Open Letter to President Barack Obama, Thursday, November 08, 2012
Dear Mr. President,
I want to begin by congratulating you on your recent victory. You fought hard to retain your seat and you were successful in doing so. As you may guess from my tone, I was not among those who cast a ballot in your name but I congratulate you just the same. The majority has spoken and I will continue to pray God’s blessing on you and your family. I will also continue to pray for His blessings on the United States of America.
I am writing you, sir, today to encourage you to make some changes over the next four years.
You have been granted the opportunity to have another four years to shape the future of our great nation. The task before you is daunting to say the least. You have an ever-growing national debt, surging unemployment rates and a country that is divided. The main point of my letter is to offer some advice on how I think you can address the problems before you diplomatically. First, I want to encourage you to cease vilifying the Republican Party as you move forward. It is my belief that most of our elected officials have the country’s best interests in mind. The two domineering parties have vastly different ideologies at how to improve our current predicament but both want what is best for the United States of America. You, sir, have in the past given speeches about civility and reaching across the line but have showed little desire to be bipartisan.
I have many recommendations on what you can do over the next four years but I will try to summarize them into one main point. Listen to both parties. You have shown that you are willing to listen to the Democratic Party but have only provided disdain for the Republican Party. You have called them names, accused them of wanting to take our country backward and aided to America’s extreme polarization.
Here is an example of what I am referring to. You have accused Republicans of being against women’s rights primarily because many Republicans are against abortion. Even if you don’t agree with their platform, you must admit that you have not listened to them. Republicans who are against abortion are not against women’s rights. Actually, there are many women who oppose abortion, so assuming that the prolife crowd is anti-woman is to assume many women are anti-woman. Prolife advocates view a fetus as a human being. As stated in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” From their perspective, they are upholding the rights of the unborn children, not devaluing women’s rights. Making it only about women’s rights is to make an assumption that the average American is of little intelligence. You may not agree that a fetus is human, but you must respect that for those who do the argument is about the right to life, not about women’s reproductive rights. By not recognizing this simple fact you contribute to greater polarization in our society.
You see, Mr. President, taking time to listen to others will be effective in helping you make decisions for our nation’s future. You will go down in history as a president who either divided the nation or as one who brought everyone together. You cannot be the latter without first listening to the voices of those with ideologies different from your own.
You have in the past aligned yourself with the Christian faith. If you read the 12th chapter of 1 Kings you will see the story of King David’s grandson, Rehoboam. Rehomboam became king of Israel after the death of his father, King Solomon. The people came to Rehoboam and pleaded with him to go easier on them than his father had. In verse 4 they are documented as saying, “Your father made our yoke heavy. Now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke on us, and we will serve you.” King Rehoboam sent them away and then went to question his father’s advisors. Their advice in verse 7 was, “If you will be a servant to this people today and serve them, and speak good words to them when you answer them, then they will be your servants forever.” He apparently wasn’t too happy with their viewpoint so he went to his friends and got a different story. In verses 10 and 11 they said, “say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father's thighs. And now, whereas my father laid on you a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.’” Sadly he followed the advice of his friends and the great nation of Israel was divided.
Rehoboam did not listen to the people or his counsel. He did what he wanted and ended up losing half the kingdom. America is more polarized today than possibly any other point in history, including during the Civil War. Partisan politics will not benefit our nation. I believe you have the nation’s best interest in mind so I encourage you to do something your predecessor did. George W. Bush had his faults but he did listen to Democratic Party and even sometimes worked bilateral agreements, even when his own party opposed. Among those agreements were the No Child Left Behind act, Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, (Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act), Trade Act of 2002, Energy Policy Act of 2005, Pension Protection Act of 2006, Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, and Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. One area in which I believe President Bush was successful was listening to both sides. He definitely had times that he was very partisan, but his willingness to reach across party lines was admirable. I think it was most palpable after the attack on our nation on September 11, 2001. I don’t know that I have ever seen our nation more united than the months following that horrific tragedy. Sadly, differing viewpoints on how to handle the situation resulted in our nation once again becoming divided.
