Letters to Leaders

This one is to Barack Obama, and takes issue with his rhetoric of change, but he gives this line, “there is only one president at a time.” Times have changed, and it is time to step up. I voted for you on the basis that you would act and not hide. Act!

Dear President-Elect Obama,

It is with a certain hesitation that I write this, as I voted for you, but I feel it necessary to say, “YOU ARE THE PRESIDENT!”

As I read the news via The New York Times website, and various other publications, I frequently come across the comment, “the United States only has one president at a time.” As far as I know the Electoral College vote was made official and you passed all the tests. The inauguration stands before you but that is a pomp and circumstance situation, to be frank.

I’ve heard you say things that refer to the uniqueness of the times we are living in, and that we must act swiftly to solve looming problems. You speak very frankly and actively about the economy and what needs to be done with regards to fixing it, but in the realm of foreign policy you speak very hesitantly. I for one believed that you had the foreign policy experience to handle such issues, and have the backbone to speak for the nation in times of peril and controversy. I would hope I was not wrong in my assessment.

The Israeli-Palestinian War is very complex and has a history that many don’t understand, and a future whose outcome seems to be more war and not peace. In response to recent actions, on both sides, this is not a time for the sound bites – ” the loss of civilian life in Gaza and in Israel is a source of deep concern for me,” and “the United States only has one president at a time.” As with the economy, swift, but methodical action is required to stem the tide of rockets being launched and dead bodies rising.

The complexities of foreign policy are not to be underestimated. Having a sound and unified message is very important. That said, your rhetoric puts forth the image, at least in my mind, that you are trying to offset any damage that an inadequate message might lend to your image. Showing strength and leadership in a time of chaos, in my mind, could only enhance one’s image. Of course, a reckless statement is not what we need at this juncture.

Coordinating a message between you and the sitting president, George W. Bush, and then voicing that message is much better than saying, “we only have one president at a time.” (Some how every time I read or hear that statement I feel as though my intelligence is being insulted.) Even if you both disagree with a way to move forward, being silent on such an important issue, as Middle East stability, is no way to usher in such a historic candidacy that predicated itself on “a different kind of politics.” From what I’m seeing and reading, the politics are “more of the same,” and “same as usual.”

The decisions before you are complex ones which require great deliberation. I would hope that you continue to make your decisions carefully and methodically, as you have always done. I would also hope that you MAKE YOUR DECISIONS, and not hide behind a veil of current failed leadership.

Thank you for your time, and Godspeed.

Sincerely,

Wayne Malcolm
U.S. Citizen

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  1. January 6, 2009 at 11:54 pm

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