Dear Mr. President:
I applaud the rousing speech promoting many of the themes of the OWS movement. Sorry to say, I remain unconvinced of your sincerity. A couple of old sayings come to mind. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. The other is simply: actions speak louder than words. In point of fact, words can no longer sway me. Come next November I will cast my vote for you, only if you accomplish or at least begin the following things:
- Fight either by legislation or by constitutional amendment to repeal the democracy killing, Supreme Court ruling of Citizens United.
- By your own admission, you know that the science behind global warming and climate change is factual. Act accordingly. Anything less is irresponsible and immoral. The position of starting serious action in 2020 has to be rejected. Only by leading the world in immediate action can we hope to abate the currently growing climate disaster. The results would be a new era of alternatives and innovation. Being free of the yoke of the oil, coal, and nuclear energy interests (see #1), countless green jobs could then emerge, solving many of our current problems.
- End the wars. Make major cut in defense and invest in our infrastructure, health, housing and education. Since the killing of bin Laden, the war in Afghanistan has done nothing but cause the deaths of primarily innocent people and further inflame the hatred for the United States. The process of rebuilding trust around the world will likely take generations. We should start now.
- Fight to repeal The Patriot Act. It has brought a new era of government spying along with many other civil rights infringements. At the very least it should be reviewed and substantially revised to address the serious rights abuses that it engenders.
- Stop the unconstitutional extra-judicial assassination of American citizens. Due process and the rule of law is the basis of our country and our democracy.
- The previous administration lied us into a war and committed heinous human rights abuses including torture. They need to be held to account. It is a slap in the face of the principals of our Nation for them to parade around the world on book tours, bragging about their role in these horrific crimes.
- The major investment and banking corporations and their executives knowingly perpetrated fraud and brought our economy and tens of millions of Americans to the brink of ruin. No one should be above the law. Prosecute these criminals and send a message that this sort of behavior won’t be tolerated. Confiscate the ill gotten gains.
- Use your considerable influence to make sure that the wealthiest of our citizens pay a fair share of taxes to get us out of the mess we find ourselves in.
- Stop the crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries. The criminalization of a natural substance that so many rely on to fight the effects of serious illness, is itself a crime.
- The private prison industry has profited too much on the misery of the broken families of the poor, racial minorities and immigrants. All immigrants, authorized or not, should be treated with dignity. The harsh penalties for minor and victimless crimes that disproportionately fill prisons with people of color must be ended.
- Last but not least: Bradley Manning should be released immediately. It is unconscionable that he has been brutally punished in advance of a trial to determine his guilt or innocence. The whole wikileaks affair has been a disaster. Don’t shoot the messenger, address the deeper issues that the leaks have revealed.
This is a pivotal time in history, as you said, a make or break moment. If you are to secure my vote it will take much more than rhetoric. We still have a chance to be a shining light in the world by truly standing for social justice and seeking peaceful solutions to the problems we all face. This can only happen with strong ethical leadership.
You have one year to show us the Statesman that we believed we were voting for in 2008. Show us that your own desire to be reelected takes a backseat to the success of our nation. This will go a long way to regaining the trust of the people who feel betrayed by you. It will also get you a valued place in history and most likely the second term that you then, would have earned.
Readers: I realize this might seem a feeble attempt, but I don’t feel comfortable expecting someone to do something I want without asking them directly. I’d love to hear your comments.