In your first post-election press conference after John Kerry’s concession last week, I watched as you boldly proclaimed, “I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent. To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support, and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust.”
Remarkably, you had scarcely been re-elected before raising the same off-white flag of truce that we saw in 2000 when you ran on that busted promise of uniting and not dividing.
And now, after four years of a radically conservative agenda that has resulted in innumerous lies and deceptions, a campaign marked by unprecedented slander and deceit, a proposal for hate legislation to be included in our Constitution and an economy slowly snuffing out the middle class, you have the gall to speak of deserving our trust? Forgive me if such rhetoric is a little harder to swallow the second time around.
What I’ve come to realize, though, is that your rhetoric is all we have now. You are at the helm for another four years and, to be frank, we as a people will not survive a repeat of your first divisive tenure.
We need you to be the leader you think you are but have yet to become, the kind that will genuinely pull this nation together so we can regain our lost strength.
So strongly do I feel on this that I’m willing to overlook everything that’s happened up until this point, a sentiment I believe to be shared by the 48 percent that voted against you on the stipulation that you emphasize moderation over radicalism. It’s a crucial political shift to begin healing the sharp partisan divide now tearing apart our nation.
Additionally, moderate policies tend to be disagreed with rather than rejected, and there’s a difference between the two.
For instance, I disagree with your emphasis on abstinence over contraceptives in combating the irresponsible pregnancies that can lead to abortions, but concede that such a method is not without merit.
However, I reject the radical step you are taking in your intent to outlaw abortion altogether. When you lead people to rejection, you polarize the opposition and leave no room for discourse or middle ground.
This doesn’t mean we’re going to forget the past four years. I can assure you my generation won’t, and neither will our children. But it does mean that instead of belaboring on the past, we’re willing to look to the future.
The future is a time when political agendas take a backseat to national interest agendas.
This includes offering a message of optimism and hope instead of one inspiring fear through terrorism and the non-threat of homosexual couples, an increased flexibility with fiscal policies in the face of a burgeoning deficit and an end to the pointless warfare we are currently engaged in.
The future is a time when the government stops acting as the moral authority for so diverse a nation, allowing those different from you to make their own personal life choices as long as they do not harm those around them. The United States is not a Christian nation, thus leeway needs to be granted for an individual’s differing beliefs and moral codes without pushing your own perspective on them.
In the future, our foreign policy must involve the international community instead of simply making independent decisions and using the U.N. as a means to inform the world of our intentions. One of the most progressive designs in our Constitution is the system of governmental checks and balances and it’s shamelessly hypocritical, and very damaging, for us not to acknowledge such a system on an international level.
President Bush, I want to trust in my leader and believe that his intentions are true.
I promise you that it will be a cold day in hell when the values of peace, intellectual responsibility and social morality are compromised so as to adhere to and place trust in a doctrine of bigoted hate, war, indiscriminate civilian casualties and intellectual dishonesty. Changes need to be made and the majority of them start with you in the Oval Office. My question to you is what do you want more, our trust or your legacy?
Noah Potvin can be reached at email@example.com.