Maria Rodale, the CEO and chairman of publishing house Rodale, Inc., used to love and to support Barack Obama. She supported Barack Obama so deeply that she not only voted for him twice and attended his first inauguration, she also "paid a lot of money to have my picture taken" with him. And because of this fealty, she would like to have a word with him—or you, actually, Mr. President Barack Obama, since that's who she's addressing in this open letter published today the Huffington Post.
Mr. President, you see, Ms. Rodale is the CEO and chairman of a family-owned independent business that focuses on health, fitness, and wellness. Managing such titles as Men’s Health, Prevention, Women’s Health, she knows how tough navigating her company has been through uncertain economic times and when things have become exceptionally stressful for the Organic Manifesto author, she's frequently thanked her lucky naturally grown stars that she hasn't been you. No really, that exact thought is what gets her through hard times:
All these years while you've been president and I've been CEO of my third-generation family-owned and independent business during the economic crisis, the wars, the ongoing environmental crisis, the political gridlock and insanity, my happy thought was that "at least I'm not the President!"
Rodale is glad she's not you, but feels very much like you—you're both the same age and her company's biggest title is by a former Vice President, which is sort of close to being in the White House—and she knows you have a very difficult decision facing you regarding the situation in Syria. It's a decision that's like choosing between two roads and one of those roads is "littered with the bodies of children and soldiers, civilians and suicides (both military and nonmilitary)." But a recent Facebook post from a friend got her thinking about the lesser traveled road and, I'm confused too, but here, we'll just let you tell the rest:
I do not consider myself a Christian, but I would like to quote Jesus and ask, "Who among you has not sinned?" Yes, Syria has undoubtedly used chemical weapons on its own people. Maybe it was the government; maybe it was the opposition; maybe you know for sure. But here's what I know for sure: We are no better. We have been using chemical weapons on our own children — and ourselves — for decades, the chemical weapons we use in agriculture to win the war on pests, weeds, and the false need for ever greater yields.
Mr. President, I'm just gonna leave that there and you do the rest.