11/07/2008

An Open Letter to President-Elect Obama

Some thoughts from a good friend, Glen - over here which I am gratuitously copying here:
President-elect Obama,
It seems congratulations are in order to you and to the Democrat party on your successful bids for the American presidency and both houses of Congress. I congratulate, also, those Americans who put the proper time, effort, and thought into their choice of elected officials.
Also, I must profess appreciation for the wisdom inherent in the following words uttered at your acceptance speech on that historic Tuesday evening in Chicago, “And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.”
I, sir, am one of those voices. As are more than 50 million of our fellow Americans. You campaigned as a “Great Unifier”, soon will come the time to make good on that promise. Undoubtably, it will be no easy task to join red and blue, capitalist and socialist, Conservative and Progressive. With this in mind, I have put together a short list of suggestions aimed at helping you traverse the obstacles that will surely impede your progress along this arduous, near impossible path.
Sir, despite your belief that many of your fellow citizens cling to guns simply out of some mental or psychological weakness, the truth is that many of us have a deep seated faith in the Second Amendment for a much deeper, fundamental, and yes even American reason. There are those who innately understand that a government that takes away the ability of its people to protect themselves from that self same body is no longer an government by and of the people, but rather a government that in fact rules its people. The NRA alone has more than four million members. You, sir, will be their president, too.
Sir, it may be your view that those who oppose your tax programs must be selfish, unfair, or simply unpatriotic; but let me assure you this is, in fact, not the case. You must at least attempt to entertain the thought that there may be no small number of Americans who may simply disagree with the idea of taxation as a mechanism for social change. A group with a different view of the government’s role in the pilfering of monies. Who understand that taxation and freedom exist in opposition, and that the more there is of one, the less there will be of the other. Our founding fathers understood this. They fought a revolution for this very idea. Millions of Americans still hold those old fashioned beliefs. You, sir, will be their president, too.
Sir, I ought not show such hubris as to question your belief in the sanctity of the First Amendment, but there have been some rather ominous signs during your campaign of an inclination toward intimidation and the silencing of your critics. Your monk-like silence while your followers viciously attacked the personal lives of those who would question or disagree with your views lends to the belief that you condone such behavior. The smear campaigns against Joe the Plumber, Stanley Kurtz, and Sara Palin come to mind. Both sides need understand that the First Amendment does not absolve one from disagreement or from opposing arguments. But it most definitely should protect a citizen from personal attacks, unlawful government intrusions, and any and all types of intimidation. Most all Americans believe deeply in their First Amendment right of freedom of speech. Unfortunately, fewer believe that right includes the free speech of others as well. You, sir, will be their president, too.
Sir, it may just be that the notion ‘no matter what the question, government is the answer’ has been encoded into your personal DNA, but this is not the belief of a large section of the American public. In fact, many believe they succeed in spite of the government, not because of it. As a scholar interested in our shared history, you surely must know that the Federal government today is larger than it has ever been at any time in our history. Yet somehow our ancestors, with that very same smaller government, endured and even prospered for nearly two and a half centuries. The fact is many believe this was not merely a coincidence. You, sir, will be their president, too.
Sir, I will give you the benefit of the doubt that your stance on Global Warming comes from an honorable place, that you are in fact more interested in protecting our shared planet than accumulating even more governmental power. But do your stated policies even stand up to scrutiny? Many believe they do not. According to Jacob Sullum at Townhall.com, you plan to “”implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050." That is even more ambitious than the goal of a cap-and-trade bill that the Department of Energy estimates would cost between $444 billion and $1.3 trillion in reduced economic growth over two decades.” The Cato Institute’s Policy Analysis “The Consequences Of Kyoto” posits that even with a worldwide adherence to Kyoto protocols, “The amount of warming "saved" by the emissions reduction...is infinitesimal: 0.19 degrees C.” Let’s face it, not even a polar bear could feel that variation. Again that 0.19 degrees, sir, is with a worldwide adherence. Your program simply deals with America alone. Let’s do the math, over a billion dollar hit to the U.S. economy on the one side, the mere possibility of a fraction of a degree temperature change on the other. There are still a few Americans left with the facility of critical thought. You, sir, will be their president, too.
In closing, sir, I “hope” that you truly are a “change” from what we who may disagree with you have come to expect from the Liberal establishment. I hope that you will, as you have said, hear our voices and be open to our help. As hard as it may be for you to fathom, we ‘loyal opposition’ still have America’s best interests at heart. It is important, if you wish to be true to the moniker of “Uniter”, that you do not simply dismiss us. For you, sir, are our president, too.
Sorry to copy it Glen, but I couldn't pick just one good part ...

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