Monday, November 5, 2012

On Your Letter to the President of the United States

Dear President Obama,

My name is Mackenzie Aladjem. I am eleven years old.  I live in Los Angeles California and I’m in the sixth grade. I’ve been studying the White House in my civics class, and I know tomorrow our country will be electing a President to lead us for the next four years.

My daddy told me that it’s very important that everyone vote tomorrow.  He says it’s our privilege and our duty as American citizens. He says that democracy only works if we all make sure our voices heard.  My daddy is pretty smart, but it’s obviously been a very long time since he took civics in school. I’m only eleven! Doesn’t he realize they won’t let me vote until I’m eighteen?  He means well. I don’t want to burst his bubble.

Anyway, Mr. President, if I could vote I think I would vote for you.  I’ll tell you why.

I know I’m only eleven, but I don’t want anyone to tell me what I can do with my body. Why does your opponent not support a woman’s right to choose? Next the government will tell me what color I can paint my fingernails. Or forbid me from dip dyeing my hair.  And what about when I’m a full-grown woman?  And all that stuff. Gross.

Do you watch the television show “Nurse Jackie”, Mr. President? I’m an actress on that series, although my parents don’t really let me watch it other than my own scenes (they say it’s not really for kids). 

“Jackie” is a fictional nurse, but I know you were behind the law designed to provide affordable health care for people no matter how rich or poor they are.  Why would your opponent be against that? My daddy told me that your opponent is very rich. But not everyone is rich, right?  Doesn’t he have poor friends? How does he plan to help them?

And oh yeah, I love acting. I love dancing and singing too. Your opponent says he would cut funding for the arts. That makes me sad. Not everything has to be to make money. Art is part of what makes people immortal. Why wouldn’t we support that? And I heard on television that your opponent wanted to kill Big Bird. That makes me sad.  And also very angry.  Big Bird must live!!!

Mr. President, I love my friend Hannah.  She and I hang out together and she tutors me in math. She always tells me I’m very smart, but I know without her help I would fall behind in school. But not everyone can afford tutors and private schools. My daddy went to public schools, for example.  But that was like a hundred years ago. We have to make sure public schools can help my friends whose families don’t have a lot of money.  They deserve a hand up too. Right?

And speaking of love, if two people love each other why can’t they get married to each other just because they have the same private parts?  Can’t their hearts beat as one too?  And if they do, why wouldn’t they have the same rights as two people with different private parts whose hearts beat as one?  Who could be against that?

Now here’s the thing, Mr. President.  Your opponent wants to cut taxes on people who make a certain amount of money.  I like that! Believe it or not that would help me and my college fund. And I could buy a laptop. Or an iPhone 5. Or those cool new boots I want. But I also know that, like Mom says, we have to share our blessings with those less fortunate.  And Dad says that it’s in everyone’s selfish best interest to work towards the collective good.  I have no idea what that means. I think he just likes to hear himself talk sometimes.

So I hope you win tomorrow, Mr. President. You have the eleven-year-old vote, at least at our house.  If you do win, though, don’t forget you still have a lot of work to do that you didn’t get done the first time around.  Don’t’ forget where you came from.

And don’t forget the little people. By which I mean 12 and under.

Good luck, and God bless.

Mackenzie Aladjem

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