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Thursday, August 19, 2010
Kapact's Rant: A Letter to the President
I would like to speak to you as a fellow American citizen. As a conservative. As someone who didn't vote for you, and as someone gravely distressed with the job you have done as President of the United States. I would like to speak to you, at the same time, as someone who respects the office of the president.
I wonder, sir, if you truly understand why it is that so many people disapprove of what you have done since taking office. I cannot speak for the people who once supported you but don't anymore, but I can speak for myself. I think it likely that what troubles me about your job performance also troubles many others.
Firstly, sir, I don't care about your race. That doesn't come into it, but people who call me a racist because i disagree with you are in fact racist themselves. I'm not a racist, and I greatly resent being called one. As a white male, I have been subject to both racism and gender discrimination. They are both evil practices, and none of us are immune from them. Don't allow yourself the luxury of thinking that people who disagree with you must be racist.
Before I talk about your work, I'd like to briefly talk about the previous administration. As president, you certainly inherited big problems. That is obvious. But I'd like to simply point out that you have been president for almost two years. Whether you've had sufficient time to fix those problems or not, there does come a time when you should stop blaming others. Whether or not you have a valid point, I feel that you should stop telling us why we still have a crisis and start telling us exactly what's being done to solve it. And to be fair, sir, the democratic Congress that we have now was in power for the last two of the eight years of the Bush administration. Indeed, sir, you were part of that Congress. So it begs the question, sir. What were you doing then, as a member of the majority in the branch of government that held the nation's purse strings?
One of the major focuses of your term has been the stimulus. Granted, there was a previous stimulus package that didn't seem to do much. But that was another president. The same Congress, but a different president. Now we have another president and another stimulus. The same Congress, incidentally. But, sir, despite everything we hear about so many millions of jobs 'saved or created', there doesn't seem to have been any improvement. By the way, that expression 'saved or created' sounds disingenous. 'Saved or created' honestly sounds like a hypothetical accomplishment that someone might use to pad a resume. It is too non-specific to be impressive. 'Jobs created' is unverifiable, and therefore meaningless. We hear that things would have been so much worse. But after nearly two years and a stimulus of some 800 billion dollars, we should be hearing that things are better. Not that they could be worse. For all of the jobs 'saved or created', the jobless numbers are not improving. To sum it up, the results have matched neither the cost nor the promise.
Health Care reform has been a major initiative of your administration. I admire bold initiatives, and I don't think that anyone disputes the need to reform our health care system, and while the specifics (and indeed, the legality of it within the constraints of the Constitution) are obviously a subject of great dispute, people generally believe and fear that the Federal Government will control their health care. Is that true? Unfortunately, the law is so long and so shrouded in secrecy that most people don't know. And when information is kept from people, they fear the worst. You might say that the details were available online, but not everyone has time to read a two thousand page legal document, or has, for that matter, internet access. People felt like they were sold a very expensive mystery package, and they resented the backroom deals that were necessary to pass it. And speaking just for myself, while I need the health coverage, I honestly resent paying to care for someone who is unwilling to work or support themselves. And there are too many of them. Heatlh Care coverage should be no more than, say, ten dollars taken out my paycheck weekly to cover my family. What we have is a law that I fear will cost more than we can afford and not substantially change anything.
The biggesr thing, with these issues is their expense, and what seems a casual throwing around of billions of dollars. Speaking for myself, sir, I simply cannot see any result from the massive expense incurred so far, nor does it seem like anyone responsible for spending all of this money has any real appreciation for just how much has gone into accomplishing so little. Almost a trillion dollars and no change to the jobless rate. When you're talking that much money, 'saved or created' just doesn't impress. What we need is a program to create permanent jobs.
Some in conservative talk radio have said that they hoped that your programs fail. I don't think anyone truly wants our economy to get any worse, or for our country to be less secure than it is now. We can't afford to put partisan politics above the interests of our country, sir. So as a conservative, do I hope to see a democratic president succeed? As long as I believe you are helping the country, yes. But I can honestly say (and I don't think I'm alone), that based on your performance so far, I don't always believe that.