7 September 2011: Dear Mr. President

Advice for Obama’s election campaign

Dear Mr. President:

In your speech to the 2004 Democratic National Convention, you said, “There are no blue states; there are no red states; there’s only the United States.” Well, yes and no.

In the ten years since the September 11 attacks, our country has been profoundly reshaped, much like what happened during the aftermath of the Civil War. That’s understandable, but instead of becoming more united, the USA seems to be morphing into the DSA: Disunited or Dysfunctional States of America, a dystopia dominated by corporations, anti-government zealots, and fundamentalists.

That’s not your fault as the same forces that politicized the September 11 attacks by using them as an excuse to invade Iraq, costing our treasury and economy trillions of dollars and the lives of thousands of soldiers and Marines, and that drove us towards bankruptcy by lavishing trillions of dollars upon the uber-wealthy dedicated themselves upon your election to see you fail. You were a marked man from the beginning.

To them, it never was about what is best for the USA but about achieving their Party goals, much like functionaries in the old Soviet Union: Party first, country second.

The economy remains in the tank, and your political—and personal—adversaries are relishing the thought of the country floundering through the 2012 election rather than see you get credit for a recovery that would likely cement your reelection. For them, a dogged 9-percent unemployment rate is something to high-five.

Maybe the Mayans were right and there is something to their doomsday prediction that 2012 marks the end of time. I know—it’s as absurd as the End Times predictions of 2000, but a consistent 24 percent of our population believes such nonsense, and one cannot reason with minds steeped in superstition.

So, what to do?

Go over their heads to the 76 percent of America that operates in the substantive, rational world. Call it the Spirit of 76.

Define a course for America’s recovery and future greatness.

Disagreements will surface within that super-majority, but that will be good. We remain a democratic republic, at least for now. With a pragmatic approach, through reasoned debate you will elicit consensus about a sustainable path forward.

Out-sized corporations are fixated not on country but profit. Anti-government zealots rabidly work to see government fail at any cost. And Bible-first fundamentalists operate in a reality vacuum, in a mythical, non-provable universe—e.g., creationism. They long for Armageddon and Rapture not unlike Islamic fundamentalists that believe 70 virgins await them in heaven.

At times, I wonder whether you have the constitution to take them on. It seems to be outside your nature despite your steely resolve in taking out Osama bin Laden, something your predecessor was unable or unwilling to do.

More than one has suggested you not seek a second term, leaving the door open for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Having supported her in 2008, I’m sympathetic to that argument, but realistic as well: You’re our guy, and our country’s fate is hitched to your wagon.

You have achieved tremendous accomplishments thus far: moving the marker on health care, ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and nominating Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court among them. That’s huge given the 5-4 grip Corporate America has on the Court.

You not only have the responsibility to do all you can to turn this economy around, despite Tea Party control of the House of Representatives, but it’s imperative for you to be reelected. With the exception of former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, the Republican/Tea Party presidential candidate field is a disconcerting bunch, dominated by rightwing fringe loonies and a corporate suit—Mitt Romney.

Imagine a 6-3 Supreme Court corporate majority after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who suffers from pancreatic cancer, steps down.

When asked about whether he was giving the 1948 Republicans hell, President Harry S Truman famously said, “I don’t give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it’s Hell.”

Hell might be where your adversaries hope or believe you and I will meet while they bask in heaven’s glory. Despite the 2000 End Times bust, we still have to allow for that and the 2012 Mayan prophecy to happen.

Regardless, may I respectfully request you take a page from Truman’s script? Tell the truth about them and they’ll think that it’s raining fire with no hope for rapture.

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