want to say something to you that far too few of us have yet said, and something that I’m sure that future generations will.
You are, without even a close second, the most despised American in history, more so than Paris Hilton and OJ Simpson combined. Breezily dismissing you as Satan incarnate–a sterile one-dimensional stereotype–has been a casual password of mainstream identity in our country for years. Though I, like many conservatives, differ with you on some key issues, this marathon of spleen-venting has little basis in reality; most of the time all people have against you is their own folklore, bias, misconceptions, and assumptions courtesy of the popular media.
Yet (and here’s something of which very few people have taken note), you never stoop to the level of your critics. As much as your lifestyle, mannerisms, and even appearance have been mercilessly skewered in the media for nearly eight years, you have unflinchingly conducted yourself in a manner which can only be described as dignified. You do your best to bear yourself up as a statesman. In a nation too often populated by inglorious adolescents, you are an adult.
Not only have you maintained your dignity against constant deprecation, you have done so amidst one of the most tumultuous periods in America’s history. Your presidency began with the terrorist attacks of 9/11, and is ending with the current financial crisis. In between, you’ve helmed us through wars and natural disasters of historic magnitude. Not many men have have had to lead their people under such onerous circumstances.
History tends to be kinder to presidents than the sensationalistic tabloids of current events. As I see the coming generation playing out along increasingly socialist lines, with all the wrack and ruin that entails, we will look back on this decade with clearer eyes in cooler heads, and I know that you will finally receive the respect you deserve.
So, this is the thing that I want to say, that you need to hear, and that you will most assuredly hear frequently in the future: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President, for your strong and patriotic leadership, and your steady service for your country.
Four years ago, my birthday fell on election day, and it was a pleasure to cast my vote for you then, making that day special to me for another reason. I’d gladly do it again.