Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Open Letter

Before I paste his text in this forum, I feel I must preface with a word or two about my stepfather, Bob.

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 United States of America. I am you, and you are me, joined as we.

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.

Robert Pace
On behalf of the citizens of the U.S.A.


TigereyeSal said...

This is a very cool letter, expressing some marvelous sentiments- wtg, Bob.

Mark Bruno said...

What an incredibly inspiring letter, Todd. Kudos to your stepfather for expressing such eloquence and conviction.

bob pace said...

Just a little housekeeping here. Thanks for the props, son, but I was registered as an independant till 1980, and voted for Carter just a few days after your younger brother was born. I fired him in 1980, when I joined the Repubs so its only in our lifetime together I been so affiliated. I like to think that every election I take the best information available and do what is best for the country. I hope everyone does. The problem is that so often we have incomplete or faulty data--or worse, no superior alternative. Voting is sort of like being an old man planting a tree. I'll never live to see it fully mature, but I know my grandchildren will, and that's enough for me.

TD said...

I edited the intro to read "Reagan Republican". That's more accurate.

Thanks again for the post, Bob. :)

antiem said...

Does Uncle Bob have a blog yet?? Thoughtful writer. I'm so glad there are more thoughtful voters out there than I thought recently.