My Name is Julia
Julia's happiness owes much to the greatest President that ever lived. Here is her story
Hi there, my name is Julia. I’m now sixty-five years old and well into retirement. I’d like to thank President Obama, now going into his seventieth year in office, for pulling me out of my life of anonymity so I can tell my story. His presence has been the one constant throughout my entire life; the mainstay around which everything has revolved; and I’m honored that he would chose me as the example for his admirable life’s work.
I can satisfactorily report that mine has been an easy life. Thanks to the work of the Federal Government, I’ve never really lacked for anything. To be sure, sometimes I didn’t have all the choices that I wanted and sometimes we had to ration things, it wasn’t always smooth sailing, but I never went hungry. Somehow, I never really had to worry how; I got most of what I needed. Taxes were sometimes high, and there sure were lots of bureaucrats and lots of paperwork, but that’s a small price to pay for stability.
My entire education, from pre-school through college, was thanks to the President’s government. Sure, maybe it wasn’t the best education in the world; but we never seemed to notice and it never seemed to matter. I always made it to the next level and that’s what was important. I even got into the college of my choice. It wasn’t one that I could afford; but that wasn’t really my problem.
I studied early childhood education and immediately upon graduation got a job teaching elementary school. Not much to say about this; the curriculum always arrived pre-packaged from Washington so not much for me to do but teach it. But it was a rewarding career. Constants and continuity are the new values; and I taught them well.
To be sure, I never had any great successes. I learned early that real success comes with a certain risk of failure – and why take the chance? I colored within the lines. Thanks to this strategy, I never had any great failures either, which would have upset my serenity. Besides, shaking things up wasn’t very popular and I don’t like to lose friends.
When I was twenty-seven I decided to have a baby. I lived at home until I was twenty-six because the President’s education reform didn’t include room and board while his insurance reform did let me stay on my parents plan. For this reason, I never really developed close emotional ties with any man. You could say I never had a great love; but I was never heartbroken either. Great pain is an anachronism of another time; now we are taught to be practical.
Like I said, I had my child at twenty-seven; but I didn’t see much of her. She didn’t really need me; between the government’s school lunches and the government’s presidential fitness programs she was pretty busy. This suited me just fine. I realized thankfully that I didn’t even need a husband; I had president Obama in my life and that was more than enough. Sometimes late at night I read the great love stories of the past, and my heart sort of skips a beat; but I know I’d never trade my stability for those scary, reckless and anarchic days of old.
I suppose I never really had a great cause either. Nothing much burned in my soul. I never really liked church; so it was fine with me when most of their activity was subsumed by government programs. Besides, who were they to judge us? I learned from reading books that usually a great cause comes from a great failure, a personal catastrophe or a life changing moment of revelation. These sound exhausting. My thanks go to the President that I was saved from these uncomfortable experiences. I do enjoy gardening; and now that I’m retired spend lots of time in the community garden growing potatoes and peppers.
I was sick once. The stewards of the universal health care system which we finally got, thanks to President Obama’s tireless work, saw fit to approve my procedure. I went in on the day I was told, signed the forms I was told, underwent the operation I was told and then recuperated for the amount of time I was allowed. It’s all laid out in a neat little book that the doctors check all the time. I was never sure exactly what they did to me; but how would I have known if it was right even if they told me? I’m not a doctor – and nobody seemed to question the little book. I feel fine most days; and I’m just thankful that I’m being watched out for.
Yes, you can say I’ve done well. I’ve never wanted, never feared, never hungered, and never needed. The troglodytes of the past might say I never strove, never struggled and never dreamed; and I have heard of some people living in caves who have said I never lived. I think that’s ungrateful and frankly irresponsible. Our government has worked so hard to eliminate those uncomfortable emotions from our lives; least we can do is be appreciative.
So that’s my story; my fifteen minutes of fame. I hope I’ve done the excellent work of President Obama justice – so hard has he worked to change America and make it the more humane place for all of us to live that it is today.
Joel D. Hirst is a Principal at the Cordoba Group Interational, a strategic consulting and management firm in Washington D.C. Hirst has been a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations; and is an expert in democracy, foreign policy and governance. Hirst tweets @joelhirst
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