A Letter to President

Dear Mr. President,

I thought that you might like to know that I, like millions of other Americans, might not vote in November. I am very certain that you and your political advisors really do not care whether we vote or not. Despite my feelings, I am compelled to state my reasons and perhaps, for the millions of voters who are just like me.

I understand all too well that the internet is a vast communication platform that connects billions of people worldwide, but it is also a vast black hole where every crackpot can take a stand, voice discontent, insult without the fear of retaliation because of its inherent anonymity. I am not a crackpot and neither are the millions of disillusioned Americans who cannot find the will or the notion to fight another day for a government that has betrayed us, despite the unending rhetoric to the contrary.

What happened to us? What happened to the millions of voters that were energized by your campaign speeches and your stated desire to “change” how our government functioned? To be fair, your penchant for compromise has definitely changed how our government functions: you compromise and the needs of the many are abandoned and exchanged to address and fulfill the needs of the few. What happened to that quiet-spoken, principled young man who so identified with the dreams of millions, the millions of Americans that so desperately needed change just four short years ago? Was everything you said, everything you promised, merely the words of a clever, talented speechwriter delivered by an inspired actor? Sadly, so it seems!

Your detached style of governance, that persistent and unabated genuflection that you consistently make to your political opponents, has resulted in a presidency mired and defeated by ineffectual legislation and policies that have crippled the nation and created an untenable gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’. Your re-election camp should intuit that the ‘haves’ will not support your bid for re-election. Why? Because you are running against their point man, an entrenched, connected, entitled rich white guy that thoroughly believes that corporations and individuals are the same. So, exactly why should the bankers and those Wall Street mavens, along with the misguided, often poor, average Joes support you, a man who merely threatens to rein in cannibalistic greed, a president who almost always yields to those whose only agenda is turn the clock back sixty years?

Why should the voters, the real voters, vote for you in November? Four years ago, you promised to close Guantanamo and sadly, it still remains open. You promised government transparency and yet your administration has advocated and enforced even less transparency than the previous administration. Whistleblowers are maligned, arrested and prosecuted for attempting to expose the fetid machinations of corrupt individuals who commit crimes against our laws and the international community at large. You deigned it necessary to issue an executive “kill” order against American citizens without the benefit of trial. How can we support a president for re-election that has instituted a repressive, anti-democratic government with only the meekest of promises that the next four years will erase our collective pain and address our many losses, re-institute the rule of law, and right the many wrongs perpetrated against our democracy and in turn against us?

Mr. President, I have to admit that you have accomplished one very important thing during your presidency; we Americans now understand that we have completely lost control of our government and that whoever is elected in November, whether you or candidate Romney, will increase our collective pain and reality of abandonment. Our two party system has failed and our futures look very, very dim. It appears that the Age of American Exceptionalism has passed away and that the only people grieving for our loss are those most affected, the ninety-nine percent.

