The following is an open letter I sent the campaign sites of the three remaining major presidential candidates, back in April. Of the three, I believe this nation has it's best chance with Obama. When the election is over, I hope the two that had not won the presidency will work hard in the Senate to help forge the consensus needed to move this nation forward.
Open Letter to Senators Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain
Dear Senators Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain,
Every citizen knows this presidential election is truly historic. Of the three remaining major candidates, we have a choice between choosing the first woman, African American, or Vietnam War Combat Vet/former P.O.W. to the White House. It is also most certain that a sitting senator will be elected president for the first time in almost 50 years. Before John F. Kennedy, only James Garfield in 1880 and Warren C. Harding in 1912 were able to achieve that feat. Not only do we have three sitting senators in contention for the presidency at the twilight of this primary season, but each candidate's term has time left beyond the upcoming presidential inauguration. This is unprecedented in U.S. presidential election history.
There has been much talk, of late, of the negative campaigning between the Democratic candidates. The question raised is one of how such negative words might divide the Democratic party beyond repair in time to mount a victory in the Fall for the eventual nominee. But I am concerned about an even larger opportunity lost if a new paradigm in politics is not forged. This opportunity has never been in the offering before. We have reached a juncture in which two of the eventual losing candidates, who have made their way to the late presidential primary season as serious contenders, will have the opportunity to cooperate - in the senate - with the eventual winning candidate in his or her first years as president. This, of course, is a natural expectation of either Senator Obama or Clinton - one of which will remain in the Senate as [if] the other inaugurates his/her presidency. But is it naive for me to think that the same could be said for Senator McCain giving much support to a Democratic administration or vice versa? Well, each of you have promoted your spirit of bipartisanship, each in your own way.
I am asking as an American citizen that each of you, as you run each of your spirited campaigns, not to loose sight that in the end you are each American citizens and lovers of this country holding the successful future of this great country above your own political ambitions. As the current president hands over the ship of state over to the new president it will be in a much less seaworthy shape than in which he found it. But in the collective crises of this nation, there is great opportunity for the next Presidency and Congress. The American people and their leaders are facing the ever-sobering reality that the status quo is losing its status to move this country forward.
The mortgage crisis is a pertinent example of how we can't depend on leaning only toward the politics of either the right or the left. We must draw from the wide spectrum of American political wisdom and know how to find a new synthesis of solutions to this and other urgent problems our country is facing. With government help must come the imperative of individual, community and corporate responsibility. We as a people must start doing more listening to each other instead of simply talking to each other.
We are learning the hard lesson in Iraq that nation building and democracy cannot be achieved from the end of a gun barrel. Our guns can only police uncivil exchanges to a limited extent till the peoples of Iraq, indeed the various nations of people within Iraq, can find their own political solutions to finding a way to a vibrant statehood. I understand Senator's McCain's will to to ride out our commitment to the Iraqi people, but we must focus as much as possible on teaching them to fish from the pond of their own national security and national cooperation, as opposed to continuing to letting them feed on our military help indefinitely.
A military establishment certainly has its place in maintaining our leadership role in the world. However, I believe the only hope we have to succeed in Iraq and regain our leadership on the world stage is to first lead by political example, to seek a transformational path by which we reach out to each other for common political ground. Opposition politics will always play an important role in America and other countries, but the delivery of such opposition must focus on clarity, passion, perspective and synthesis instead of anger, political expediency and oneupmanship. In reality, there will always be very contentious political issues in this nation-state, but even issues as contentious as abortion can contain common ground such as working for the prevention of unwanted pregnancies.
Many will say my world view is filled with naiveté, but I say the true naivety is in thinking we can return to thriving as a nation and flourish as a species practicing the tired politics of old.
I am member of the Care2.com online community, which is over eight million strong - a web 2.0 site specializing in activism and social awareness. I have just started a new Care2 group called "Better Ways for a Better Planet," devoted to bringing a diversity of people together to form and encourage creative solutions to our problems. I invite you all to visit our group and the Care2.com community to "discover, share and take action." You can find it @ http://www.care2.com/c2c/group/Better_Ways or through my website @ http://donaldsplace.net
Thank you for your time and consideration,
April 20, 2008, Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA
Freelance Political Science/Western Civilization Web Content Developer,
and Host of "Better Ways to a Better Planet"