You, sir, have a large task before you. You were reelected president over an extremely polarized nation. By listening to both sides you can become a great leader. Choosing to play partisan politics, however, will never move us ‘forward’ no matter how many times you say it.
I am praying for you Mr. President. I am praying that God blesses you, Michelle and the girls. I am praying for your administration. I am praying that you hear and follow the voice of God. I am also praying that you will listen and hear the voices of your citizens and those wise counselors whom God has put around you. God bless you President Obama and God bless the U.S.A.
Timothy J. McSwain
Citizen of the United States of America
Today is the day those of us in the United States of America have the opportunity of shaping the future of our country. Despite political affiliation, all U.S. citizens share this common freedom. Since 1776 men and women have sacrificed their blood for this freedom. Families’ have last fathers and mothers so that we can vote. Wives and Husbands have toiled in pain at the news of their spouses giving the ultimate sacrifice. Soldiers have returned from wars and conflicts missing appendages for this right. Young men had their innocence replaced by nightmares so we could vote.
Our freedom has come at a great expense and no one should squander this valuable right. I am not writing you today to persuade you to vote for one candidate over the other; I am asking you to vote. You hold the future in your hands and you owe it to the next generation to go to the polls. Voting is also a way of showing gratitude to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Don’t take your right to vote for granted because once you do, you may lose that right.
Today’s blog is political. If you do not enjoy reading political commentaries, please don’t read today’s blog. I do not wish to have the comment section filled with complaints about me writing about politics. You have been warned, so proceed with caution if you desire to continue reading…
The current election is one where I feel I can openly share my disdain for the sitting president with little contention from those who disagree. I feel the primary reason for this interesting turn of events is due to the fact that there are so few people who disagree with my point of view. Regardless of which side of the political fence you graze, you must admit that Barack Obama has been a failure as President of the United States. I tried to warn people of this dilemma 4 years ago as I had corresponded by email with the then junior senator of my state of Illinois. I knew firsthand that he was inept and unable to properly steer this country in the right direction. Everyone seemed to ignore my pleas however. They were enamored by his eloquent speech and the prospect of being a part of history. I was going against the flow and it was not an easy position to be in.
Now that 4 years of failure have passed I find myself in the majority. The number of people who are frustrated with where our country has gone over the past 4 years has grown significantly. I’m not going to sit here and say things were great under Bush. I honestly wasn’t happy with how his presidency ended but it is crazy to think that things have only become progressively worse.
The masses of people chanting ‘hope and change’ have faded into oblivion. There are still a few diehard Obama supporters but they are more concerned with winning a competition than admitting truth. There are always those who will try to spin it into some type of positive message. They will say things like “the record spending is due to trying to jumpstart the economy, Obama Care just needs time to work, or the unemployment numbers are wrong and jobs are being created…” The truth, however, is that we have a debt that we cannot comprehend and it is growing like a virus, Obama Care wasn’t created to make our lives better, it was passed as a part of a political power struggle between the Democrats and Republicans – who happen to fight like children – in which the Democrats won and now we the people are paying for it, and unemployment is bad - the government just needs to stay out of it and allow the private sector to do what they do best without all the red tape and over taxation. I could go on and on with examples of how our current Administration has failed.
America is a great nation and it saddens me to see the state that we are currently in. We have faced many struggles over the years and prevailed. This is another struggle in which we need a victory. This November think about Barack Obama’s job performance. If you somehow think he has done well for our country and ran it successfully, vote for him. If you are like the majority of Americans and realize that he has done poorly, vote for someone else and give President Obama his pink slip.
Biblical Postscript: Proverbs 11:14 English Standard Version (ESV)
“Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.”
