Barack Obama gets a lot of letters from concerned Americans. Some of them are worried about the erosion of his legacy, others want to know his thoughts on the new administration. To many of them, he sends the same, forward-looking letter.
The letter, first obtained by Yahoo News, tells worried citizens not to lose hope. Echoing many of his previous speeches, Mr Obama writes that “our country’s progress has never followed a straight line – for every two steps forward, it often feels like we take one step back”.
Though he himself has maintained a relatively low profile since leaving office, Mr Obama encourages those who write him to get involved in politics. He writes that American democracy is only threatened when we take it for granted, and that “change only happens when people get involved”.
Mr Obama sends the letter to those who write him via email, or by regular mail addressed to his office, Yahoo reports.
Thank you for writing. I hear your concerns and I want you to know I’m listening.
Our country’s progress has never followed a straight line-for every two steps forward it often feels like we take one step back. But I hope you’ll remember that the long sweep of America is defined by forward motion, and the course we chart from here depends on no one person alone. Rather, our destiny will be decided the same way it always has been: by all of us; by we the people; by selfless and engaged citizens who step forward and speak out to guard the values that make us who we are – not just when there’s an election, but every day.
Our democracy is threatened whenever we take it for granted, and change only happens when people get involved. As long as folks like you keep looking out for others and working to defend America’s promise, I’m confident our future will be bright. Please know Michelle and I will continue standing alongside you, and we wish you the very best.