Tuesday, March 10, 2009

An Open Letter to A Disillusioned Obama Voter

Dear L-----,

Thanks for our conversation the other night. I know it took a lot for you to admit that you're disillusioned with Obama, and I know that your disillusionment doesn't mean you've automatically become a Coulter-reading, Savage-listening, NewsMax-subscribing conservative. Still, you sat in a traffic jam for 4 1/2 hours to hear Obama speak. You still have the bumper sticker on the back of your car. You wanted to see Obama win, and you were thrilled that he was elected. I know how hard it is, just a few weeks into his term, to watch this man make decisions that, in your words, defy common sense. I hate to say it, but you should be proud of yourself. Do you know how long I kept defending Republicans who didn't deserve it just because I thought they were just a little bit better than the other guy? It's a funny thing... when you quit requiring principle in your politicians, you stop getting it. That seems to be one of the few things bi-partisan in Washington.

It's sad to say, but not having faith in your government is also a pretty bi-partisan thing right now. The silver lining of that is that you're not alone. There are lots of disillusioned people in this country, of every political stripe. That's why I really do want you to go to one of the Tea Party Protests with me. See, I don't want it to be just a Republican thing, or a conservative thing. You and I both know that what really bothers us is the fact that, beneath our partisan differences, there are ideals that aren't left or right, but simply American. One of them is, "you can't spend yourself out of debt." You know it, I know it, the people know it, but apparently our politicians don't seem to get it yet.

Yes, it was horrible when Republicans let spending bloat under "compassionate conservativism". It's equally as horrible when Democrats do it under "economic stimulus measures". It's not going to work, and we know that. I heard you loud and clear when you told me the other night that this is just common sense, but that no one wants to listen. That's why you should go to the Tea Party event. You've called your Senators and emailed your Congressman. You've let them know how you feel, but (if you're like me anyway) that doesn't feel like it's enough. This isn't your usual legislation or issue. This is nation-changing, and it's not the change you were hoping for.

I know how hard you and T--------- have worked to bring yourself out of debt, and I know how angry it makes you to now finally be at a comfortable level only to be told that you've somehow made it "too far". It's ridiculous that we're going to tax the productive class in order to continue subsidizing those who financed their illusion of wealth on easy credit terms. Even worse, we get to give our money to the greedy moneylenders who knew damn well that they were eventually going to come crashing down on our heads. You have every right to be angry, no matter who you voted for. You did everything right, and you're going to be the one who pays. When did responsibility turn into a liability?

We need your voice out there, L------. It doesn't mean you've joined the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. It doesn't mean you're going to declare Independence. It doesn't mean you want this nation to fail, or that you want Rush Limbaugh to run for president in 2012. You embracing this simply helps to ensure that this remains an American cause, and undefinable much beyond that most basic of labels. I want you to be a part of this because you and I are so different, yet on this one issue we find ourselves on standing on common ground. It's not our friendship that binds us, or the fact that we're neighbors. It's much deeper than that, stretching down to the bedrock principles that have guided us so well over the centuries. Those are the principles for which you need to stand and be counted, and I hope when the time comes you'll be standing beside

Your most humble servant,


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