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An Open Letter to President Obama "from Michael Moore

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Monday, November 19th, 2012

Dear President Obama:

Good luck on your journeys overseas this week, and congratulations on decisively winning your second term as our president! The first time you won four years ago, most of us couldn't contain our joy and found ourselves literally in tears over your victory.

This time, it was more like breathing a huge sigh of relief. But, like the smooth guy you are, you scored the highest percentage of the vote of any Democrat since Lyndon Johnson, and you racked up the most votes for a Democratic president in the history of the United States (the only one to receive more votes than you was ... you, in '08!). You are the first Democrat to get more than 50% of the vote twice in a row since Franklin D. Roosevelt.

This was truly another historic election and I would like to take a few minutes of your time to respectfully ask that your second term not resemble your first term.

It's not that you didn't get anything done. You got A LOT done. But there are some very huge issues that have been left unresolved and, dammit, we need you to get some fight in you. Wall Street and the uber-rich have been conducting a bloody class war for over 30 years and it's about time they were stopped.

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I know it is not in your nature to be aggressive or confrontational. But, please, Barack -- DO NOT listen to the pundits who are telling you to make the "grand compromise" or move to the "center" (FYI -- you're already there). Your fellow citizens have spoken and we have rejected the crazed ideology of this Republican Party and we insist that you forcefully proceed in bringing about profound change that will improve the lives of the 99%. We're done hoping. We want real change. And, if we can't get it in the second term of a great and good man like you, then really -- what's the use? Why are we even bothering? Yes, we're that discouraged and disenchanted.

At your first post-election press conference last Wednesday you were on fire. The way you went all "Taxi Driver" on McCain and company ("You talkin' to me?") was so brilliant and breathtaking I had to play it back a dozen times just to maintain the contact high. Jesus, that look -- for a second I thought laser beams would be shooting out of your eyes! MORE OF THAT!! PLEASE!!

In the weeks after your first election you celebrated by hiring the Goldman Sachs boys and Wall Street darlings to run our economy. Talk about a buzzkill that I never fully recovered from. Please -- not this time. This time take a stand for all the rest of us -- and if you do, tens of millions of us will not only have your back, we will swoop down on Congress in a force so large they won't know what hit them (that's right, McConnell -- you're on the retirement list we've put together for 2014).

BUT -- first you have to do the job we elected you to do. You have to take your massive 126-electoral vote margin and just go for it.

Here are my suggestions:

1. DRIVE THE RICH RIGHT OFF THEIR FISCAL CLIFF. The "fiscal cliff" is a ruse, an invention by the Right and the rich, to try and keep their huge tax breaks. On December 31, let ALL the tax cuts expire. Then, on January 1, put forth a bill that restores the tax cuts for 98% of the public. I dare the Republicans to vote against that! They can't and they won't. As for the spending cuts, the 2011 agreement states that, for every domestic program dollar the Republicans want to cut, a Pentagon dollar must also be cut. See, you are a genius! No way will the Right vote against the masters of war. And if by some chance they do, you can immediately put forth legislation to restore all the programs we, the majority, approve of. And for God's sake, man -- declare Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid untouchable. They're not bankrupt or anywhere near it. If the rich paid the same percentage of Social Security tax on their entire income -- the same exact rate everyone else pays -- then there will suddenly be enough money in Social Security to last til at least the year 2080!

2. END ALL THE WARS NOW. Do not continue the war in Afghanistan (a thoroughly losing proposition if ever there was one) for two full more years! Why should one single more person have to die FOR NO REASON? Stop it. You know it's wrong. Bin Laden's dead, al Qaeda is decimated and the Afghans have to work out their own problems. Also, end the drone strikes and other covert military activities you are conducting in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Colombia and God knows where else. You think history is going to remember the United States as a great democracy? No, they're going to think of us as a nation that became addicted to war. They'll call us warlords. They'll say that in the 21st century America was so in need of oil that we'd kill anyone to get it. You know that's where this is going. This has to stop. Now.

3. END THE DRUG WAR. It is not only an abysmal failure, it has returned us to the days of slavery. We have locked up millions of African-Americans and Latinos and now fund a private prison-industrial complex that makes billions for a few lucky rich people. There are other ways to deal with the drugs that do cause harm -- ways built around a sense of decency and compassion. We look like a bunch of sadistic racists. Stop it.

4. DECLARE A MORATORIUM ON HOME FORECLOSURES AND EVICTIONS. Millions of people are facing homelessness because of a crooked system enacted by the major banks and Wall Street firms. Put a pause on this and take 12 months to work out a different way (like, restructuring families' mortgages to reflect the true worth of their homes).

