I eagerly and joyfully voted for you twice and am happy that you are my president, especially when considering the opponents who ran against you and the reckless and shameful eight years preceding your election. Although not a wealthy person, I supported you with contributions during both elections. I have largely been happy with your presidency but am still troubled by a few things.
I am not going to mention the obvious – multiple pledges unfulfilled, not insisting on a public option in the Affordable Care Act, your dithering on Syria which has cost thousands of lives, and your continued caving in to corporations and Wall Street, to mention just a few disappointments.
No, I am going to complain about something else – the totally classless communications, exhortations and requests that come to me via my email connection to Organizing for Action, Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and DNCC.
President Obama, you are a very dignified person. Your intelligence, education, erudition and eloquence, are impressive. You inspire confidence in your speeches and press conferences with your choice of words, your sincerity, your expression, your demeanor and your common sense. But I have a real problem with so many email communications that fall far short of the lofty standards you have set in your appearances. I am insulted and demeaned by the flip tone, the careless and casual choice of words and the tenor of so many official communications from your office and those of your supporters. They need to show some class, some good taste, and some dignity, some maturity in addressing your faithful supporters. I know that I am not alone in this opinion and beg you to pay attention to what I am saying.
First Lady Michelle Obama, I respectfully ask that you please not send emails addressing your husband, the President of the United States as “Barack”. Please in your emails talk about yourselves as, “The President and I” or “President Obama and I”, not “Barack and I”. Mrs. Obama, your husband in these communications should be referred to as “the President”, not “Barack”. Also, don’t use greetings like, “Ralph, it’s me…”. Come on, please say, “It’s First Lady Michelle Obama…” Or what’s wrong with simply, “Dear Ralph…”?
And Organizing for Action, DNCC and Barack Obama, please don’t insult me with greetings like, “Hey….,” or “Hey All”, or “Ralph, I’m blown away…” or “Ralph, I’m counting on you…” or “Ralph, can you confirm this?” or “Reporting back (spoiler – it’s awesome news)”. This is teenage or Facebook level communication, trivializing the communication itself and entirely unreflective of the dignity of your office.
I’m also very tired of messages like, “Ralph, sign Michelle’s card…” and “Top notch zingers from the President” or “Woot! Woot!” Last call!”, or “Sign here to wish the First Lady a Happy Birthday” or very recently, “…sometimes we have to share something awesome just to make sure you are having a good day”. I find the word “awesome” very overused today and seeing that word, I didn’t read the rest of the communication.
Mr. President, First Lady Michelle Obama and whoever is in charge of the other sources of emails, please, please treat your supporters as people with dignity and intelligence who do not need to be talked down to.
And another thing, Mr. President, please stop using the word “folks” so much. The use of this word by someone of your background rings hollow. You do not know “folks”, you have never known “folks”. Please use the word “people”, simple enough and much more genuine for you. Using the word “folks” rings false with you so don’t use it.
Mr. President, I respect you so much and I know that you have the toughest job in the world. But your lofty position requires that your supporters speak using dignified language and expressions appropriate to that position. I don’t wish to sever my email connection with your office or those of your supporting organizations. I just wish to be treated as an adult with dignity and intelligence.
Thank you very much,
Sincerely and still a supporter,