Dear President-elect Obama:
First, congratulations on your victory. The historical magnitude of your presidential win is nothing short of stupendous and a colossal fulfillment of the American dream (an achievement embedded long ago in the equality clauses of the Declaration of Independence). Your life has served and will serve as an example to countless millions, and I pray that you will live up to that honorable position and responsibility.
Now that Democrats have a virtual monopoly over our land, with control of the White House, both houses of Congress, a majority of gubernatorial positions, state legislatures, the courts, the news media, the unions and the entertainment and educational fields, it would be relatively easy for you to rule as king, casting liberal edicts in any direction. But now will come your biggest test: Will you be able to lead the other half of the country that doesn't agree with your vision, views and policies?
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It's no big surprise that I don't see politically eye-to-eye with you. Actually, I stand in stark opposition to most of your politics. Still, even in our differences, I realize that we must learn to work together if we are to see our country get back on track. After Election Day, I asked myself, despite the outcome, how can I work for our new president to help better America? Then the thought occurred to me, the first question that should be answered is: How will you work for me? After all, it is "We, the People" of the Constitution for whom you are employed, correct?
So I outlined a few ways you might begin to gain the respect of those who oppose you and show that your campaign pledges to bridge the divides were not empty promises to get you into office. And these requests I make are based upon the inaugural oath you will make on Jan. 20, "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." No doubt these won't be my only suggestions through the years, but they serve as a good beginning:
- 1. Use and cite the Constitution. If that constitutional oath ("preserve, protect and defend") is the central duty of your job description, then I would assume we will be hearing often from you about exactly how you are doing just that. There is no replacement for strict adherence, application and defense of the Constitution. And it's high time that presidents quit tritely reciting the presidential oath only to abandon its tenets when they enter the Oval Office. You should be publicly quoting from the Constitution as often as a preacher quotes the Bible to his congregation – at least weekly. If you take this oath and challenge seriously, you will limit the powers of federal government, reduce taxes (for everyone), encourage the freedom of religion and expression (even in the public square) and stand up for such things as our right to bear arms. The American public and the government have lost their grip on the content and role of the Constitution, and, if you choose, you can help to re-educate and model its usage for them.
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- 2. Protect American life. Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1809, "The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government." Those are powerful and enlightening words – "first and only legitimate object of good government." Of course, such a role was created and secured in the very fabric of our nation – in the Declaration of Independence. The commitment to protect life should serve as a basis to all you do, even as a foundation for your national defense strategy or to protect human life from the womb to the grave. I'm sure the first of your secret briefings this last week on our global security threats have opened your eyes some to the extensive onslaught of our enemies. Don't allow your pride, partisanship, personal bias or political abilities to ever jeopardize the safety of Americans lives. As commander in chief, you are called to preserve American life. Quite frankly, that is why I'm surprised that a man like you, who professes to fight for minorities, would not recognize the clear value of a human life in the womb. Federal law should not decree the sacrifice of one human life for the preference of another. Both lives should be protected. Otherwise what do Jefferson's 1809 words mean? As president, you are called to protect (not destroy) human life – it is the "first and only legitimate object of good government.
3. Learn from the mistakes of your Democratic predecessors. I'm referring specifically to presidents Carter and Clinton. Despite how many trumpet their accomplishments today, they learned big lessons at our expense about international diplomacy and economic recovery. Carter's diplomatic naïveté, combined with his overly altruistic belief that America's enemies can be won by a smile and handshake, ultimately gave rise to Ahmadinejad's Iranian regime. Furthermore, Carter's handling of our economic affairs also led to the highest interest, inflation and unemployment rates in history. You were only a young man, I realize, but I respectfully wonder if you know of those lessons, or might be doomed to repeat them? You can increase the taxes of individuals who make more than $200,000. You can impose the same on companies and corporations. But don't believe for a minute that they aren't even now making plans and moving their monies into overseas accounts. Any businessman knows that such tax increases will trickle down to employees, shareholders, consumers or further tempt them to take their productivity abroad where costs are lower. And what will be the effect on our economy? Isn't it obvious? And don't forget this: Bush is only partially to blame for our economic woes. Remember, it was the Clinton administration in 1999 that was the primary contributor to our Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae subprime fiasco (and subsequent Wall Street bailout need), by extending billions of mortgage loans to those who wouldn't or couldn't ever pay them back. Though gloating over his end-term budget surplus, Clinton paved the path through his government backing of millions of toxic mortgages to low income households – all of which would turn into gargantuan balloon payments years down the road that would bankrupt corporations and lead to our economic recession.
4. Lead more from the center. It's been pointed out by countless pundits. Your track record is clear. You have one of the most liberal records in the Senate. You've had the liberty of voting and fighting for an agenda "from the left," as you've tried to persuade state and congressional constituents to do the same. But if you continue to lead our country down a more liberal road, you will follow the peril of Clinton as well. He stepped into office and initially tried to lift the ban on gays in the military and extend abortion rights, only to prompt the creation of a more-balanced and strong Republican Congress in the 1990s. Don't underestimate the resurrecting power of the conservative voice. You observed in Tuesday's election how three states across this union voted to protect marriage in their constitutions (the 28th, 29th and 30th states to do so – California, Arizona and Florida). We will be watching how you lead Pelosi and Reid. We will be observing those you select as candidates for Supreme Court justices. The election is over. No more promises. No more words. You might work well in a team, but this time you don't have congressional members to hide behind. You're on your own – leading the pack – and the whole country is watching. Especially me. So make sure you lead more from the center.
There is one thing I will be specifically doing for you, as you carry the weight to lead our nation. I will be praying for you. As the scripture says, "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." You have my word – I'll be praying.
One of your 300 million bosses,
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