Disclaimer: The views posted in this article are expressly the views of Timothy McSwain and do not represent the views of anyone else associated with Stratosphere Networking.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney stated on Monday that if Congress and the Senate pass the Bush Tax Cuts extension with the inclusion of those who make $250,000 or more, President Obama will not only refuse to sign it but he will “veto” the bill. What I find disconcerting about what is taking place is the spin the president has put on it. His message has essentially been that the Republicans are holding the middleclass hostage by including those earning $250,000 in the tax cuts. This is not what I see though. I see a President who is gambling with our finances to get his way. If the Republican controlled Congress and Democrat controlled Senate pass a bill that extends the tax cut to everyone and Obama vetoes it, isn’t he the one who withholds the tax cuts from the middle class as well as the wealthy?
Let’s look at this in a hypothetical situation. The Board of Directors of ACME Products is discussing whether or not to give all employees a 15% raise. With this particular board, no decision can be made without the Chairman of the Board’s (Bo) approval. Bo states that he will vote the measure down if they offer the raise to managers as well as frontline staff. We will assume the company has 3,000 staff and 6 managers. The Board feels that the managers also work hard and that they deserve a raise as much as anyone else (especially since 6 of them manage 3,000 people!) Bo disagrees and says that the managers already make more money than the staff and he feels it’s unethical to give raises because 15% of a $75,000 salary is much higher than 15% of a $25,000 salary. The Board argues that the managers have earned their salaries by proving themselves as vital to the organization and that it’s not about who makes what but about awarding everyone for their work. The discussion goes on and on. Finally, the Board decides that they can’t pass the raise without including everyone so they agree to give everyone in the organization a 15% increase. Chairman Bo casts the dissenting vote and the measure is never passed. As a result of Bo’s opposition, no one gets a 15% raise. Who is responsible? Who does this hurt?
This is what I currently see taking place. If a bill is passed that extends tax cuts to everyone and the president vetoes it due to its inclusion of high wage earners, he has withheld the tax cuts from everyone just to make a political statement. With this being an election year that is believed to be a close race and with the timing of this legislation, I doubt he would veto such a bill because it would simply enrage everyone. I have a feeling that this is just more hype from President Obama’s office – something we have become all to accustomed to. If you disagree, please show me where the hope we were promised four years ago has gone. We did get change, I will give you that. – Tim
This whole debacle reminds me of a parable told by Jesus Christ. In St Matthew 20:1-16 Jesus tells a parable of a landowner who hires workers for his vineyard. Actually, let me just let you read it for yourself: “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. “He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’
“‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. “He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’ “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’ “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
This passage comes to mind because we hear much rhetoric today about those who make large sums of money. People keep talking about how unfair it is that someone makes $250,000 per year while others make $15,000 or less. I am much closer to the $15,000 wage earner than the $250,000 wage earner but I don’t hate rich people. My focus isn’t on how great their lives are, but it’s on how I live my own life. If anything, those who make $250,000 a year give me hope that I may be able to one day make a larger salary. Maybe some of the effort I put into life will pay off because I live in a country where it is possible to make $250,000 / year!
When it comes to tax cuts, I’m more concerned with how my finances are going to be affected than I am about how George Clooney, Tom Cruise, Barak Obama or any other wealthy American’s finances will be affected. If they get a tax break, good for them but if I don’t get one because someone thinks that Bill Gates shouldn’t get one, I’m not a happy camper.
We all need to spend more time listening to and following the words of Jesus. Stop complaining about what is fair or unfair. Be happy with what you have and stop worrying about those who are making better salaries than you are. Jesus also taught us to give but we seem more concerned with telling others to give than we are in giving of ourselves. Let that sink in. - Tim
In Illinois our primaries are tomorrow. We have several local races and get to vote for our choice of who will take on President Obama in November. I have been inundated with propaganda over the past week. The mailbox has been stuffed with political opponents slinging dirt at one another. My cell phone, which is supposedly on the ‘Do Not Call’ list, keeps ringing with computerized commercials about the candidates. It’s all pretty confusing to say the least. I do know who I am voting for in the presidential primary, Rick Santorum. I am not going to write a letter about why I think you should vote for Rick Santorum because many of you have already voted.
