Here's the letter Obama is sending to people who ask him about the state of the country

WASHINGTON — Almost one year after the election of President Trump, many liberals are still longing for his predecessor, Barack Obama. And Obama has crafted a letter that he’s sending to people who express their worries to him about the current political climate, assuring them “I hear your concerns, and I want you to know I’m listening.”

“Our country’s progress has never followed a straight line — for every two steps forward, it often feels like we take one step back. But I hope you’ll remember that the long sweep of America is defined by forward motion, and the course we chart from here depends on no one person alone,” Obama wrote in the letter.

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How Obama and Trump interact
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How Obama and Trump interact
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 10: President-elect Donald Trump (L) listens as U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting in the Oval Office November 10, 2016 in Washington, DC. Trump is scheduled to meet with members of the Republican leadership in Congress later today on Capitol Hill. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
U.S. President Barack Obama, right, listens as U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. Obama on Thursday met face-to-face with Trump, who spent years questioning the eligibility of the first black U.S. president and now will succeed him. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images
US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Republican President-elect Donald Trump (L) during a meeting on transition planning in the Oval Office at the White House on November 10, 2016 in Washington,DC. / AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Republican President-elect Donald Trump (L) during a meeting on transition planning in the Oval Office at the White House on November 10, 2016 in Washington,DC. / AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump in the Oval Office at the White House on November 10, 2016 in Washington, DC. / AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump and former president Barack Obama stand on the steps of the U.S. Capitol with First Lady Melania Trump and Michelle Obama in Washington, D.C., U.S., January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Rob Carr/Pool TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 10: President-elect Donald Trump listens as President Barack Obama talks to the media in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
U.S. President Barack Obama (R) reaches out to greet U.S. President-elect Donald Trump (L) as he and his wife Melania arrive for tea before the inauguration with the Obamas at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama walk out of the East front prior to Obama's departure from the 2017 Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S. January 20, 2017. REUTERS\Jack Gruber\Pool via USA TODAY NETWORK TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
(FILES) L-R: First Lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump,former President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama at the US Capitol after inauguration ceremonies at the in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2017. While the new US president has shown a capacity to change, both his tone and his positions, he has been unable to show the world a 'new' Trump, with a steady presidential style and a clearly articulated worldview. As the symbolic milestone of his 100th day in power, which falls on April 29, 2017, draws near, a cold, hard reality is setting in for the billionaire businessman who promised Americans he would 'win, win, win' for them. At this stage of his presidency, he is the least popular US leader in modern history (even if his core supporters are still totally behind him.) / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON / TO GO WITH AFP STORY, US-politics-Trump-100days (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and first lady Michelle Obama (L) greet U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania for tea before the inauguration at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and first lady Michelle Obama (L) greet U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania for tea before the inauguration at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2017. Melania Trump presents a gift to Obama. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
US First Lady Melania Trump looks on as US President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama talk on the East front steps of the US Capitol after inauguration ceremonies on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
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Obama currently accepts correspondence on his website and, via regular mail, at his office. Yahoo News received the letter from Obama after sending him a series of interview questions. (The former president has not done any interviews since leaving office.) A spokesperson for Obama said that, like many former presidents, he receives a large volume of mail on a variety of topics, and Obama’s office confirmed that the letter sent to Yahoo News is one he sends to people who share concerns about his legacy being dismantled, the general state of the country or those who seek his perspective on the new administration.

The letter echoes language Obama used in his farewell speech and in other public appearances he’s made in the wake of the election. Since leaving office, Obama has largely abided by the tradition of former presidents refraining from criticizing their successors. However, he has indicated he might speak out on specific issues. In the letter, he encourages other people to get involved.

“Our destiny will be decided the same way it always has been: by all of us; by we, the people: by selfless and engaged citizens who step forward and speak out to guard the values that make us who we are — not just when there’s an election, but every day,” Obama wrote.

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President Obama's final farewell address
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President Obama's final farewell address

U.S. President Barack Obama wipes away tears as he delivers his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. January 10, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

U.S. President Barack Obama is joined onstage by Vice President Joe Biden after his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. January 10, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

U.S. President Barack Obama hugs his wife Michelle as Vice-President Joe Biden and his wife Jill look on after the President delivered a farewell address at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. January 10, 2017.

