Lynn Abbott: To President Bush
President Bush, please prove me wrong.
With this election, I can’t help but feel we have given health care decisions to the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, environmental decisions to the energy companies, and social policy decisions to the evangelical right. By combining tax cuts with runaway spending, we have passed fiscal responsibility on to our children, grandchildren and generations to be born. With this election, we have endorsed the quagmire in Iraq and have accepted your version of reality in that decimated land. We have rehired the team that brought us Abu Ghraib. I am appalled.
It is with great trepidation that I face not only the next four years, but the next several decades. I worry that you will turn years of fiscal responsibility into decades of drastic debt and that you will turn decades of social progress backward with your far-right agenda. My one solace is that I have read many articles by responsible old-school conservatives who are dismayed by the direction in which you have taken your party. They will pressure you to become fiscally responsible and socially more centrist. Please listen to them. Your party traditionally has endorsed less government intrusion into private lives, not more; less government expenditure, not more.
In addition to listening to the traditional Republicans, I ask you to listen also to those of us who opposed you. I am proud of the effort we Democrats made in our little corner of Colorado, here in Routt County. Here in the middle of an officially “red” state, we turned out a very strong vote in favor of change.
So when you look at that sea of red on the electoral map, please remember that every block of red holds many pockets of blue. In those pockets of blue, we think it is time to think of the common good. (Where were these words in your campaign?) It is time to figure out how to provide basic health care for every American. It is time to conserve our energy, not squander it; to protect our environment, not decimate it. And above all, it is time to regain our leadership in the world as a country that respects and promotes individual civil rights; that sees life, not death, as a way to solve problems in the Middle East.
I am very sad today, Mr. President, because I fear it is not possible for you to be this inclusive. Please prove me wrong. Please include all of these pockets of blue in America’s next four years.
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Wednesday, Nov. 25