We received this e-mail from a friend this morning. We asked for his permission to pass this on to our readers. He agreed, on the condition that we allow the words to stand for themselves, and that we understand that the point is not the particular political views expressed, but the tenor of political discourse in this country.
Dear Barista. Last night’s debate depressed me. I slept poorly. I awoke this morning upset and crying. (True story.) I’ve written something to express my feelings.
Must we be treated like shareholders in a proxy battle for the management of the largest enterprise on the face of the earth? Do none of us want our passions stirred for our own good? Is there no leader here who might motivate us with their thoughts on how we might collectively be a nation? If I were running, I√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢d say:
√¢‚Ç¨≈ìMy fellow Americans, we once had terrorists and their sympathizers in our midst, yet we didn√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t hire a foreign force to invade Chicago to find the Chicago Seven. We didn√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t inspect every black looking for Black Panthers. And we were able to forgive Patty Hearst for taking up with the wrong crowd. We did pursue those terrorists and we made them ineffective and marginal. When aging 60√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s radicals finally came out of hiding they were more the subjects of our pity than our scorn.”Japanese prisoners of war thanked us for saving their lives for they had been the products of an evil indoctrination that advocated suicide over a change of heart. Our goal is for middle aged Muslims to thank us one day for saving them from the evil indoctrination of their youth. Our goal should not be to hunt down and kill every last one of them. I doubt that they will ever thank us for bombing their villages as we looked for them. We can deal with terrorists for we have done it before, and hopefully war never need be used to that end.
√¢‚Ç¨≈ìMany of you wish to import American made drugs from Canada because our drug companies sell our drugs cheaper there. As chief executive I intend to vigorously enforce the unjust law that prohibits such importation, and as you leader I encourage all of you to violate that law as an act of civil disobedience. Then collectively we will present ourselves to those drug companies, millions strong, as their own customers who have been criminalized in support of their greed and we will stop them from perpetrating the biggest injustice of all by charging what the market can bear, rather than working for our best health. When we are victorious, I promise to pardon all of you of your crimes. My approach does not require the consent of Congress and the drug lobbyists will be powerless against us.
√¢‚Ç¨≈ìOur desire to litigate is out of hand, and we all must reassess our relationship with responsibility and risk. A life may be of incalculable value, yet accidents do happen. We do want our doctors to have insurance in case their negligence causes us harm, yet we want them to be able to afford that insurance. The solution to these problems may involve capping awards but it also involves us capping our own expectations and behaviors. If you wish to be reflective, I suggest that you decide if you personally have enough insurance to fairly compensate someone if you cause them harm. I also suggest that if you hate ambulance-chasing lawyers who advertise on TV then you tie up their toll free numbers with your opinions of them.
√¢‚Ç¨≈ìI am pro business, and it has been said that the business of America is business. But when it comes to your relationship with your government I do not want you to think of yourselves as shareholders of a corporation entitled to benefits without liability, and voters in an occasional proxy fight for a change in management. I want you to think of yourselves as partners in an endeavor sharing not only the benefits but also the effort and the responsibilities. I want you to wisely identify leaders in your midst.
√¢‚Ç¨≈ìGod has blessed America and I hope we can act in a way to justify his continued blessing. Like many of you, I√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢m not even sure I believe in God, but I say these words because they best express a feeling in my heart.√¢‚Ç¨¬ù