Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dear President Obama

Have you ever wondered what you would say to President Obama if given the opportunity?

I know what I would tell him. Surprisingly, I'd even be able to express my thoughts in less than six hundred words.

President Obama,

Since the beginning of your presidency, you have placed the success of your policies second to your determination to make sure that conservatives would not be able to call you a socialist.

Even though we needed $2 trillion in the stimulus package to trigger a meaningful economic recovery, you only contributed $500 billion to actual stimulus spending, as well as wasting $287 billion on tax cuts. As a result, unemployment remains staggeringly high.

Even though we needed a public option in the health care reform bill in order to guarantee that all Americans would have access to affordable quality medical coverage, you prematurely jettisoned it in the name of compromise. As a result, millions will be left needlessly uninsured.

Even though one of the easiest and fairest ways to reduce our catastrophically high budget deficit is to raise taxes on the wealthy, you refuse to consider moving the tax rate on top portion earnings back to what it was under Clinton (39.6%), or indeed to what it was under Nixon (70%) or Eisenhower (91%). In fact, you even agreed to permanently extend the Bush tax cuts.

As a result of these capitulations , the policies that are right for America have not been implemented. What’s more, because conservatives wish to destroy moderate liberals as well as the ones who are more definitively left-wing, the false charge of “socialist” is still being made against you, despite your numerous attempts to prevent that by "reaching across the aisle."

There is a reason for all of this: Joe McCarthy is alive and well.

He lives in the words of right-wing pundits like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Ann Coulter.

He lives in the rhetoric of Republican demagogues like Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, and Rand Paul.

He lives in the angry fatuity of the Tea Party movement, the Christian Coalition, and countless other New Right groups.

His voice endeavors to win debates by affixing labels instead of applying logic, by smothering dialogue instead of cultivating ideas, and by inflaming anger instead of inspiring hope. His vocabulary centers around words like "Communist" and "Socialist" not because he understands their actual definitions, but because he knows that the fear they provoke will allow him to defeat any cause he chooses to oppose. His goal is the same one that he had in the 1950s - to stifle economic and social progress not by out-arguing those who deal in fact and truth, but by silencing them under a barrage of venom and lies.

It is time for you to realize that when you appease the latter-day McCarthys by altering your policies to suit them, you aren't improving your programs by "incorporating a broad range of views." All you are doing is watering down your agenda and thus weakening its effectiveness, to the detriment not only of the liberal movement you represent, but of the American people you have sworn to serve.

It is time for you to realize that when you enable the latter-day McCarthys by refusing to openly and boldly fight them, you are not strengthening America by taking a "bipartisan approach" and refusing to "stoop to their level." All you are doing is allowing the voices of the bullies to be the loudest ones in the American forum, thereby contributing to the triumph of stentorian stupidity over the needs of humanity.

In short, President Obama, it is time for you to realize that any leader who is unwilling to be hated does not deserve to be respected.

For other people's "statements" to President Obama, see:

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