Nov 06, 2008
Dear John McCain voters:
It's morning in America,
and I understand you're mourning. A black man is the next president
of the United States and you're afraid. You're afraid Barack Obama
will raise your taxes and take away your gun. You're afraid he will
encourage pregnant women to have late-term abortions. You're afraid
the government will make you sell your Hummer and see a Communist doctor.
You're afraid all those emails you received over the past few months
are true--Barack Obama will take his oath on the Koran, promote homosexuality,
outlaw Christian broadcasting, strip the phrase "bombs bursting in
air" from the National Anthem, allow people on welfare to stay there,
appoint Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to his cabinet in a plot to turn
the White House black and help Islamic terrorists obliterate America.
So I write this open letter
as a blanket of comfort and a bridge to your future. By the end of President
Obama's first term, you'll pay fewer federal taxes than you do now,
have more choice in healthcare, live your faith any way you choose,
find that the rich are still rich, sing the National Anthem without
learning a new verse and sleep well knowing your gun is still legally
tucked beneath your pillow. The homosexuals you fear won't destroy
the sanctity of your marriage, would-be terrorists will find it more
difficult to do this country harm and Al Sharpton will still be living
in New York City.
But I won't surgarcoat this--you
will have to accept a measure of change. Immigrants of the 21st century
will have as much opportunity as your forefathers did to live here legally
and build productive lives in this country. Public education will have
the funding to meet the standards of No Child Left Behind. Healthcare
will be more widely accessible and affordable. Sex education won't
begin or end with abstinence. The unions that are responsible for higher
wages, better insurance policies and stronger retirement benefits for
American workers won't be treated as enemy combatants. Freedom will
mean more than the slogan on a magnetic ribbon. The government under
Obama will be far less intrusive of your life than the government under
Bush. Big business will have to operate more ethically, legally and
transparently. Government will address global warming without arguing
against the human contribution to it. Science and consensus, not faith,
will guide policy. Industry lobbyists won't write our nation's energy,
healthcare and telecommunications policies (yes, you can put away those
"Drill, Baby, Drill" placards). Government regulators and overseers
will regulate and oversee. The United States will once again recognize
the Kyoto Treaty, the Geneva Convention, Darwinian evolution and democracy.
Foreign policy will begin at a table, not on a battlefield. We will
end the war we started and we won't start another, knowing we can
never leave Iraq in victory, only with honor.
I know--this might all seem
too depressing. After all, you've stood by conservative ideology through
thin and thinner, and now you're looking in panic for an iconic beacon
with a poll-tested narrative as your guide to tomorrow. So it probably
will serve as little comfort to know that leaders and citizens around
the world have now, instantly, with Obama's election, renewed their
faith in America. With the strokes of 63 million ballots, people have
forgiven (though not forgotten) our country's behavior on the international
stage since 9/11. Like estranged family members ready to patch things
up, the world sees our collective vote as a gesture of global goodwill.
You can see it for yourself in Wednesday's headlines from the South
China Morning Post, the Jerusalem Post, the Johannesburg Mail &
Guardian, El Universal of Venezuela and the Arab News. The world is
on America's side once again, because the world sees America as back
on its side.
This is a lot to swallow. You're
skeptical and suspicious. You're used to supporting politicians who
claim government doesn't work and then prove that claim once they
get into office. Here's the critical difference between the government
you've come to know and the one you will meet in 2009: Obama will
try. Instead of working to stall, starve and stop government, Obama
and his administration will identify where and how government can best
help. They won't treat government as the enemy but as a resource.
They won't view government as the solution to life's problems but,
rather, they will help sculpt a landscape that allows you to more easily
build that better life for yourself.
If you can't get on board
just yet, I ask this--stop reading and forwarding those emailed rumors
and alarms and expand your informational intake beyond Limbaugh, Drudge
and FOX News, and leave room for a president with positive, progressive
ideas to light the way for a lost nation. In 2012, your greatest fear
about Obama might be having to admit that, four years earlier, you were
wrong about him.
We're optimists who believe in the power of informed and engaged citizens to ignite and enact change to make the world a better place.
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