Sunday, October 31, 2010

To The President of The United States

Dear President Obama,
I owe you an apology.  I’ve made public remarks on the internet that have been rude to you and your office.  I have allowed my disappointment and my anger to trample my rationality and my manners.
Please accept my sincerest apologies.
Sir, it has been an emotional two years.  I had high hopes when you were elected.  I thought a better America was to materialize quickly.  I thought that comprehensive health care, a healed economy, and complete equality for gay people would be completed by the end of 2009.
When that didn’t happen, I became extremely angry.  I was angry that health care reform wasn’t comprehensive enough.  I was angry that BP got away with contaminating the gulf.  I was angry about DOMA and DADT.  
I was angry that my Party and my President are not progressive enough. 
Worse, I indulged that anger.  I allowed my anger to interpret the last two years in the most cynical manner.  I thought, what good are these spineless Democrats.  What is it with this self-destructive bi-partisanship.  In my anger, I thought, let the opponents win.  I felt powerful in my anger and in my ability to oppose my own Party.
In the nick of time, my sanity has been restored.  I have realized that the election of you, Barack Obama, as the first African-American President of the United States is the most progressive event in my lifetime.  I have also realized that this progress ignited tremendous resentment by the less progressive.  This resentment was easily magnified and controlled by anti-democratic, corporate forces that organized resentment into a political movement.
I have also realized that the same anti-democratic forces have magnified the divisions among Democrats.  Rather than planning for the next primary where I may legitimately work to address my issues, I had decided to vote emotionally by voting Green on Tuesday. 
Then I saw “traditional males” beat up a woman at a Rand Paul rally.  I was shocked and felt contempt.  Men don’t beat women. It’s that simple.  It is clear that these tea-baggers are fascist brown shirts who won’t  hesitate to use violence to get an America where big-business pays nothing but gets everything, where equality for all is eliminated, and where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.  They want an America where disagreement is violently punished.  I thought, who am I punishing by not voting Democrat.  I certainly won’t be punishing Rand Paul and his women-beaters.  
Realizing what this tea-bagger movement is restored my rational mind. I am ashamed that I had bought the line that anything is better than the Democratic Congress we now have, especially since this Congress has made some revolutionary laws.  My shame went deeper.  I realized that when I insulted you, Sir, I was doing just what the right wing wants: to diminish a great symbol of progress and to get angry enough not to support my Party, the Party of Progress.
Mr Obama, although I disagree with some of your actions and methods, I behaved very badly.  I had forgotten that you endorse health care reform, regulating Wall Street, and repealing DADT.  I had forgotten that Democratic change takes time.  I had forgotten that all progressive reform has come through the Democratic Party and that often this progress requires patience.  I had forgotten that if I am unhappy with the direction of my party, the time to voice my frustration and my anger is during the primaries.
I have remembered something much more important: to vote for my party on election day.  I will vote for each and every Democrat on my ballot.  I shall do this not out of fear, but with pride that I vote for the party that put the first African American in the Presidency. 
Sir, again, although we have differences, I am deeply ashamed of myself and sincerely apologize for those comments that insulted you, your office, and our party.
And may I add, Sir, that my spirits are buoyed by an image contrasting the relative sizes of the Beck v Stewart and Colbert rallies.  Beck: 87,000; Stewart and Colbert's: 215,000.  Sir, there are many people who believe in you and support you.  There are many people who support the vision you gave us.