Readers React

Obama set out to bring change -- and he succeeded

To the editor: After reading Erin Aubrey Kaplan's article about how President Obama will be remembered, I thought back to 2008. ("President Obama's inability to integrate a divided America," Opinion, Feb. 2)

The mess this man inherited was awful, and he had to face constant mistreatment and hatred from the Washington culture. Republicans boasted about opposing anything the president supported.

For Kaplan to say that he has not fulfilled his early promise of transformational change is unfair when you reflect on his many accomplishments made in the face of unwavering opposition. He held his head up high with brave perseverance and good intentions for this country.

Most important, Obama set an example as a tough, decent, caring and dedicated president who will be remembered for working so hard to make this country better for all Americans. He faced racial adversity at the highest level, standing tall, staring it in the face and never showing anything but unflinching courage and humility to get a very difficult job done.

Many hoped the president would fail, but so many more people of every heritage knew he would succeed. And he did change the course of this country.

Frances Terrell Lippman, Sherman Oaks


To the editor: I am a 73-year-old, fiscally conservative white woman who was disappointed by Obama's victory in 2008 because he was a Democrat. Still, I hoped that he was special because he was the first black president, and I wanted more than anything for him to be successful.

I believe he has divided this country. He seems to make decisions on his own. Still, he seems to be a good father and family man.

It will be interesting to look back through history and see how his presidency will be evaluated. In my eyes, he wasn't that man I hoped he would prove to be when he was first elected, but I have been hoping for years now that both parties would come up with that special someone no matter his or her race.

This year, it doesn't look promising.

Susan Lachemann, Nipomo, Calif.


To the editor: Kaplan's assumption that whites can't be as invested in the Obama presidency and love him as much as African Americans is offensive and racist.

For us white folks who have supported black movements in the U.S. since we were able to think, Obama's election was thrilling and vindicating. None have been more enamored than I as we observed one of the most charming, intelligent, caring and honest presidents we have known.

I appreciate his considerable accomplishments; however, other people could have pushed his agenda. Only Obama could have been — yes — transformational. And that doesn't mean he eliminated racism. He transformed possibilities for all of us.

I doubt that a socialist Jew would have had a chance if it had not been for Obama. Should Bernie Sanders become president, I hope I don't arrogantly claim only Jews can truly appreciate him.

Sharon Markenson, Woodland Hills


To the editor: In discussing the divisiveness over Obama's legacy, Kaplan does not once mention the gap between the left and the right in their perceptions of Obama. In wishing liberals and conservatives out of existence, she can truly say that it's all there in black and white.

Edward Reisman, Santa Monica 

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