Elevate your game in the second term, Mr. President

Barack Obama, you won a much-deserved second term as President and I offer you a heartfelt congratulations.
There were times recently when I doubted whether you could do it. Your first debate performance had me drinking more heavily than usual as I briefly had to consider the possibility of a Mitt Romney presidency.
But you managed to right the ship and once again became the man I was so excited to vote for in 2008.
Your victory speech was awe-inspiring, to say the least. I’ve never heard you sound more passionate. You hit all the right notes when you described the best qualities of these United States of America.
I’m back on board as a proud supporter of yours, Mr. President.
With that being said, you’ve got a lot of room for improvement. Your first term was good — now it’s time to be great.
As a liberal Democrat, I keep company with other liberals, shockingly enough. I can’t tell you how many times in the past four years I’ve heard them call you the worst possible slur imaginable.
A Republican.
The worst part of it is, there have been times that I’ve agreed with that assessment.
From your repeated caving in to Republicans on the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, to your virtual continuance of George W. Bush’s hawkish foreign policy, to your ramping up of the failed “War on Drugs” — there have been times when I’m tempted to beat my head bloody against the wall because of your administration’s policies.
I understand that no one really knows what the job of President entails until you’re sitting in the big chair. As much as I may disagree with some of your decisions, there have to be days in the White House where there are no options other than to do things that will infuriate some people.
You’re a two-termer now, though. Welcome to the club. No one can compare you to Jimmy Carter any more. You’ve now got a mandate to carry out the promise of your first Presidential campaign. Change.
But, you must be willing to take tough stands for the people who have worked so hard to elect you twice. People who have been under-protected during your first administration.
You got 71 percent of the Hispanic population to vote for you. Yet your administration continues to deport a lot of hard-working Hispanic people who come to America to improve their lives. You can finally get the country behind an immigration reform bill, which will create an accessible, legal path to citizenship for newcomers to become part of our union.
People will be watching when your administration decides what to do with Colorado and Washington — two states which have legalized recreational use of marijuana.
Previously when dealing with this issue, your administration has continued the same detrimental policies that lock up otherwise law-abiding citizens who use marijuana to either relax or in some cases, to treat symptoms of various illnesses.
All the while, cartels in Mexico make obscene profits from illegal sales from a drug which, in terms of physical properties, causes virtually no harm to a human body.
We know you’ve got two young daughters and wouldn’t want to set a bad example for them by giving approval for the use of drugs.
But everyone knows how high you used to get, Mr. President and look where you are now. You know what the right side of this issue is and now you have the political capital to lead the country to a more sensible policy on marijuana.
The people of Colorado and Washington both helped you get your second-term. Stoners are a large portion of your constituency, whether you like it or not.
They feel the same as the struggling middle class who watch in horror as you become a party to the continued boondoggle known as “trickle-down economics.” You have been repeatedly led to comply with the Republican’s ridiculous notion that the wealthy should pay less taxes than the poor and middle classes.
Well, you’ve got another four years. Your job is safe. It’s time to stake your reputation to this issue and declare that the days where the wealthy get preferential treatment to the detriment of everyone else are over.
Your achievements are numerous, Mr. President. The cause of civil rights for gays has achieved victory after victory during your administration. You passed a health care law that, while flawed, will ensure coverage for many Americans who did not have access to it previously. Presidents have attempted to pass a health care bill for generations — but you actually did it.
You have been elected twice by people who yearn for better opportunities to live decent, prosperous lives but find themselves under the foot of a system that is stacked against them.
You can lead us to a better day. You can now be what we elected you to be — great.

Responses and comments can be sent to TravisDannerExpress@gmail.com.

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