I heard your victory speech today, Mr. Bush. Before all the votes were counted, I see. You said that you wanted to be president for those of us who voted for John Kerry. Those who voted for you didn't seem to notice, but I did:
That this election, you once again trashed your opponent in an underhanded and devious manner. You allowed anonymous character assassins to do your work in the shadows. Your organization shuttled funds to these criminals, and you did not reprove them, nor did you stop the publication of their scurrilous lies and innuendos. You have used this tactic since you ran for your first office in Texas. The more honorable your opponent, the more outrageous the attack! If you mean what you say, bring these slugs into the light, and to justice.
That you prefer to make the fine-sounding patriotic speech rather than actually serving the nation. John McCain, Al Gore, and John Kerry all served honorably, and were honored for their sacrifice. You avoided service beyond flight training, and also cast a cloud of mystery over not only your lack of service, but also much of the rest of your past. The men who served with John Kerry campaigned for him. Where were the men YOU served with? If you mean what you say, produce those with whom you served, reprove the lying Swift Boat Veteran group, and apologize to John Kerry for not doing so before.
That you speak of morality and values, but hide your drunk driving arrest, and your years of drinking and drug use. Worse, you offer no help to those who are attempting to recover from drug and alcohol abuse. Instead, you offer the completely unsuccessful "War on Drugs" and prison. If you mean what you say, be frank about your past, and offer help to those who need to recover from the ravages of alcoholism and drug abuse.
Morality and values seem to be code words to your voters for removing safe and legal abortion from those who need it, and denying the rights of marriage to gay couples. American history has been a splendid process of extending more freedoms to more parts of the American populace. Not only has the vote been extended from rich white men to all citizens over 18, but minority rights have been extended in housing, access to education, medical care, and even nutrition and health care. It feels horrible to witness a contraction of that progress. For the first time in my life, I see a government assault on the rights of women and gay people. This in the name of morality? Worse, you used the gay marriage debate cynically, discussing a possible Constitutional amendment! It seems to have worked for you, even though you I hope would not dare tamper with the Constitution in such a way. Shame on you for such a low and deceitful tactic. Even your Vice President could not go along with you on this one. If you mean what you say, admit that you were misleading the American people with this one, and are not intending to sully our Constitution with such nonsense. Instead, sponsor legislation to insure that hate crimes against gay people are vigorously prosecuted, and that equal rights for all will be enforced by all Federal offices.
That you ally yourself with the rich and powerful, and assist them in extending their wealth and grip on our nation. Why is Microsoft paying nothing for their crimes? Why does Ken Lay walk about a free man, while a small-time criminal like Martha Stewart is jailed? Terrorist Osama bin Laden can address the American people with impunity, and those who have misled the nation into war in Iraq have not even been dismissed from office! Those all up the chain of command guilty of allowing and even encouraging the horrors in Abu Ghraib and other American prisons have not been brought to justice, have not been dismissed, have not even been asked to resign. If you mean what you say, bring the guilty to justice.
That all of this happens while you wrap yourself in the robes of righteousness and religiosity. Remember what happened when Jesus was on Earth. He reproved the religious leaders for their hypocricy, calling them "whited sepulchres," and went to the Temple to upset the tables of the money-changers. He ministered to the hated minority Samaritans, sinners, harlots. He called for social justice, not Constitutional amendments to deny the right of marriage to gay people! If you mean what you say, guarantee the right of all people to civil unions, and leave marriage to the churches, where it belongs.
Mr. Bush, why can my son not get a flu shot? Why can my Canadian cousins afford their needed prescriptions, while my nieces and nephews can't afford to see a doctor, can't afford to have prescriptions filled, can't afford to see a dentist? We have a public health system; why is it not being used? Children used to get vaccinations, new mothers used to be visited by nurses; why can we not start using this system again? The nation's health IS a national concern. If you mean what you say, take real steps to insure adequate medical care for all Americans, without regard to income or job status.
You blame much of the problem with the economy on 9/11. You were warned that an attack was coming, and you ignored the warnings. You did the right thing by going after Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, but before the war was completed, you essentially abandoned it. Bin Laden was allowed to roam free, and has escaped any consequences for his horrible crimes. Instead of pressing the pursuit, you changed the nation's focus to Iraq. Once again, your lack of attention to detail has been disastrous. Once again, you were warned that the military attack would be the easy part of victory. The difficulty would be in the aftermath, you were told, but you and your commanders almost totally ignored this advice. You allowed the treasure of Iraq to be looted, and have even left unguarded dangerous weapon stores. You wasted our money on an unnecessary and arrogant flight to a aircraft carrier, and spoke there in front of a sign saying "Mission Accomplished" when nothing could have been further from the truth. More of our men have been killed since that day than in the initial assault on Iraq. If you mean what you say, apologize for your blindness and arrogance, do what is needed to protect our troops, and provide both Afghanistan and Iraq with the tools they need to begin life as free nations.
You not only ignored our oldest and staunchest allies around the world by your haste to attack Iraq, but you deliberately insulted them. France stood by us in the dark days of our War for Independence, and gave to us one of our most cherished national icons, the statue of Lady Liberty. Where would our long war against Communist dictatorship have been without the friendship of Germany? Our soldiers based in Germany have been the bulwark of freedom since the dark days of World War II. If you mean what you say, admit your mistakes, and mend fences with our two steadiest allies.
You have used the horrible attacks against the US on 9/11 in the most cynical way imaginable, to push your agenda, rather than working to make the US more secure. Whether pushing through the so-called "Patriot Act" -- a cold-blooded assault on the American Bill of Rights of the Constitution -- or your war on Iraq. You have ignored the unsecured weapons of the former USSR, given up on the destruction of Al Qaeda, and made no move to promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians. If you mean what you say, move ahead with inspections and security of the USSR-era weapons, reinvigorate the fight against Al Qaeda, and begin to promote peace in the Middle East!
We loyal and patriotic Americans who voted for John Kerry are waiting, Mr. Bush. If you mean what you say, do what needs doing. Abandon the cynical attacks on the unity of the American people, on our oldest allies, on the Constitution of the United States. Become the compassionate conservative you say you are. We are waiting, listening, reading, and watching. "Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks."
He who sacrifices his conscience to ambition burns a picture to obtain the ashes. - Chinese Proverb