|January 20, 2006|
Letter to George W. Bush
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
Dear Mr. Bush,
I’m not sure you understand some important things about your job.
1) You were hired by the American people in two contested and close elections: in both instances there were reasons to doubt that the vote counting was fair and impartial, though in both instances your opponent conceded the race. So you may not be a duly elected president at all, though we have acted as if you were.
2) But remember, the American people are your boss: you are not theirs.
3) Each American citizen, whether or not he or she supports you and your policies is a citizen, entitled to speak his or her mind. This is true of Al Gore; it is true of John Murtha; it is also true of me and every other American.
4) Your defeated opponents won a large number of votes. They are, in effect, minority leaders and should be listened to with deference and interest.
5) Even if you were elected, you were not elected by God. Whatever your religious beliefs, which are your own business, the Founding Fathers did not want to see the establishment of a theocracy or rule by divine right. You have often said that God wants you to make war on Iraq or this or that or the other thing. You don’t know what God wants any better than I do: I’d be suspicious, if I thought that God wanted precisely what I wanted.
6) You don’t get to make up the rules that govern your employment. The Constitution, which you are solemnly sworn to uphold, spells out the rules, which are made more specific to current circumstances by Congress.
7) While you no doubt feel indebted to your so-called “base,” you are not their president alone. When you took the oath of office, you became the president of the entire country, which includes many people who voted for other candidates. You are required, if not by law, certainly by good sense and honor, to take their views into account. You are expected to listen to their views and to take them seriously. Your public appearances before carefully screened audiences, your photo-op consultations with former secretaries of state and defense, preclude such airing of real views.
8) You don’t own and don’t get to control the news media, however much partisan flacks like to bemoan facts other than those they prefer.
9) You are bound to abide by promises you made during the two presidential campaigns in which you have run. These do not include redistributing wealth upwards (remember “compassionate conservatism”?), waging an elective war under false pretenses, hiring incompetent but politically correct cronies to staff government positions, or undermining civil liberties.
10) Although you received much corporate support and have repaid it with favors, corporations are not the American people, and are therefore not your employer. The well-being of the country is more important than corporate profits.
You have said you favor democracy for other countries. Please remember to uphold it in your own.
Liane Ellison Norman
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
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