Dear President Obama:
It is my most fervent hope that you will not only prayerfully reflect upon the following recommendation, but that you will act upon it by speaking to the American people in a prime time speech from the Oval Office well before the upcoming mid-term elections.
See this recommended speech as a teachable moment in our great Republic’s history. See this speech as maybe your last opportunity to redeem yourself and the laudable platform you presented to the American people leading up to you and the Democratic Party being swept up into office with the highest level of hope, optimism and trust in modern history. See this recommended speech as your obligation to restore in the average citizens some modicum of hope at a time when hope and trust are almost only fond and distant memories.
I trust that you will agree that the average American voter (and even the average American regardless of age) is not only lacking in any understanding of how the three branches of our government act and interact, but can objectively be described as functionally ignorant regarding the legislative process. Not stupid, but certainly ignorant.The overwhelming majority of American voters assumed that by electing a Democratic President, a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, and a Democrat majority in the Senator, that your platform would be turned into legislation, passed and enacted within months of your election now almost two years ago.
Take a page from the playbook of H. Ross Perot and include simple and clear charts and graphs in your Oval Office presentation, and speak to the American people not as what you want them to be, but what they are; namely, the overwhelming majority of hard working, trusting, law abiding and patriotic men and women who are deeply disappointed and disillusioned in your failures to act upon almost all of your campaign promises. Show Americans that you are not the functionary of the self-serving, minority of lobbyists, politicians, corporate magnates and those others who receive a disgracefully disproportionate level of governmental support and protection.
Articulate every major component of your 2008 platform and provide a candid, concise and simple statement regarding each major component's current status. Next, and most important of all, clearly describe why each major component of you 2008 platform is where it is today.
Take a page from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s playbook, and see this first speech as a weekly fire-side chat wherein you speak directly to the people updating all on the progress or the lack thereof of your initiatives not in a speech buried on some obscure radio station or posted on a web site that many Americans cannot access, but on the most universal medium of communication today – television. These are the potentially most disruptive times to our Republic and conducting business as usual will not suffice.
Utilizing your gift as a teacher, instruct the American public on the fact that the minority party (whether Democrat or Republican) can obstruct passage of legislation that can benefit those suffering from long-term unemployment, loss of home, loss of savings, and much, much more. Clearly describe how obstructionism can negatively impact progress even when the majority of our elected officials espouse or feign support. Name names’, and continue to do so until the business of the people becomes and remains the business of our elected officials. Don’t worry that this would make you seem partisan for two reasons; first, this obstructionism is neither Democratic nor Republican, Tea Party nor Libertarian, Conservative or Liberal since unfortunately in our great Republic this is now the norm not the exception. Second, you ceased to be a Democrat or a Republican the day you put your hand on the Holy Bible and swore to be the President of all.
In closing Mr. President, I invite you to recall the tens of thousands who shed tears of overwhelming pride and joy at your inauguration, now see those same men and women shedding tears of pain and dispair due to the horrific economic events and their consequences on millions over the past two years. Serve Main Street and you will fulfill your oath. Serve Wall Street, and you will create a generation of cynics and leave a legacy of despair.
Show the leadership that you promised and proudly stand alongside of giants like Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy and Reagan; or fail to do so, and you might as well see yourself fly fishing with Hoover!
Peter C. Roell