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Mr. President: Welcome Their Hatred

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President Obama speaking at the Milwaukee Laborfest, 09/06/10. (photo: Doug Mills/NYT)

"They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

"Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me -- and I welcome their hatred."
-- Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Speech at Madison Square Garden (October 31, 1936)

Dear Mr. President,

You were elected as a populist with a mandate for change. It is not that you have failed to deliver change; change is not an easy thing. It is that you have failed to embrace change in your own heart. It is not enough to give it a shot, or to do your best. Rather, you must personally display the resolve necessary to achieve the goal.

Martin Luther King Jr. marched on Washington on a sunny day. He also endured brutality, prison, and finally, death. FDR for his trouble was threatened with a well-armed, well-financed domestic insurgency if he persisted with his mandate for change. He persisted.

It is great to be reasonable, it is great to be willing to engage in dialog those with whom you disagree when ideology is at issue. But "government by organized money" has no patience with reasonable dialog.

House Minority Leader John Boehner is not going to work with you, he's not going to reach out across the aisle in a spirit of bipartisanship. Boehner is going to do what his benefactors expect of him: push through an agenda favorable to their interests. Boehner is a lobbyist with a knack for winning elections. It's not that he or his fellow congressional Republicans are inherently bad, it's that their power is rooted in private corporations, and that is who they answer to.

Your record for achievement in the White House is, frankly, not bad; in fact better by far than you are given credit for. Healthcare reform alone, however modest, was an historic accomplishment, you have won a Nobel Peace Prize, engineered the badly needed stimulus package, and quite a bit more. You have been productive.

The problem is that you are a baseless President. You have no base, no group that feels they can count on you, and on which you can rely. You have admirers, and those that respect you, many of each. But that is not the same as a base. What you had during the 2008 Presidential campaign was a base. A mass movement that fought for you and gave you a mandate.

Your mistake is trying to be all things to all people. You want your political opposition to think of you as a reasonable man, but they do not care. To them this is not your country, it is theirs, and you are in it. This is a contest of determination and resolve. You must look to Gandhi, to King, to FDR and come to understand that your struggle is no less than that which they faced.

Be who we thought you were, be who you are. Welcome their hatred.

From Reader Supported News

 

http://www.readersupportednews.org

Marc Ash is the founder and former Executive Director of Truthout, now the founder, editor and publisher of Reader Supported News: http://www.readersupportednews.org

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I really wish this letter would get to Obama and e... by Dan Vojir on Monday, Sep 27, 2010 at 1:35:40 AM