Dear Mr. President,
In the spirit of the profound priciples of liberty, justice, fairness, and comity expressed inour Constitution, an agreement by and among those to be governed as to how they shall be governed, and to which this day you have so dutifully sworn to uphold, I pray that God and your conscience may guide you and this nation forward.
We will differ on matters of policy, Mr. President, of that I am sure. But I will respect you, sir, in a manner befitting the Chief Executive and Commander in Chief of my nation, and I expect that you will return such respect as befits me, and all citizens, as your employer.
For all of our differences during the campaign, and for all those differences that we may/will have in the future, allow me to take just a minute of this day to thank you bringing to mind the sacrifices made in defense of this nation by our brothers, and our near brothers.
You said: “For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn. ” Many Americans did so, Mr. President, and their deaths should never be forgotten. But many more Americans fought and lived in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn, (And, if you will excuse me, Mr. President, also in places with names such as Falujah. I assume that you’ve heard of it, yes?) My point being that we should revere and cherish and commit to those heroes still living amongst us, even as we honor those who are departed.
It is without question that for those who sacrificed limbs and eyes and faculties in furtherance of our defense there is a national debt that can never be fully repaid, but only gratefully acknowledged, and then committed. I would have liked to hear that acknowledgement from you today, Mr. President. I will be thrilled to hear it from you soon.
I’m no bomb thrower, Mr. President. All that I am asking is that you not forget that all those providing that “last full measure of devotion” to our nation did not expire on the field of battle, but might linger years, or even decades, until their debt is paid in full. We have to understand that we owe an obligation to our citizen soldiers that is everlasting and signed in blood. For those who have perished that obligation becomesthe honored abstract, and a such is worthy content for uplifting speeches. For those who have survived the harms we asked them to confront, however, our national obligation it is immediate and corporeal. Before we begin dithering with the UAW, GM, CITIGroup, BofA, or the Whoeverthehellisthe Next Bailout, Inc., over which less than worthy operation should get taxpayer relief, we need to make sure that there is not a single serviceman or woman awaiting the same.
You should know this already, Mr. President. Please say it aloud.
Consider these, your own, words:
We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.
In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted – for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things – some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.
Earning it, Mr. President, is what I’m all about here. This government has somehow found a trillion dollars to hand out to banks in trouble. Pardon my skepticism, Mr. President, but I’m not seeing legions of investment bankers as this nation’s alternative to a single Marine on sentry duty in Kabul, nor so I see a single investmant banker volunteering to be that Marine. As investments go, this one is a stinker.
How about instead you focus less than one thousanth of the stimulus amount towards aiding service men and women and their families? These are persons who not only “earned it”, in every sense of the word, but also those that laid down their lives for each and every one of us, and did so at zero percent interest. Ask your staff to keep drilling down until they find that old saw about how every ounce of loyaly is rewarded ten fold, and then ask WellsFargo about how that asset shows up on their balance sheet.
But if all else fails, Mr. President, give me a call. I know exactly where Earn It lives. And Greatness ? Damned if she doesn’t live right next door.
But you knew that already.
God bless you, Mr. President, and may God bless these United States of America.