Thursday, September 1, 2011

An open letter to our elected leaders

Dear President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Boehner,

I woke up this morning to the news that after a three week recess that saw few town hall meetings from members of Congress and a restful vacation for the President, a skirmish over a suitable date for the President of the United States to address a joint session of Congress. It seems that there is a scheduling conflict with a Republican debate and a National Football League game. This unfortunately has become the expected behavior of our leaders that we sent to Washington to govern this great nation. I wonder how much faith our allies around the world have in us currently.

The main issue is that our elected officials are worrying more about being elected than they are about being officials who were hired to govern. We are in times where the documented unemployment rate is 9.1% (but realistically Americans know it is closer to 20%) and Standard and Poor’s downgraded our credit rating on par with other countries such as Spain, New Zealand and Botswana. Combine this with the most recent natural disaster, Hurricane Irene (affected 65 million American people), the time for our elected officials to act is now. The American people cannot be held hostage by elected officials who are already campaigning for what will be a complete year.

A natural time to begin action would be with the speech and release of the President’s jobs plan now scheduled for September 8, 2011. The President will not be presenting two jobs plans (one for Democratic Americans and one for Republican Americans) but rather one plan for the American people. American men and women want to be productive members of our American society and provide for their families. In the event that we need to retrain the American workforce, that should be a focus. The jobs for tomorrow are just that, jobs for tomorrow. We have jobs that need to be filled today that are going overseas because other countries have seized the opportunity and addressed the need. This is an example of capitalism at its best.

In closing, I would ask that before our elected officials walk through the doors of the Capitol on the night of September 8, 2011, please shed one piece of your title which is your party affiliation. I would like to remind you all that the title in front of your office, in roll call order, is United States President, United States Senator and United States Representative. To quote a Founding Father and the 2nd President of the United States, Mr. John Adams, “There is nothing I dread so much as a division of the Republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader and converting measures into opposition to each other.” Nearly 200 years later, that dreadful feeling has surfaced. Now we need to respond by remembering how we got our start with elected officials who didn’t believe that they were up for the task, but are revered for their courage and forethought for how this country is to be governed.

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