Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 293- Hypothetical questions

Dear Mr. President,

You're speaking at my school tomorrow. I don't think you'll be taking any questions from the audience, and, if you are, it is unlikely that I'll be lucky enough to ask one. Still, I thought it might be useful to pose a few, even if they are about as practical as shouting into the darkness and waiting for a response more coherent than another spinning echo.

Mr. President, you say that the Republican partisan minority is holding up the legislative process through the filibuster, when not a single filibuster has been staged during the legislative session. Why have you not directed Democratic leadership to force the Republicans to follow through on their threats and given the American people a clear demonstration of who is responsible for the hold ups?

Mr. President, your political opponents seem determined to paint you as anti-Israeli no matter what you do. If nothing will please them, why not take an actual stand against the brutality and injustice perpetrated by the Netanyahu government? You could increase our credibility as an honest broker in the peace talks and make a stand against human right violations, a seeming win-win, considering the political capital is going to be spent either way. So why not change the tactic that hasn't worked for any past American President trying to help create peace?

Mr. President, you've made the convincing argument that allowing Republican's control of the legislative branch will return our country to the disastrous policies of the bush era. While this "lesser of two evils" tactic might convince a few independents, why have you risked alienating the liberal base of the democratic party by dismissing our legitimate complaints about policy compromises that represent real hardship for real people as "griping and groaning"?

Mr. President, when Republicans lost control of congress and the White House in 2006 and 2008, the party soul-searching that followed led to a dramatic return to the angriest voices of their far-right base, the Tea Party. If liberal Democrats want our elected officials to stand up for our beliefs and interests, will it take the same kind of losses in November and in 2012?

Mr. President, the wars in Iraq, (in all but name,) and Afghanistan continue. Guantanamo bay remains open. How can America lead the world toward peace and a greater respect for human rights while we continue these immoral (and, I would argue, strategically failed) efforts?

Mr. President, at a town hall meeting not long ago, you were told by a woman that she was tired of trying to defend you to those who had lost their faith in you. I, too, am tired of being disappointed and tired of being ignored. I believe that your job is more difficult than any one in this room can possibly fathom, and I am certain you are even more tired and even less prone to complain about it. I will continue defending you, sir, I have not lost my faith. Thank you for all that you've done for our country, and please, don't confuse my constant (and continuing) criticism of your policy for cynicism, apathy, or betrayal. I still have hope that you can do better, that you have the right idea, and that you need a supportive, open-minded and informed electorate. So I guess I don't have a questions as much as I want to say that as disappointed as I am in you, I'm way more disappointed in the rest of us.

Respectfully yours,


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