An Open Letter To The President-Elect Of The United States Of America


Mr. Obama,

Forgive the rather unwieldy and crude medium by which I choose to address you.  However unlikely it is that you’ll actually read this message, I felt it would have a better chance of completing it’s intended journey from an open internet forum than at the bottom of a White House mail bin.

Firstly, congratulations on one of the most decisive electoral victories I’ve seen in my lifetime.  In terms of clear mandates, yours is nearly transparent.  Also, Obama victory parties had way better weed than McCain parties would have, so thanks for a great Tuesday.


I should begin by explaining precisely why you did not receive my vote.  Ironically or understandably, depending on your political persuasion, it is much the same reason John McCain did not receive my vote.  It is certainly not a referendum on you as a thinker, orator, or campaigner.  It is also not a referendum on Senator McCain as an able and moderate member of the government for many years.  In fact, as I’d written earlier, I am still of the belief that both the Republicans and the Democrats succeeded in putting their absolute best candidates forward during this election.

No sir, it was a statement on the nature of BOTH your parties, whom you have the unfortunate duty to represent to the world at large.  For as long as I’ve been alive, the Republicans have drawn support from religious fanatics whose presence in this society quite frankly makes me uncomfortable.  The Democrats meanwhile, have carried the banner of an economic and cultural policy born in the leftism of American academia.  This is an environment that seems to lean toward a British-modelled Orwellianism just as frightening as anything Pat Robertson could dream up, only with less Jesus.  Once upon a time, I could take comfort in that at least the Republicans favored LESS government with which to attempt to impose their will on me.  But the last eight years have proved that even Republicans can raid the Treasury, or in this case run up the Federal credit line.  BOTH parties are capable of limited-engagement unpopular foreign wars with ambiguous goals, though I will give you a Democrats sense of SCALE on the matter is generally smaller.



In short, I’ve seen a series of back-to-back catastrophes on the Presidential level, and until someone proves to me that they can do well in spite of the party they’re attached to, then both said parties can seek a vote elsewhere.  In other words, my vote is up for grabs every election, and I’d like to tell you how you can impress me enough to secure it for a 2012 re-election.  I know this is one man’s opinion, but I feel it’s statistically safe to say I’m not the only one thinking this at the moment.

First of all, I’m a rational person.  My expectations of your office aren’t messianic in nature by any means.  To hear some of the fawning tripe out there, half the country expects to have flying cars and health insurance by the end of the first hundred days.  I am not that person.  So long as you’re not vacationing at a ranch two hundred days out of the year, I can assume that you’re moving as fast as you can.



But move you must, obviously.  And the question on punditry’s collective blabbering lips everywhere has been: Move how? My question, and the point of this posting, is this: Will you be the centrist you promised everyone during the election?

Much has been made from your campaign staff about “governing from the center”.  Your affinity for Lincoln’s method and idolization of the “Team Of Rivals” model is well noted.  And considering your initial pick for Secretary Of State, it looks as though you may on some level be adopting the same policy.  This is a good sign.

My concern, as a moderate, is that the party you represent may take advantage of your presence to push forward an agenda just as extreme on the left-hand path as the one everyone feared while strolling down the right-hand path these past eight years.  Their vehement push to get government assistance to the utterly failed auto industry bespeaks this sort of cronyism and agenda-based governing.  I do understand the unions helped you get elected, but on that issue I would implore you to inject some common sense into the argument at your first available opportunity.  I did not approve when seven hundred billion dollars went to stabilizing CEO paychecks, and I will approve even less if some of it is allocated to an industry whose crown jewel of innovation is the Chevy Aveo.



These are the kinds of moves that are going to drive the moderate base of this country away from supporting your initiatives in other areas.  On many issues, you and I are in agreement for reasons that are rational and cohesive.  The Gitmo detention facility is an international embarrassment of the first caliber.  Shut it down.  I can and do receive government car insurance, I may as well have access to your health insurance, too.  If you get your sights on Bin Laden, take the shot.  No one REALLY cares what Pakistan thinks about the matter.  And fund stem cell research till the cows come home.  I have Parkinson’s and ALS in my family history, and I’d like to live.

I don’t expect you to wave a magic wand to revive the economy.  I don’t even expect you to pull us out of Iraq, as I think you know doing so too precipitously would cause more trouble than going in did.  I would like to see a moderate, RATIONAL approach to the central issues of our age without having to let Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank conduct a hippie love-in on the Senate floor.  I know as the chief executive you only have so much power on domestic issues, but… they’re listening to you, sir.  They’re ALL listening.

And so am I.  If a Presidential candidate can actually turn into the President he portrayed himself as during the campaign, THAT would be change I can genuinely believe in.  What sent my vote to a third party candidate was my inability to believe that either you OR John McCain would turn out to be what they said they were.  With the election over, I can impart on its victor the honest desire that you will prove my cynicism wrong.  Please be the moderate you promised.  Please be the President we need.

Good luck.

Hail To The Chief…

– Paris ‘Rev’ Battle