Dear President Obama –
You have a formidable job on your hands, part of which you asked for, part of which you did not; I admire the patient determination with which you have attacked the tasks confronting you and, while I have not been entirely happy over some of your decisions, have basically agreed with your actions. I understand that Washington is a heavily incestuous scene where ‘the way things have always been done’ is so deeply ingrained in the culture that it won’t be overcome overnight. I also admired your seeming dedication to the grass roots and the least of those among us. Notice the past tense. I am so disappointed right now that I am well on my way down the road to total disillusionment. And I blame you.
You sucked me in. You made me believe that the “good old boys network,” could be finally brought to its knees and we might have a shot of returning to true democratic principles. I read somewhere that upon graduating from law school you turned down a job on Wall Street to become a community organizer. Principle over profit - I love that. I loved it so much I did something I swore thirty years ago I would never do again – I called people I didn’t know to ask about their political opinions - for you. Because I believed what you said and thought you were a man of character. Perhaps you now regret naming your book the audacity of hope with everyone pointing out how you gave us all hope but so far we’re not seeing the promised audacity. That disappoints me.
I don’t understand why you are protecting the Wall Street bankers and the health insurance executives over the general populace. The greed and attitude of entitlement that have been wrought over the past four hundred years in the name of profit has resulted in a civilization shaped by a warped mould of hate and violence. Many fearless people feel it’s time to stand up to the establishment as it is and create a new and better way. I really thought you had a vision of that new and better way and the strength of character required to achieve it. Why are you not standing up for human rights? Why are you caving to the way things have always been done rather than leading us down the road to a new way of peace and compassion?
I am not a radical progressive - I am in many ways still a munificent Goldwater conservative – but I do believe there must be a better, more responsible, more accountable, more egalitarian way to conduct our business and our government that would benefit the many and not just the few. I believed with all my heart you had the big picture in mind, not just “what can I do to ensure I will get reelected.” It’s beginning to look as if I were wrong. The perception, which is always stronger whether true or not, is that you are selling out to big business and giving into pressure from the lobbyists. Please don’t go there. Have faith in your constituency. Do what you said you would do in your campaign promises and we will get you reelected. Ironically, you are metaphorically our “Great White Hope.” Don’t bow down to the rabid right. They are out of power for a valid reason.
Bill Moyer was on Bill Maher’s Real Time and said something I truly agreed with. He said he would rather see you go down fighting over what you campaigned as believing in than settling for half a loaf. A half a loaf won’t feed the people. Stand up for your principles. Be the man of character that millions of people just like me – people who care about the environment, who care about healthcare for all, who care about their families and their country in a quiet way, who care about others in an empathetic, compassionate way – voted for. Back up your words with right action.The Teddies (Roosevelt and Kennedy) would want you to.