Daily Letters

A selection of letters received.


July 21, 2004

Pushing the buttons of fear

Dear Mr President:

I am proud and blessed to be an American, and to live my life in this wonderful country where so much that makes life wonderful is so taken for granted. I hope (and pray) with all my heart that the leadership of our country will preserve this life for our children.

During the course of your administration, I have had to answer several questions posed by my young daughter, now age 11. Should we really be afraid of terrorists? Why did we go to war? How can we take better care of the planet? When can we move from an apartment to a house? As diverse as these questions appear, the answers usually add up to one simple understanding: don't be afraid.

A previous great leader of the United States stated that “we have nothing to fear but fear itself.” That attitude doubtlessly saved the America inherited by my parents, and that was the America given to me. Unfortunately, your administration would want us to base our national direction on the reactions of fear. We are to fear for our national security from an enemy that has no army or navy. We are to fear the demise of our social order because of the “agendas” of disenfranchised citizens. We are to fear horrible deaths because of the existence of weapons of mass destruction. Your party has covered all of the bases when it comes to pushing the buttons of fear.

Now I will tell you what I, in fact, fear. I fear an America where the natural consequences of my old age will become an unmanageble financial burden for my daughter. I fear an America where there is no longer enough integrity in our press to report facts and not fiction. I fear an America where the meaning of “Christianity” has been changed to mean political partisanship. I fear that my daughter will not receive a college education.

As diverse as my own fears may seem, I point them out to you to let you know that when it comes to leading the America I love, you appear to be painfully unaware of my priorities. Furthermore, you could still have garnered at least my allegiance if you had taken the time to carefully communicate the reasons for your priorities. With all respect, nothing you've done to date makes any sense.

God bless America,

Age 48
Grand Prairie, Texas


This is not the world that we grew up in

Dear George:

Recently my husband and I were on a road trip and in the early morning hours we stopped at a rest stop for a short break. This was a regular state operated rest stop with parking for all types of vehicles. Being in a SUV we of course parked in front and went in. Upon returning we saw in front of the rest stop two long bed open trucks parked right in front. There weren't many cars around that early in the am. The two vehicle drivers were obviously foreign (Muslim) people. They were poorly dressed and seemed to be agitated that we were watching them. One of the drivers watched while his partner took his prayer blanket from his truck and knelt and said his morning prayers. The trucks were rough looking and were parked right in front of the rest stop which is most unusual. They kept watching us as we did a few stretches and got into our car. We did not have a car phone to report this and did not really have anything concrete to report except that it was a little unsettling. This is not the world that we grew up in. It seems that everything has changed and is a little scarry now.

Age 62
Franklin, NC


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