Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Thank the president for being so willing to communicate directly with the American people.
President Barack Obama recently performed a public Google+ chat, wherein he answered questions from any interested parties willing to chat with him. Nicknamed a “Google+ Fireside Hangout,” a play on the old fireside chats that Franklin Delano Roosevelt used to give, the chat involved Obama speaking not only about lighter topics such as Valentine’s Day and girlfriends but also more serious issues, such as gun control and minimum wage adjustment. Obama had recently participated in a similar Google+ chat in January of 2012, and had also started an “Ask Me Anything” thread on the popular site reddit.com. Obama deserves significant praise for these actions, given that he has shown that he is legitimately interested in what the common people have to say and takes their opinions into account when making political decisions.
Politicians need to be able to be available to the public. They need to let the public know what’s on their minds, and on the minds of their administration as a whole. Perhaps most importantly, they need to be able to let the public know that their voices are being heard, and that they are not simply yelling them into the wind. President Obama appears to understand this.
His detractors might claim that he “dodged questions,” or gave incomplete answers, or was simply doing this as a publicity stunt. But at the very least, Obama recognizes the importance of reaching out to the people and establishing the president-public communication line as two-way, instead of purely one-way. He was also willing to open himself up to personal criticism and possibly worse. For this, he deserves to be commended and held up as an example of how politicians should act towards their citizens.
Sign the petition below to show the president your support.
Dear President Obama,
Thank you for being so willing to engage the American public in conversation. More politicians need to follow your lead when it comes to communication style with the common people.
With these Google+ chats, as well as your recent reddit AMA, you have shown that you are genuinely concerned with and interested in the thoughts and opinions of the general public. Too often, people are made to feel small and ineffectual by their haughty and power-hungry political leaders. You have shown that you are the kind of leader that the people can respect not only as a powerful leader but also as a caring person.
I hope that more politicians soon take to participating in events such as these, thereby letting the people know that their voices are not falling on deaf ears. Thank you for setting a standard in this regard and I hope that you participate in another such event soon.
[Your Name Here]
Photo courtesy of flickr user egadapparel