Daily Letters

A selection of letters received.

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September 16, 2004

Mandate of Heaven

Dear Mr. President.

Watch out. You chose to run for the highest office of the United States Executive Branch. This puts responsibilities of the highest order upon you. I feel you are not properly living up to the demands of that office, and therefore you are putting the welfare of the American Public in Jeopardy.

September 11's Airplanes crashed into your administration. Yes, the agencies were slow to respond. Yes, Clinton could have strengthened them. But you had an entire year, and failed to identify this as a priority. Yes, it was a shock. But Tom Clancy made this exact strategy the opening plot arc of his best selling novel Executive Orders. Have you read it? I think you should. It also provides clues on the next big issue.

You have read the Senate Report on Iraq. The reasons you chose to go to war were based on Iraq having Weapons of Mass Destruction. They didn't have more than a few isolated stocks left over from other conflicts. This simply means your original assumption was wrong. Next you assessed whether ousting Saddam was in America's interests. You felt it was. Did you adequately address the complex issues of the Middle East?

The Middle East is an area where religious conviction mixes heavily with political will. You felt Saddam as a man was dangerous. Perhaps. But in the media, I see no mention you have adequately assessed the balance of power issues in the area. Right now, Iraq is weakened. Power vacuums pull in strong leaders. Is the transition leadership you installed in Iraq strong enough to withstand this pull?

Meanwhile, this has been an expensive war. And the economy is simply NOT behaving like you would wish for an election year. The *Democrats* were the ones who balanced the budget, and were preparing us for fiscal responsibility. All those gains are now deluged by the largest series of deficits in history. What little economic improvement there is, is not reaching the working middle class. For them, wages are either stagnant, or declining. Yes, knowledge workers have a duty to be competitive. But America has a colossal infrastructure built upon people with modest jobs that collectively glue our country together.

Columnist Sean Gonzalves of the Cape Cod Times points out that political groups connected with your campaign have accused Kerry of having a complex voting record in the Senate, with votes on both sides of various issues at different times. The derogatory term for this is "Flip Flop". I prefer to see this as "Building Consensus". If you look at all the polls, aren't the American People sending the message you acted unilaterally in Iraq? You failed to build a consensus in the international arena. Kerry may not have your gift for decisive rhetoric. But he surveyed issues in his Senate career with the goal of listening to constituent groups, and then making a decision which united his opinions with popular demand.

The ancient Chinese had a term called "Mandate of Heaven". That term means that once you have been granted the right to govern, only correct moral action is enough to maintain that right. Otherwise, the right to lead a nation is forfeited to someone else who is more in tune with the needs of the people he serves. You have expressed your faith forms part of your leadership style. Now you must either draw upon that faith correctly to redress your errors, publicly, or else step aside to make room for someone who will listen to the Citizens of the United States.

Carl
Age 30
Brewster, MA

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