Daily Letters

A selection of letters received.


September 16, 2004

I want to believe

Dear Mr. President:

I really want to believe that if I vote for you - again - that things will get better.

I want to believe that my two out of work brother-in-laws will soon find work, despite one of them being laid off for a year now and the other having a nervous break down and not getting paid disability by UPS. One sister already lost the home that they built themselves, I hope the other one doesn't lose hers.

I really want to hope that my brand new 5 week old granddaughter will grow up in a world where she won't be blown to bits at school by some terrorists seeking to make their obscure and hateful point. It's hard to imagine there's an effective yet peaceful way of dealing with people who so little respect life that they strap explosives to the backs of their own children and shoot others in the back.

I really pray that my fiancé will be able to get the respect he deserves, commensurate with his intelligence and skills, and that we can live in a world where the fact that we have different skin colors won't matter to anyone except the artist who paints our picture. Yet, I have had to watch in horror, over and over again, while people who say they are Christian treat him (and me) with disdain and fear, based only upon race and appearances.

I pray that my mom and his mom doesn't die of their cancer and that we spend more money on finding cures for this disease (in all it's evil permutations) instead of pouring money into projects that benefit the rich and support only greed.

And finally, I really would like to believe that someone running this country had a real chance of being a true hero, rather than a political genius and mud-slinging survivor who cares more about power then people.

But I really don't know if my voting for you, or against you, will have any impact on any of that.

I live in a state so small that our electoral vote is something of a joke. And I have worked around politics and politicians long enough to know that even the most idealistic among them cannot really get much done in the way of making huge changes after societal inertia sets in.

Please, for the sake of the nation and your soul, don't be merely a really well trained "talking head", conscience that everything you say and do is being judged and edited by the media, and viewed by a public too shallow and lazy to look beyond short sound-bites designed to placate rather than educate. Please, mean what you say about your relationship with our Lord, and make decisions with the values of Mother Teresa instead of Margaret Thatcher. Please tell the truth and let who think winning an election is more important then the truth be shown that they are wrong. Please do not let the crazies take over this world and country. Please, if you do win another term, give those of us who have had very little to be happy about some hope that our lives here on earth can yet be things of beauty and joy.

We pray for you. Please work for us. Please be an example to the world of what a true leader can be. Use Jesus (or Buddha, I don't care) as the model, even if you have to throw in some Patton once in awhile!

In a world where the rich continue to thrive, but the middle class is daily losing heart, ground and hope, it is hard to look forward to a future that is anything but bleak.


Age 51
Lawrence, Kansas


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.

Age 30
Brewster, MA


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