I started this letter last year, in a fit of pique at President Obama, who I perceived was moving in the wrong direction. Today, I finished it. Here’s what I wrote:
Dear President Obama,
All of your policies are wrong. Here are some things missing from your policies:
I know it sounds crazy but I don’t think you can spend all your time focusing on the negative (evil, war, terrorism, insider threats, economic collapse, et. al.) and get a positive result. Not only that but you probably won’t succeed in eradicating evil either. You might even get more evil.
In old time computer jargon, the expression is Garbage In, Garbage Out. I think too much negative garbage is getting into the system. What if, instead of trying to eradicate and control things, we tried to nurture and grow things? What if government policy was created in a spirit of love and genuine compassion for all things, instead of furthering the interests if the privileged few? What if instead of using our war vocabulary all the time, we tried out our Sunday school lexicon and acted like we believed in our own values?
America is the most powerful country on earth and yet we bankrupt ourselves trying to defend against phantom enemies from here to Baghdad and beyond. But if what we tell ourselves is true, that America is the most powerful and important nation in the world, then surely we can afford a little kindness.
Writing this, I know how silly it sounds to be talking about peace and love. But if peace and love aren’t even worthy of consideration, then how are we ever going to have them?
Yes We Can should not mean: yes, we can settle for less, live a lie, give up the American Dream, live in fear, and do as we’re told. We shouldn’t be asked to say yes, we can tolerate endless war, boundless surveillance, and total control. You led us to believe that you exemplified the virtues above, starting with peace, for which you’ve already won a Nobel prize. From your speeches, we know that it’s in your vocabulary to be a good guy and to foster positve change. So here’s a challenge: can you make it part of your policy as well?