Bob was a Reagan Republican. For as long as I've known him, he's been the lone voice of old-school fiscal conservatism in my large family of New Deal lefties. And this year, he contributed to, supported and voted for Obama. It was an event which sent a collective double-take through my family, but one that quickly made us all beam with pride. Because, far from drinking the liberal kool-aid, Bob had actually listened to his heart and his conscience, and supported the candidate he felt best suited to put us right with the world, and with our own people. The candidate best suited to unite us all with an even head and an even hand. Someone who would not just spend a term putting out fires, but who could re-engage us in the world community and challenge us to achieve great things again.
And that's the gist of the open letter he sent me, with a request to publish on this blog.
An Open Letter to the Next President,
I’m an ordinary person, capable of extraordinary things. I work with my hands, my brain, the strength of my back and the flat of my feet. I am strong in times of weakness and weep openly and unashamed in moments of great triumph. I am weary to my bones but I carry on with a strength that resides deep in my soul. I persevere in the face of despair. I exult in my neighbor’s blessings and help them carry their heaviest burdens.
I am vain, petty, cowardly, envious and pessimistic. And yet still, mostly hopeful. I am all these things and more: Resilient, moldable, ambitious, willing. I am a citizen of the
Together as we, let us do great things. Find us the tools then get out of the way. We are the people that forged a tiny, fragile country by defeating the most powerful military force on the planet. We did it on the strength of an idea. We are the country that invented the light bulb and found a thousand uses for the humble peanut through the vision and persistence of brilliant individuals. We are the country that saved a world at war for democracy twice in a single century through the shared sacrifice of a nation. We went to the moon using nothing more sophisticated than a slide rule and vacuum tubes, and watched it on the TV we invented. We defeated Communism and we showed the world what the future of human relations looks like. It looks like you. It looks like me. It looks like us.
We have an uncanny ability to elevate great leaders at pivotal moments in our history and we believe we have done so once again. Make no mistake the challenges are great, as they always are. Save the planet, alleviate poverty, educate the illiterate, seek peace and justice and defend the defenseless. We are ready, as we have always been; to sacrifice tirelessly for our children’s and our grandchildren’s futures, to scrimp pennies and tackle intolerance. Watch the world be amazed and inspired by how we succeed. Please, give us impossible tasks.
On behalf of the citizens of the