I don’t know if the letter I just read in Parade magazine from Obama, “What I Want for You — and Every Child in America” to his daughters is real or image-building. To me, it really doesn’t matter either way. The gist of it is lovely, poignant and meaningful.
In a time of such great worry, hope, wonder and anxiety, these kinds of messages can be therapeutic to a nation feeling pretty sick.
Some Obama nay-sayers might call it fluff, overly idealistic, flowery, words that point to the “socialistic state we are to become” or even rhetoric.
I call it pragmatic and beautiful. No matter what party you hail, words to your kids to convey why Dad wasn’t always around the last two years, and why you expect a bright future for all children, translate into useful messages for our time.
The demands of working parents, and the need for all children to have the opportunity to be their very best, are modern and timeless points, no matter how they get fed to the public.
This letter sits on my kitchen table because I asked my ten year old daughter to read it. This letter is in her language. What better way to teach the complex world of politics and activism than to be political and active, and to have kids read words of wisdom from “just another dad” who loves his family, and his nation.
Kudos to Barack Obama for bringing the personal, private, when the personal (contrived or not) affects us all.