5. GET MONEY OUT OF POLITICS. You already know this one. The public is sick of it. Now's the time to act.

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Michael Francis Moore (born April 23, 1954) is an American film director, author, and social commentator. He is widely known for his outspoken, critical views on globalization, large corporations, gun violence, the Iraq War, and the George W. Bush administration. (more...)

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Obama wants to sing kumbayah with the corporations... by Poor old Dirt farmer on Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012 at 9:58:47 AM
sounds like your giving him the wrong role in that... by zon moy on Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012 at 10:58:27 AM
Michael, please get the smelling salts. You're del... by 911TRUTH on Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012 at 10:55:28 AM
The only so-called tax cut for the middle class is... by Don Hall on Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012 at 12:11:22 PM
They're using the 2% SS payroll tax deduction to c... by 911TRUTH on Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012 at 12:40:37 PM
My Michael Moore Respect-o-Meter is at an all time... by Don Caldarazzo on Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012 at 11:52:31 AM
Read the FairTax book: Any tax cut you think helps... by Don Hall on Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012 at 12:33:52 PM
who do you think buys more of the percentage of th... by zon moy on Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012 at 2:39:58 PM
Under the FairTax, every citizen receives a rebate... by Don Hall on Thursday, Nov 22, 2012 at 10:04:36 PM
we really should acknowledge that Michael Moore an... by Gentry L Rowsey on Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012 at 1:49:58 PM
when one remembers to whom Moore is writing.  ... by Robert S. Becker on Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012 at 2:59:50 PM
have a nasty habit of betraying us for their 30 pi... by zon moy on Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012 at 6:00:23 PM
evaluation of the situation, zon moy.... by Gentry L Rowsey on Thursday, Nov 22, 2012 at 5:57:07 AM
Did michael moore get his tongue far enough up Pre... by Mrt Baggins on Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012 at 2:46:00 PM
Michael: Great letter! I hope to heaven he reads i... by Will Park on Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012 at 2:49:31 PM
Great letter, let us hope.... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Nov 21, 2012 at 8:01:24 AM
Loved the letter. So unlike many other comments po... by Lynda Martin on Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012 at 5:01:57 PM
I absolutely agree. I loved the letter too. Now m... by E. T. SIMON on Wednesday, Nov 21, 2012 at 4:26:30 AM
What is this? Public butt kissing? Get a room.... by Peter Pan on Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012 at 5:35:43 PM
Florida's second largest hospital chain ORMC is no... by Bill Johnson on Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012 at 7:10:25 PM
What you would like for health care.... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Nov 21, 2012 at 8:13:20 AM
Not much new here but Moore is as always a good ad... by Gustav Wynn on Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012 at 8:55:43 PM
Shoot the messenger instead of debating the issues... by Doc McCoy on Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012 at 10:40:53 PM
Talk is cheap, work is tough.... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Nov 21, 2012 at 8:03:59 AM
Hey Michael Moore, if you wanted this, you should ... by Samson on Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012 at 11:44:13 PM
Samson -- OK, suppose those of us who read this li... by LinearBob on Wednesday, Nov 21, 2012 at 2:03:38 AM
about Gaza, write to Netanyahu.... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Nov 21, 2012 at 8:05:27 AM
Thank you Michael for these hands-on items if advi... by H. Bridget on Wednesday, Nov 21, 2012 at 2:42:56 AM
I loved your letter Mi... by David Brittain on Wednesday, Nov 21, 2012 at 6:39:25 AM
I loved your letter Mi... by David Brittain on Wednesday, Nov 21, 2012 at 6:41:59 AM
And new American and I used to admire Britain in m... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Nov 21, 2012 at 8:11:57 AM
I sympathise with your distress and was not holdin... by David Brittain on Friday, Nov 23, 2012 at 5:46:20 AM
Quite a few leaders and government have done wrong... by BFalcon on Friday, Nov 23, 2012 at 9:08:23 AM
Dear Michael, Perhaps you have failed to noti... by John Moffett on Wednesday, Nov 21, 2012 at 8:41:03 AM
The massive use of fossil fuels are heating up our... by Philip Pease on Wednesday, Nov 21, 2012 at 11:51:09 AM
The only thing missing is a national effort to blo... by Herbert Calhoun on Wednesday, Nov 21, 2012 at 4:52:06 PM
2 cents worth before my three days expire: for at ... by Gentry L Rowsey on Thursday, Nov 22, 2012 at 6:02:33 AM
... by Nick Hentoff on Thursday, Nov 22, 2012 at 7:25:16 PM