SOUTH FLORIDA, NOVEMBER 6, 2012—The day before the 2008 election, I wrote separate open letters to Senators Barack Obama and John McCain. After the election, I wrote President-Elect Obama a very gracious letter of congratulations. Election 2012 has me addressing President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney. My intention was to write a new letter to Mr. Obama, but I went back and reread the 2008 version. The decision to run that letter again was easy given how many concerns came to fruition. Here is my 2008 open letter to Senator Obama.
Dear Barack Obama,
Let me begin by saying that while I will absolutely not be voting for you, my disagreements with you are political, not personal. I do not think you are a racist, an anti-Semite, a closet Muslim, a terrorist sympathizer, or any other extremist hatemonger. I think you are a good and decent man who loves his family and his country. I just think that you are fundamentally wrong on some key issues.
I want to make it clear that if you win the election, you will be my opponent, never my enemy.
My concern is that you will be a repeat of Bill Clinton. Some people romanticize the 1990s, but there were so many negatives, and you seem hell-bent on making some critical mistakes.
First of all, you have repeatedly given your word that you will cut taxes for 95% of Americans. This is impossible because 40% of Americans pay no income taxes at all. Also, you are proposing one trillion dollars in new spending on social programs. The bottom line is that the numbers in your plans just do not add up. Many say you are a liar on this issue. Perhaps you truly believe you can get the numbers to work, but I don’t see it. I see you as raising taxes on the very middle class you claim you are cutting taxes for. Bill Clinton made the same promises in 1992, and broke them three weeks later. This was after he defeated an incumbent who told people to read his lips.
Senator Obama, if you raise taxes on the middle class, your credibility will be shot. The media is swooning over you now. Yet after an election, there is nobody to run against. You will not be able to blame Republicans for everything. That works in a campaign. Leaders have to govern.
This brings me to your promise to unite people and bring them together. I say with all sincerity that this is not achievable. We are divided because we disagree. Those disagreements have been around since George Washington left office. You do not have a record of bipartisanship.
Even if you want to be bipartisan, again this brings us back to 1992. Bill Clinton claimed he wanted to govern from the center. Yet Dick Gephardt and David Bonior would not let him. George Mitchell, an ardent liberal, was actually fairly cooperative. Yet the House dragged Clinton to the left, and dragged the Democrats into a dysfunctional abyss. As a Republican, I was thrilled that we took over the Congress in 1994, but that does not change the fact that for two years America had no leadership.
I want to make it clear that you are under no obligation to govern from the center. It bothered me when President George W. Bush was told to govern from the center because the election was close. This is nonsense. If you win by one electoral vote, you should govern how you promised you would govern. Just understand that this is still a center-right country. If Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid pull you far to the left, you will be leading not as you promised, but as Republicans said you would.
I am very worried about your Israel positions. I say positions because they do not seem consistent. I worry that you have associated with too many advisors that are hostile towards Israel. Some people have said that they think you will be so scared of being seen as anti-Israel that you will be the most Pro-Israel President out of pure expediency. I am not sure I accept this thesis because after a brief trial period, people get complacent. I need to see concrete evidence that you will not betray Israel. If Likud, which you have bashed, comes back into power, I need to see Benjamin Netanyahu treated with respect. He is a friend of America, and the only hope for Israel at this point.
I am scared to death of the protectionist stance of the Democrats, including you. You claim that you want to work to repair our alliances around the globe, but you ignore the fact that some of our allies will be furious with us if we renege on free trade deals. South Korea and Columbia are waiting to see if we mean it when we say that we want free trade over protectionism. Free trade has been an American policy for the last quarter of a century, even with Bill Clinton. He got many things wrong, but he got trade right. Protectionism is mutually assured destruction. It leads to trade wars. You speak of a global world without borders. On trade, we absolutely must have this.
The stock market is worried about you. Higher capital gains taxes, combined with your health care plan, has the markets reeling in fear. Some have said that you are deliberately trying to destroy the investor class because once they give up on the stock market forever, people will decide to put their cash into “safer” vehicles, such as government. That theory is a little too conspiratorial for my tastes, but I do believe you might not understand the stock market. What you call “investing” is really spending. Investing is not about government. It is about private businesses and individuals taking risks. If people believe in the stock market for long-term real investing as I do, that leaves less money for government. Do not raise capital gains taxes. The stock market is not for fat cats. It is for ordinary people like me.
Senator Obama, we tried raising taxes on the “rich” in 1990. It was a miserable failure, and the worst of those taxes, the “luxury tax,” was repealed in 1993. Attempts to punish yachts and jewelry purchases led to yacht makers and jewelry makers being decimated. Raising taxes on the rich hurts the middle and working classes because the rich pass those costs onto us. You cannot prevent this.
Lastly Senator, I have plenty of qualms about your lack of foreign policy experience. Joe Biden claims experience, but on major foreign policy issues he has been completely wrong. He was wrong on the first Gulf War, and on partitioning Iraq into three separate nations.
Senator Obama, I am giving you my word that I will not reflexively oppose you. When you are right I will back you. I supported Bill Clinton on NAFTA and welfare reform, and fought him every time he tried to raise taxes or use the government to harass businesses such as Microsoft and Intel.
You claim to be for nuclear power and clean coal, but I suspect you support neither of these. You will not drill domestically, and this tells me you will be held hostage to the Greeniacs. On everything from Jeremiah Wright to Palestinian terrorist supporter Rashid Khalidi to policies such as taxes, trade, national security, and oil drilling, I have deep concerns.
What I am saying sir is that I love the fact that in America, we have a peaceful transition of power. Our military is under civilian control, and we have checks and balances to prevent “change.” Americans are evolutionary, not revolutionary. We like slow, incremental movements. Do not confuse frustration with Republicans for a rejection of conservatism. If anything, Republicans are being punished for not sticking to conservatism. Even if you win the election, liberalism has not returned as a desired form of government.
Lastly, please do not use the powers of the presidency to destroy your opponents. Bill Clinton used the IRS to harass his opponents. This election has seen you punish journalists who disagree with you, and your supporters harass and investigate private citizens such as Joe the Plumber. I know you cannot be blamed for what supporters do in your name, but the bully pulpit requires you to condemn bad behavior.
You have never had a Sister Souljah moment. You have never taken on your own party. When the leftist wack jobs issue hate speech, you offer very tepid responses, not forceful condemnations.
Senator Obama, I have said that you are not the right man for the job. Yet if you win, enough Americans will believe that you are. I just hope that your words can be backed up with deeds.
Senator Obama, if you win, keep taxes low, sign free trade deals, keep a muscular foreign policy that respects hard power, and most importantly, keep your word. Character matters. Republicans will be enraged if you coopt their ideas, but that will not change the fact that you will still be doing what is right.
I will absolutely give you the benefit of the doubt, with plenty of skepticism.
It’s up to you sir.
eric aka the Tygrrrr Express
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.”
Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS
Eric Golub is an independent writer for the Communities. Read more from Eric at TYGRRRR EXPRESS
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