Dear President Obama,
Congratulations! Of course you won. After eight years of being governed by can't-do-anything-right-wing conservatives, it was obvious we needed a change. Your election has renewed my hope and fulfilled my partner Michael's deepest wish--that I'll be able to resume my normal life and no longer feel compelled to watch Rachel Maddow on MSNBC twice a day and check Salon, Daily Kos, and Andrew Sullivan every few minutes to see how you're doing in the polls. (I will keep watching Rachel, though; my crush continues unabated.) I did enjoy your campaign. I watched the first debate with friends, and I remember thinking, Barack's not mean enough. And he agrees with McCain too much. Then, afterward, it was reported that your strategy appealed to independent and undecided voters, and I thought, Wow. He's smarter than I am! This thought never occurred to me when your predecessor appeared on television.
I also wish to apologize that you didn't get 100% of the votes of the GLBT community. If it's any consolation, most of us have no idea why the Log Cabin Republicans endorsed McCain-Palin. We don't even understand their political platform, although I assume they're in favor of big penises and small-minded government. It's laughable that they're called Log Cabin Republicans, because those white-collar queens could never build a log cabin; they'd hire some blue-collar democratic dykes ("Josephine the Carpenter") and then refuse to offer health insurance and try to pay them nonunion wages.
Which leads me to the issues I want your administration to address. First, I'm a strong believer in the separation of church and state, but every December I want you and Michelle to put a Nativity scene on the White House lawn--not as a religious symbol but as a symbol of families without health insurance.
I was recently diagnosed with a serious neurological disease and can verify that Americans have the best health scare system in the world. The Republicans think wanting universal health care for every American is a symptom of a bleeding heart--a preexisting medical condition that they believe insurance carriers shouldn't have to cover. They're only in favor of government health care when doctors at Walter Reed are probing the president for polyps or Cheney for a heart. And, of course, none of the Republicans in Congress have refused their own taxpayer-funded government health insurance. We've wasted almost a trillion dollars on a war in Iraq, but the fact is, your mom is far more likely to be killed by Alzheimer's than al-Qaeda. If we can't prevent middle-class Americans from losing their homes when they're unable to pay their medical bills, then what kind of homeland security do any of us really have?
I'm also a donor to a lesbian couple. We have a wonderful 3-year-old daughter, and so I actually feel angrier about Bush's environmental policies than I do about his homophobic approach to GLBT rights. (It's been clear for decades that conservatives don't conserve anything.) Yes, I'm a tree hugger -- so liberal, I'm in favor of same-sex tree hugging -- and my rainbow flag is made of seven shades of green. I want you to forcefully deal with global warming and pass legislation to turn the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge into a national park and preserve. In fact, why not name it the Jimmy Carter Arctic National Park? Without his foresight America wouldn't have all its irreplaceable Alaskan national parks.
Oh, and I understand why you couldn't publicly support marriage equality this year, and I probably will forgive you if you have to keep the same position during your reelection campaign, but before the end of your second term I expect you to publicly announce that you're now in favor of marriage equality for all Americans.
Bob SmithComedian and author of Openly Bob and Selfish & Perverse
More Letters to the President-elect:Tammy Baldwin, Democratic member of Congress from Wisconsin
Daniel Tammet, author of Born on a Blue Day
Evan Wolfson, Executive director of Freedom to Marry and author of Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People's Right to Marry
Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign
Melissa Etheridge, singer-songwriter
Michelangelo Signorile, radio host and author of Queer in America
Tammy Bruce, radio talk-show host and author of The New American Revolution
Kenji Yoshino, professor at New York University School of Law and the author of Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights
Vestal McIntyre, author of You Are Not the One and the forthcoming Lake Overturn
Jarrett Lucas, codirector of the 2008 Soulface Q Equality Ride
Michael Lowenthal, author of Charity Girl and Avoidance
Suzanne Westenhoefer, comedian and star of the documentary A Bottom on Top
Jim Buzinski, CEO and cofounder of Outsports.com
Perez Hilton, blogger, radio host, and television personality
Carole Midgen, former California state senator
Pam Spaulding, Durham, N.C.-based blogger
Paris Barclay, Executive Producer/Director HBO's In Treatment
Lorri L. Jean, CEO, Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center
Jeffrey Prang, Mayor of West Hollywood
Jorge Valencia, Executive director and CEO of Point Foundation
Mark Leno, California assemblyman
The Reverend Doctor Troy D. Perry, founder and moderator emeritus, Metropolitan Community Churches\
Mara Keisling, Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality
Donna Rose, transgender activist
Peter Tatchell, LGBT human rights campaigner and spokesman for OutRage!
Rachel B. Tiven, Executive Director, Immigration Equality