Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Plea to Mr. President

Dear President Obama,

I'm writing a plea to you, because I am going to cast my vote for you in the upcoming election. Along with everyone else on this planet, I just got here. And I feel lucky to have been born in this country, even though I certainly had no choice in it. I realize how fortunate I am, being able to vote, and I hold that privilege very dear.

But I'm pleading with you, because while I think you do listen, and I think you are a thoughtful person, I've struggled, and still struggle, with supporting you as our leader. I'm saddened and angry about your decisions in office, specifically with regards to catering to Wall Street, your degradation of our civil liberties, your support of domestic oil and gas production, enacting indefinite detention without trial, decriminalizing torture, and drone strikes. I just think war is stupid and sad. And we all have too much blood on our hands.

I recognize you have a tough position, but I'm tired by the choice I face this November, choosing between not the lesser of two evils, because there are many evils, but feeling so utterly helpless in this position.

I'm more terrified of a Romney/Ryan administration. Terrified of what they will do to this sweet life-supporting planet we are all on, what they will do about health care and women's rights, what they will do about pushing back on the strides we've made on one of the biggest civil rights and legal issues of our time, what they will do about increasing our already over-zealous military/industrial complex. Unfortunately, my vote won't really decide whether or not Romney/Ryan will be free-wielding power for the next four or eight years, I'm not in a swing state.

But I'm saddened mostly by what I interpret as a hardening of the peaceful part of you.  In the debate last night, I watched as both you and Governor Romney battled it out, trying to convince We the People who is a stronger leader on National Security. I think you've been pulled so far into the fight of the baddest of the bad guys, and have forgotten what Just Peace means. I couldn't tell much of a difference between the two of you and what was being said.

Being just and peaceful doesn't mean being weak, it doesn't mean not standing up when it's a necessary fight, but it is rooted in what one of the most well-known socialists in human history preached, the Golden Rule. Because the personal is the political, and this becomes even that much more apparent in an election year, I hope you remember that Just Peace isn't just about battling and fighting, it is a way of conducting our lives which creates the conditions for human flourishing-joy and sustenance for peoples of all nations, as well as flourishing for the natural world.

 I guess I'm just concerned that a part of you may have died.

Governor Romney, Paul Ryan, and the Republicans have a severe lack of respect for the intelligence of the people with their continued political prevarications. Romney also demonstrates a severe deficiency in moral intelligence. I think you have it, but it's been lost or buried somewhere along the way.

I still believe in the power of Truth-Telling, even when we can't know it all. Even though it may be mightily tested in our times, I still believe our system is salvageable. I'm not blind to the inherent vulnerabilities, but I need to believe in the strengths.

And I plea to you to be a truth-teller, and to find the Just Peace part of you. I urge you to have the courage and love to speak to us, and also listen to us, regardless of the outcome of the election.

That's all, I just had to get that off my chest, Mr. President.

And good luck.

As Ever,