04 November 2004

Open letter to President Bush

Dear Mr. President,

To begin with, congratulations on your victory. It is not the outcome I had hoped for, as you can surmise from my other posts. However, you have received the majority of both the electoral college and more the popular vote. It is the latter in particular that leads me to accept your victory. I have often argued that the President should be chosen by a simple majority. Despite my certainty that a President Al Gore would also receive such a majority, it is clear that the electorate wants you in office and I would be a hypocrite to dispute this.

I listened to your victory speech yesterday. It was a good speech and I thought you did a nice job delivering it. I appreciate your kind words about John Kerry and his supporters. I want to thank your for offering to earn my support and deserve my trust. I will try to keep an open mind, but frankly I doubt your sincerity in this offer.

In 2000 you made a similar offer, but your subsequent actions did not show any desire on your part to honor that commitment. Within weeks you nominated John Ashcroft, Donald Rumsfeld, and Gail Norton to your cabinet. You met in secret with energy corporation representatives to forge your energy policy. You offered up tax cut after tax cut that benefited the wealthiest among us. This was not a good start.

I the wake of 9/11, you had the support of the nation and the world. We were united with you against a common enemy. You chose further a neo-conservative agenda under the umbrella of the War on Terror. You increased defense spending on unrelated programs like missile defense. You sought limits on our rights to privacy. You fought at every level to investigations of events leading up to 9/11. You invaded Iraq on dubious pretenses yet admit not a single mistake. You have often questioned the patriotism of those that would disagree with you.

Now, you want my trust and support. Given your track record so far, this is something I cannot give you outright. If you want to earn it, I will give you that chance. But it will not be easy.



Rob S. said...

I'm not sure if his victory isn't in some ways, a mandate. He won a majority of the popular vote, something that hadn't been done since his father. Plus, the Repugs turned some chairs int he Senate and the House. Put it this way -- if Kerry had won the popular vote, the elctoral vote, and turned a half-dozen seats in Congress, wouldn't we have considered that a major repudiation of Bush and his policies? I know I would have.

Rob S. said...

(Of course, more people voted AGIANST Bush than any other President in history, so that says something too...)

Andrew said...

Robs comments are in reference to the following postscript:

P.S. Calling your victory a mandate from the people is not a good start.

You are right Rob. The applicable definition from Merriam Webster is:

"An authorization to act given to a representative "

I always thought a mandate implied a substantial majority of the electorate, not a simple majority. However, he's received the most significant majority in 16 years.

So I've removed the postscript.

Andrew said...

There's an updated version. See the subsequent post.