(REUTERS/John Gress)

US President Barack Obama gestures before speaking during his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

(JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

US first lady Michelle Obama holds her daughter Malia as US President Barack Obama speaks during his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

(NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama arrives for his farewell address at McCormick Place in Chicago on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017.

(Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)

U.S. President Barack Obama acknowledges the crowd as he arrives to deliver his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 10, 2017.

(REUTERS/John Gress)

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L-R), his wife Jill Biden, first lady Michelle Obama and her daughter Malia Obama stand for the national anthem before President Barack Obama delivers his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. January 10, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Supporters listen as US President Barack Obama speaks during his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

(JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

US First Lady Michelle Obama, daughter Malia, and US President Barack Obama hug after the President delivered his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

(NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 10, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Supporters attend President Barack Obama's farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election. / AFP / Joshua LOTT (Photo credit should read JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama speaks during his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

(JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden points at a photographer before a farewell address by President Barack Obama, not pictured, in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. Obama blasted 'zero-sum' politics as he drew a sharp contrast with his successor in his farewell address Tuesday night, acknowledging that despite his historic election eight years ago his vision for the country will exit the White House with him.

(Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Supporters attend President Barack Obama's farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

(JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama speaks during his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election. / AFP / Nicholas Kamm (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

President Obama is joined by Michelle and Malia after his farewell address at McCormick Place in Chicago on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017.

(Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)

Music artist Eddie Vedder preforms before US President Barack Obama gives his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

(JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

US First Lady Michelle Obama, daughter Malia, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden wait for President Barack Obama to deliver his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

(NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 10: President Barack Obama delivers a farewell speech to the nation on January 10, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn in the as the 45th president on January 20. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

US First Lady Michelle Obama hugs daughter Malia after US President Barack Obama delivered his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

(NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Supporters attend President Barack Obama's farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

(JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and her daughter Malia embrace as President Barack Obama praises them during his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. January 10, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Guests listens as President Barack Obama delivers a farewell speech to the nation on January 10, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn in the as the 45th president on January 20.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama speaks during his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

(JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

The Reverend Jesse Jackson, US civil rights activist, Baptist minister, and politician waits for US President Barack Obama to give his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

(NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

The Chicago Children's Choir perform before the start of the farewell address by U.S. President Barack Obama, not pictured, in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. Obama will draw an implicit contrast with his successor in his farewell address, acknowledging that despite his historic election eight years ago his vision for the country will exit the White House with him.

(Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

U.S. President Barack Obama, his wife Michelle, their daughter Malia, Vice-President Joe Biden and his wife Jill acknowledge the crowd after President Obama delivered a farewell address at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. January 10, 2017.

(REUTERS/John Gress)

US President Barack Obama speaks during his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

(JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. President Barack Obama is joined onstage by first lady Michelle Obama and daughter Malia, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden, after his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. January 10, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

U.S. President Barack Obama acknowledges the crowd as he arrives to deliver his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 10, 2017.

(REUTERS/John Gress)

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Among Obama’s inner circle, there is some debate about the relatively low profile he’s taken following Trump’s election. Some of Obama’s former White House and campaign staffers are frustrated that he hasn’t done more to oppose Trump. Other ex-Obama aides who spoke to Yahoo News said they appreciate his restraint and believe it will increase the impact when he does choose to take on specific issues. One former campaign staffer said it was encouraging that Obama has begun campaigning for other Democrats, including Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam. Taking on Trump directly, in this former staffer’s view, runs the risk of becoming a foil for him. “The guy’s desperate for an opponent. I mean, Trump would love nothing more than for the 2020 election to start today and no better opponent than the black, ‘Muslim,’ Obamacare president.”

Obama concluded his letter with both a warning and an optimistic prediction.

“Our democracy is threatened whenever we take it for granted, and change only happens when people get involved,” Obama wrote. “As long as folks like you keep looking out for others and working to defend America’s promise, I’m confident our future will be bright. Please know Michelle and I will continue standing alongside you.”

Read Obama’s full letter below.

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