I’ve decided to start writing letters to the President. You know, of the United States. Like, actual letters, on paper, in envelopes. And mailing them the old fashioned way, with a stamp and a mailbox and whatnot.
What inspired this? Did I suddenly age 65 years? Am I suddenly so delusional I think the leader of the free world cares deeply about what I think? (Though he should. I pay his salary!) No, I recently learned that he occasionally writes back.
I’ve recently been informed that President Obama’s people give him a stack of letters every day, a representative sample of what comes in, and he writes back to 3-5 people per week. By hand, on a sheet of paper from a yellow legal pad. And I want a hand-written letter from the President.
Now 3-5 people isn’t a lot, but let’s work out the odds. Let’s say, ballpark, that 1% of the US population writes a letter to the President every year. That seems high to me, but I tend to overestimate people and I’m trying to be conservative. That’s 3,117,673 letters per year. I realize the pace probably picks up when issues come around, but since everyone has a different issue and something’s always got someone’s dander up let’s assume an even distribution and round the number up a little and say he gets 60,000 letters per week. If he answers the 3-5 he claims that means I have no worse than a 1 in 20,000 chance of getting a response! Every week!
I know, right?
Of course that means I’ve got 20,000:1 odds of him ever actually reading one. And as much as I hope to inform and entertain a former valedictorian who thought a White House internship would be fun and exciting, writing a letter a week that one person will skim before throwing it into an industrial shredder seems like a poor use of time. I mean, I can’t just write filler or it’ll never pass the filter and make it to the President’s desk to begin with, and quality takes effort.
This is where you come in. I’m going to start posting copies of the letters I sent to President Obama right here. And if (or should I say when) he writes back, I’ll be sure to post the response. And if he’s so enamored by my writing that he decides to invite me to the White House to hang out and give him policy advice and watch football and whatever, I’ll be sure to remember all you little people that were here with me on my climb to the top.