The conservative right addresses voters from a platform mixed with harsh, paternalistic, Christian morality, whereas you respond with unintelligible, difficult to understand policy points. At times, you seem to be disaffected by the effects of your policies on the average American. Where along the way did you and your advisors miss that your message and policies should address our concerns? In case our concerns appear to be opaque, they are as follows: our concerns and needs are simple. We want and need jobs that pay well. Our government should not advocate for, bow to, and support corporate welfare programs that benefit corporations that do not pay taxes yet enjoy enormous government subsidies and still manage not to employ Americans. With the Bush supported corporate tax cuts initiated in 2000, corporations have not filled the gap of lost American jobs nor have they attempted to fill that gap since the epic bailout.
The economic “help” your administration provided for the average American was a literal drop in the bucket, especially when compared to the huge sums paid to stabilize “banks too big to fail” and Wall Street. I believe that the bailout was necessary to stabilize our economy, but like many other programs, the bailout for the haves was granted without oversight or conditions, which means no one was looking out for the average American. The banks promised to lend to small businesses and individuals, instead the banks decided not to lend because the economic outlook appeared too risky. Wall Street, the “banks too big to fail “are just as responsible for the economic meltdown in 2008 as they are today for the dismal unemployment numbers that haunts our economy like the plague.
Why will no one credible admit that the banks created sub-prime loans with the knowledge and intent that those loans would fail? Everyone talks about the homeowners and/or buyers that took out loans that they couldn’t afford. No one ever states the truth about those loans: the majority of sub-prime mortgage loans began with affordable monthly payments. Most mortgage bankers told customers that when the effective interest rate increased coupled with the infamous, unspoken reset date, would dramatically increase monthly payments, but “not to worry” because the borrowers would be able to re-finance those loans. Like credit card disclosures, those sub-prime mortgage disclosures were filled with reams of unintelligible legalese that many attorneys could not understand. Those loan programs that began in 2000 and tanked in mid-2007, the banks too big to fail and Wall Street investors pulled their mortgage investment funds out of the marketplace and then consigned our country’s economy into a nail biting death spiral, certain that their investments and losses would be covered by the federal government.
Why will no one admit that Wall Street creates markets, attracts billions of dollars to that marketplace and then pulls the plug? Mega Wall Street investors make money on both ends of the deal (investments) because they have the economic might to create and destroy markets, and they do. The little investor, homeowner, small business owner, 401K investor, etc., don’t have a chance and yet most everyone, mostly those who dream of becoming rich one day, continue to sing the songs of free enterprise and capitalism without even understanding that the game has been rigged and only those at the very top will benefit.
In the real world, conservatives continue to sing the song of capitalism and many still refer to Reagan’s trickle down theory as if it were one of the Ten Commandments. Ronald Reagan’s trickle down economic theory never worked and it will never work. The rich cannot buy enough to create enough jobs to fuel this economy. Most mega corporations are international concerns and enjoy greater profits by cutting their costs by producing their goods and products in foreign countries and employing cheap foreign labor while charging US consumers top US dollars for their products. These corporations also enjoy huge federal tax breaks. The idea that continuing tax cuts for corporations and the very wealthy will spur jobs creation is just plain crazy. Candidate Romney, on the other hand, states that he knows how to create jobs, and so he does. But of course, those jobs are in India and other foreign countries. Those Romney ‘created’ jobs are not in the USA.
It is way past the time for political candidates and those in office to speak the truth. We, as average Americans, want our children educated. We want to live in safe neighborhoods. We want to be treated fairly and equally on the job, in our communities, and in our nation. We have become second-class citizens because corporations are clearly the best of the best, and first-class citizens. The private sector will never address the needs of ‘the people’, regardless of how much the conservatives extol “compassionate conservatism,” and the free market economy.
Like the War on Drugs, a continuing government misadventure that spans more than forty years, coupled with the War on Terror, another ‘war’ that is enormously costly, will culminate with comparatively few arrests and will not halt the spread of terrorism or reduce terrorism worldwide. The cost of these allocated funds designated to ‘fight’ these euphemistic ‘wars’ coupled with the real wars in Iraq an Afghanistan could have easily paid for, in full, to repair our faltering infrastructure, re-tool our schools and educate our children, employ and train police and firemen to protect our homes, neighborhoods and persons.
Instead of talking about cutting government and government jobs, we need to be talking about creating jobs in order to address our glaring national problems. The private sector, forever chasing profits, will never be the answer to a nation’s need for full employment or compassionate enough to provide effective tools to those who need assistance to regain their place in society as effective contributors.
Mr. President, I know that I cannot change the direction of your campaign nor can I change the types of deals you have made and will make with fellow legislators, lobbyists, public and private servants, or intra-government agencies, et al, to run the country. But I can ask that your campaign stop asking me for donations.
Campaign donations pose the main source of problems to our democracy. Large campaign donors expect and receive political appointments or “favors” in return for their ‘generosity.’ “Pay for play” has not died in American politics, it hasn’t disappeared and its powerful reality confronts us throughout the day as campaign messages: “I am Romney or Obama, and I approve of this message” assaults our senses and attempts to influence our votes. The might of the almighty dollar boomerangs back and forth across the nation since the misguided Supreme Court ruled corporations and individuals are synonymous and resulted in Citizens United. Corporate donations affect how much ethanol is in our gasoline as well as what synthetic hormones will be used on our crops. Government has become synonymous with Big Business.
There are many, many reasons that average Americans are disillusioned, angry, and afraid as never before. We have been stripped of our hopes and dreams because we no longer have a representative government and there does not appear to be any champions waiting in the wings!


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