An open letter to our future president: From a parent/ teacher/ ACTUAL middle class citizen

Dear whomever will be president:

Please, make it stop. In the words of John Stewart, “You are hurting America.”

The everyday American is sick of the ‘rhetoric’ and we are doing everything we can to raise children in what is supposed to be the best country in the world. I am trying to teach my daughters that they can do anything if they put their mind to it- so I should be proud of the fact that we have a woman running for president- but I am not. I am trying to teach my children that hard work, tenacity, and wearing your heart on your sleeve may be the hard way, but it’s always the best way. I am trying to help them see that honesty is the best policy and you must treat others as you want to be treated. But all they have to do is see how our presidential candidates act and question what I’ve been teaching them- because the simplicity of what I’m teaching my children is not necessarily valued by all.  I’m trying to teach my kids that there will be times you will have to stand up against tyranny and cruelty, whether against them or someone else, and it will be hard. It will seem impossible. It will seem that it is better to turn the other way. But I’m teaching them that they can’t. They can’t stand idol, so I can’t stand idol. I will not be a hypocrite.

That is how I was brought up and if anyone knows me personally, you know that I will stand up for the weaker person, even if it means losing my job. As a teacher, I make sure that my students are learning in an environment that is safe. I do what needs to be done in order for them to receive the education they were promised and that I know they deserve- this is America, after all. All schools should be set up to serve the students’ needs above anything else- because we are educators, not businessmen. But, something has gotten in the way of teachers being able to teach: Politics. I became a teacher to better the lives of students, to teach them to stand up for what’s right, to say no to things that don’t make sense. And my students are able to analyze texts, see logical fallacies, and are able to point out idiosyncrasies in both the education system and our country as a whole that many adults are unable to see. Why is that? Because they don’t care about winning right now. They just want to graduate high school so they can be thousands upon thousands in debt, many to get a middle class serving job, to live in this great country. Don’t you want better for them? Don’t you want them to get a quality, free education? If you do, stop the business side of education and allow it to be what it is: education. It can be so simple. Let the teachers fix the problems in education because we are the only ones who can. Once you allow others to get their greedy little hands in the pot, it becomes about making money and ‘winning’, much like this presidential race. Let the American public trust in education again- let teachers teach.

We are working hard. Many, many, MANY US citizens are working so hard to just get ahead. We are working. There are many people who are unable to work: Young children, disabled, and the elderly. We need to provide for these groups of people. Moms should be able to stay home with their children and not have to give up anything. There is nothing, AND I MEAN NOTHING, more difficult than a mom dropping off her newborn to a sitter because they ‘can’t afford to stay home’. I am a parent, but I am also a citizen of this country and it is my duty to contribute, but I should have been able to take a year, even half a year, and stay home with my children with the promise of pay and my job upon return. When I was done nurturing and nursing my child in my own home. Anyone want to know what I’m talking about? Put yourself a closet, turn on a loud machine that announces you are PUMPING!!!!, bottle the milk, sneak it in the fridge, and bring it home to feed your child later. Breast is best if possible, we’d all agree, but moms can’t give what’s best if they have to work. I deserved to stay home as long as I needed to with my infants as I’ve been contributing to this country since I was 14 years old. I lived in an ACTUAL middle class home, so I knew the value or working hard. I had two jobs when I was a freshman and have never been without work since. I worked through college, even after having a child in the middle of it. I work through my summers ‘off’. I am not afraid to work. I am also not afraid to help people who need my help. I’m not offended that some of my money goes to welfare, as long as the promise of the funds not being misused to buy drugs and alcohol is a legitimate one. I don’t want kids hungry, I just want money to be used the way we are told it is. I will always work hard, as I’m sure many of my fellow citizens will.

Your politics are ruining this country, though. The money you spend on trying to “WIN” could fix child hunger. There are kids not eating in your country, Mr./Mrs. President. What are you going to do about that? The MILLIONS that have been spent to fly to campaign, pay for big brunches and dinners, and on security could have been spent to educate children about violence and would have saved some lives. Now, I know we can’t stop living because of what’s happening in our country… but if you are going to ‘run’ this country- please do something to help the oppressed feel safe enough to no longer be angry and the oppressors to have to lay down their power. We are supposed to be better than terrorist countries and rogue nations- but we are not. We are no better. The only difference between us and them is that we preach democracy, while really touting an oligarchy. We preach education, while really ruining it with corporate tie-ins and paying all of our money to big companies who say they can test our kids and know how to fix them. We preach equality, while treating different races different on the streets and in the courts. We preach land of opportunity, yet we tell people who want to take the opportunity, “Oh, no, not you. You can’t come here.” We preach that children matter, but yet we are not doing a damn thing to help the child who is crying out for help because all they want is a decent meal, a roof over their heads, and a chance. We preach that we want our nation to be healthy, both mentally and physically, but we overlook the root cause and just create laws to cover up the bigger problems. We preach so many things- and honestly, it’s easy to preach, they are just words. But putting your money where your mouth is and taking action is the value of a man.

Please, Mr./ Mrs. President, it is simple. Really, it is. You just need to take a step back, look at the country for what it was supposed to be, look at the children who are suffering, and put aside all of the ‘politics’. Look at what we need to be a safe, healthy, and intelligent nation and make that a priority. Don’t make choices based on who wants to give you money. Don’t make decisions based on how it will line your pockets. Don’t make deals with the devil, because we all know how Faust’s life turned out once he did. Make decisions based on our future. It’s not a game. It’s not a joke. It’s our children.

Thanks for your time, although I know you won’t read this, but if you do, know that I am a teacher, a parent, and a middle class citizen that wants to be proud of their country and it starts with you.



Anonymous (kind of)

Claire Pelletier

About Claire Pelletier

I'm 30. Boy am I 30. I have three children: Shelby (almost 8), Harper (3), and Aidan (1). I work full time as an English teacher, full time as a mom, part time as a wife, part time as a cook at a Diner (this is actually a paid position), and a per diem house cleaner. Basically, I do it all. Oh and I like to write (revert back to my full time teaching position). This life is crazy, people are even crazier, and online blogging has given me a voice. Some may think it's a loud and obnoxious voice, but I kind of like it. I do my best to write about things that interest people, mainly about myself. Sometimes I verge into the political land, but that place scares me, so I mostly write about every day things that make me laugh, cry, or scream. Thanks for reading!