Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Open Letter to President Bush; Plea for Mercy

I wrote this letter in September and still haven't received a reply. Kinda rude, if you ask me. Nonetheless, I'm in danger of losing my roomates, who seem to think the secret service will be visiting soon. I like visitors. I wonder if they'll call first, or just stop by.

Dear President Bush,

You don’t and probably never will know me, but I’m an American who would like to discuss a few things with you. Since you avoid anyone who disagrees with you, don’t read the newspapers and don’t really understand other forms of communication made possible by recent technology, I’m hopeful that someone who has access to you will read this and translate it into words and pictures that you might understand.

I suspect that look on your face that many in the media have identified as a cocky grin, or something to that effect, is in reality, the look that you were taught to display when you were utterly confused, mystified, dumb-founded, ignorant or indifferent to the events taking place around you. I’ve got news for you. Millions of other American’s know it too, and more are figuring it out every day.

As each moment passes, it is becoming increasingly obvious that this joke you’ve been playing on we, the people, and the rest of the world, is no longer amusing. With the hope that this message will be easier to comprehend, I’ll use some sports metaphors that you may be able to relate to.

It’s time you wake up to the reality that you got the chance to be starting quarterback in the Big Blue Marble Bowl and you fumbled one too many times. It’s early in the third quarter and your teammates, even your cheerleaders, are beginning to wonder if it’s too late to save the game Don’t you think you should just admit you didn’t study the play book, make your apologies to those you’ve disappointed, and then head to the showers. Your game is over!

Even though I never would have chosen you to lead the game, I’m willing to go over the tapes with you to point out where things went wrong. Some of the problems weren’t directly caused by your ineptitude, but escalated as a result of your incompetence, indecision and poor leadership.

Your first mistake, in my opinion, was when you fixed the game by knee-capping your opponent. I’m not sure Al Gore would have done a better job, but he should have had a fair chance to try.

You gained some momentum in the first quarter when the opposition went on the offensive, but that was only because of the assists given by people like Rudy Giuliani and Colin Powell. Shortly after that, the entire game plan started to unravel as it became apparent that you were making all the calls and refused to listen to the coaches and trainers.

When others in the league that played the same position as you hesitated with their support and encouragement, you fabricated plays to justify a radical defense. Sure you caused a few injuries to your opponents, but your stubborn and immature actions caused greater injury to your team and even more to the innocent people watching from the stands.
Instead of admitting mistakes and changing the game plan that you were making up as you went along, you stayed the course. You started using your backup players and borrowing money to recruit new teammates and replace damaged equipment. You were so busy trying to save face, you didn’t even notice that your loyal defensive line were beginning to distance themselves from you and making excuses to leave the field as soon as the first half was over.

The beginning of the second half brought more of the same damage to players, equipment and fans. You altered the rules of the game as you saw fit, without the benefit of advice offered by the rest of the team. By breaking the traditional rules and inventing new ones simply to prove that you could, assigning your friends to play positions they had no experience in, and treating the fans and even sponsors like they were stupid and insignificant, you alienated your supporters and further tarnished the reputation of the entire organization.

Then something practically unheard of happened about halfway through the third quarter. The ball that you brought from Texas, which you could squeeze into any shape you wanted and had been playing the entire game with, was replaced by a ball of a different color, shape and size than the one you were accustomed to. This ball was fast, hard and wet and you couldn’t hold on to it. You watched from a distance as the new ball bounced into your teammates, the people working the concessions, the ushers and the field maintenance staff. Each person the ball hit was knocked to their knees, out of breath and partially paralyzed. The officials fled the field and headed for whatever degree of order and safety they could afford, leaving the masses to fend for themselves..

As everyone that could do so ran for cover, the news media ran toward the fatalistic projectile that by now had the fans from the handicapped section of the bleachers cornered. The media observed and reported to the world as the ball repeatedly raped and beat the defenseless for hours, and then days.

