The Isolation of Office

October 8, 2009
It is 6:30 p.m. on the back lawn of the White House. There are men in uniform standing at attention in multiple places looking as if they just came out of the clothes press. Other men in black suits seem to be talking to themselves, holding their ear as they speak. The grass is green, and the sky is grey, and the audience is starting to wriggle in their seats. Every one seems anxious about something, yet, no one is talking about it. Finally, the president walks towards the stage, he wrings his hands in nervous response to the speech he is about to give. He feels that this speech will make or break his time spent as the President of the United States of America.
Cautiously, alone at the podium, he begins, “An abomination called Al-Qaeda reached our shores on September 11, 2001 and has threatened many other shores since then. These Terrorists believe that free societies like ours are essentially corrupt and have no real power. They believe that with a few hard blows and knocks to our egos, they can force us to retreat with our so called tails between our legs. They are mistaken.”
Slowly, the president picks up the bottle of water next to him and drinks. Unbeknownst to every one else, he is being flooded with the sudden emotion of loneliness. He is beginning to wonder if any one is actually paying attention to what he is saying. He knows he probably should have listened to his advisors and read the speech they had written for this occasion; but he thought that saying what was in his heart would make more of an impact.
He puts the water down and continues, “After September 11th, I made a commitment to myself, to my family, and to the American people that this nation will not wait to be attacked again. We will defend our freedom from these tyrants. We will take the fight that this enemy has thrown in our faces so that our children’s children can remain free. There is only one course of action against them and that is to defeat them abroad, in their own territory, on their own land, and show them we will not just lie down and take their petty terrorist acts. We must join together and defend our land and our freedom and cut them down where they stand before they have a second chance to hurt any more of us. It is official, we are at war. The troops here and across the world are fighting a global war on terror.”
As the last sentence is announced a silence falls over the crowd. Every one knew something would be said to change the course of history but no one wanted to admit it. They knew after the Al-Qaeda attacks there would have to be pay back; but most were hoping for a discreet special ops mission not an all out war. Some where in the distance, they could hear car horns honking, a baby crying, and children playing. All at once it is clear that the president has done the right thing and applause rings out as he is escorted from the podium back inside.
Once back in the Oval Office the president begins to think about every thing that has happened in the past few weeks and the strain it has caused to all the relationships around him. Because he has been working so hard he has begun to grow apart from his family. He missed his daughter’s graduation and his wife’s birthday and he wonders if he’ll ever be able to make it up to them. He begins to think about his children playing on the back porch, him and his wife watching them on a beautiful sunny day. Then he looks out the window at the cold October rain that’s begun to fall and sheds a tear for the loneliness that has taken over since his inauguration into office.
There is a knock at the door; it is a secret agent officer. He blandly says,
“Mr. President, Sir, your wife is here to see you. Should I let her in?”
The president replies, “Yes, I will see her now, thank you.”
As the president’s wife walks in he can see the care and worry on her face and he becomes overwhelmed with the fact that he isn’t able to calm her fears. Even though he knows she is here so that he can tell her every thing that will happen in the coming weeks and that he once again won’t be around much, instead he breaks down and begins to tell his wife how he is feeling and the fears he has about the future not only of for his family but for the country.
She explains to him, “You have the right to feel this way and it’s good to feel like this because it shows that you care. I will miss you while you are away just as the soldier’s families will miss them, but everything will work out in the end.”
Some how just having her there with him after everything that has happened through out the day puts him in a better mood than he was just five minutes ago.
In the coming weeks the president meets with the United Nations and separately with other countries hoping they will support his decision to go to war against the Al-Qaeda threat abroad. Some of the countries think that because the attack was on American soil that America should handle it themselves. Others, like the United Kingdom, decide that if the Al-Qaeda is a threat to America then they are a threat to them as well and they should help put an end to the nonsense.
Years later, the war still rages on against the threat of unknown hatred from unknown sources. The president has served his term to the best of his abilities. Once again, he is a confident person and is about to pass on the reigns of public loneliness to another who will also have to feel the grip of isolation that the position brings. He is grateful to those who have helped him through out the years but on the other hand he is not sorry to see them go. The past few years have been an emotional roller coaster and he is relieved to get back to a normal life with his wife and children.

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