Nearly as swiftly as it had arrived, the ball grew bored and began to dissolve into nothing. It was then that the media turned their cameras toward the man responsible for controlling the ball. The man that was charged with keeping the ball from spiraling into the cheap seats was standing at the 50-yard-line with his dampened pants down around his ankles, quivering and assigning blame. Do the events of the game seem familiar? In case there is need for clarity, that man was you, Mr. President.

As denials, accusations and excuses for the strange little ball incident scattered like confetti, you were no doubt being brought up to date on the popularity of accepting responsibility for things that don’t go right. Your approval ratings were at their lowest level ever and when you found out that John F. Kennedy’s popularity soared following his admission of error regarding the Bay of Pigs, you figured you’d give accountability a try. Colin Powell was just on TV accepting responsibility for talking the country into going to war, citing intelligence based on lies as justification, and it looked credible. What the hell? When you have nothing left to lose, go all in.

So there you stood, President Bush. With storm ravaged New Orleans as your backdrop, you spoke words that many of your harshest critics couldn’t have anticipated. You actually said you accepted responsibility for the federal government’s slow response to the disaster that has taken more than 1,000 lives, most of them poor, elderly or disabled. Then you got back on Air Force One and waited for your ratings to rise faster than Katrina’s storm surge had.

And you watched and waited. But your approval ratings remained in the toilet. You got back on your plane and returned to the gulf coast, not once, but two more times for photo opportunities that showed you care. You spoke powerful, determined words to convince America you’re back in the game, but gave vague, hollow answers when asked for specifics.

We are not convinced. Your political adversaries are not convinced. Your loyal cronies are not convinced. Your Republican controlled government is not convinced. Your administration is not convinced. Your low approval rating is comparable to your credibility, leadership and decision making ability. It should tell you it’s too little, too late. The game’s over. Throw in the towel. The legacy you want so badly is not to be.

The following instances and events abbreviate your incompetence:

Questionable elections.

Military documentation of service missing; suspect AWOL.

Misinformation to America and U.N. to justify poorly planned war.

Tax cuts for the wealthy, hikes for the poor.

Record deficit and unemployment.

No plan to end war.

Lack of social services, healthcare for the needy.

Mismanagement of emergency and human resources

Unacceptable reaction to natural disasters

No accountability or admissions of errors

Erosion of Bill of Rights

Questionable Social Security reform

Global alienation of America

Relationship with big oil and business

Unqualified cronies assigned vital cabinet positions

Indifference to the needy

And the list goes on….

This past weekend Mr, President, although you were in a bunker in Colorado, preparing for a disaster that didn’t require your attention in your home state of Texas, more than 100,000 marched in our nation’s Capitol in an attempt to show you that there are a lot of American voters willing to sacrifice their time, money and comfort to get a message to you. They want to urge you to stop this war and bring Americans back home to their families. One participant commented that although there was no infringement on their right to assemble and speak their minds, it was a huge disappointment, but not overly surprising that you chose not to hear their words or acknowledge their presence.

In reaction to the antiwar protest, pro war individuals decided they would counter the marchers with their own campaign comprised of approximately 400 people. If my math is correct, there are 99,600 more people contesting war than supporting it. Most people would be able to add up what Americans really want. Why can’t you? Furthermore anti-war groups are spending $1,000,000 to advertise in national newspapers and network television programs in attempts to get you to see what the people you serve are insisting on.

In closing, I submit that the authority and leadership enjoyed by the President of the United States of America, come with responsibility to the people you should be leading. The person in your office should practice wisdom, humility, compassion and fairness to all Americans. You have not exhibited those qualities. Most importantly, you are sworn to defend the Constitution, not contort it to suit your personal desires and strip American’s of the rights it ensures.

When you led this nation down the road to war, debt and global shame, you should have been leading us into a future of prosperity, happiness and peace. It’s time to admit you have failed. Even if you don’t have the guts to admit your errors and resign for the sake of the future could you at least try to not do any additional damage? Your grandchildren will have to live in this world too, and despite the privilege and entitlement available to those in your social arena, the damage you have done will undoubtedly penetrate even those social dividers.

Respect to the Office,

Ron DeYoung

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