Regardless if Santorum or Romney wins the primary, either one will be able to do a better job than Barack Obama. I’m not really sure how we ever elected Obama in the first place. All I can figure out is the ‘Hope, Change’ rhetoric rang true with many people. Being a resident in Illinois who had corresponded with Obama while he was a junior Senator, I already knew he was not presidential material. I tried to tell others but they were just enamored with his hypnotic expression. In case you are still mesmerized by our current president, here are some facts:
Our national debt has skyrocketed under his presidency and has made the amount Bush accumulated look miniscule. The national debt has increased nearly $6 trillion during Obama’s reign. One of his largest complaints against Bush was how the debt increased nearly $5 trillion in Bush’s eight years as president. Obama has broken that record in only 4 years. If you say it’s unfair to judge a president based on the national debt, then explain why it was alright for Obama to do it four years ago: “The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years… added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay …That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.” – Barack Obama in his 2008 campaign.
Despite the White House’s spin, unemployment has skyrocketed over the past four years. They have been touting about how it has recently dropped below 9% - calling it a four year low. Really? It was 5.8% in 2008 and only 4.6% in 2007. I can’t speak for the nation but where I live businesses are still shutting down. It could be because I live in Obama’s home state of Illinois which happens to be one of the worst financially handled states in the US.
President Obama managed to make a big mess much worse. I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone who would claim that Obama’s healthcare bill has been successful. For me personally it caused my insurance rates to skyrocket. I also happen to work in a small rural hospital and his policies are threatening to close down many rural hospitals across the nation. I can post many facts about his how his healthcare plan has only made a dysfunctional system even worse but I don’t think I really need to convince anyone of this plain and simple fact. If something doesn’t change access to healthcare will be more crippled in the US than at any point in recent history. It’s all crumbling as we speak.
Obama’s foreign policies have been dangerous and his overall job performance very poor. Things were not great under George W. Bush but they have only become worse over the past four years. If we continue on our current path I fear the United States will be unrecognizable in four more years. It’s time for real change.
The picture above is not touched up. It’s a real screen shot from my email. If you look at the bottom message, you will see it is addressed from President Barack Obama and says, “Timothy, can we meet for dinner?” Whether or not you agree with the president, an invitation to dinner can be pretty exciting. I try to stay away from politics in my blog, but I do want to make a couple things clear: I did not vote for President Obama and, honestly, I do not agree with many of his policies. Furthermore, I am not pleased with the job he has done over the past three years… With that said, I would love to sit with him and have dinner.
Why did I even get this email? I have maintained correspondence with Barack Obama since he was a senator from Illinois. We emailed back and forth concerning our opinions on different policies. Although I voted for John McCain, I sent President Obama a letter in 2008 congratulating him on winning the election. I also informed him I would be praying for him. In so doing, someone in his office assumed I was a supporter and community organizer for his campaign (despite my making it clear I was not). Ever since that day, I have been on the president’s mailing list, the White House mailing list and even get a message from Michelle from time to time. I have written responses to some of those letters and have often voiced opposition. Surprisingly, I continue to get the letters.
Here’s the thing; the email is slightly misleading. This particular letter is not asking me to dinner like it sounds. It is asking me to support the president’s re-election by donating a minimum of $5.00 to his campaign. Of those who donate, four will be chosen to have dinner with the president. It’s essentially a sweepstakes. You can even enter without making a donation if you choose. Check out this link: http://www.barackobama.com/page/dinner-with-barack-sept-rules
If the president really asked me to dinner, I would accept. I may disagree with him on several things, but that does not mean that I do not respect the office. Furthermore, just because I disagree with President Obama on several key issues, I do not hate him or wish ill of him. As a matter of fact, I really hope he has great wisdom when making decisions and pray that he and his family are protected from danger and able to spend time with each other. You see, we often forget the human side of people. We disagree on one issue or another and we imagine them to be some type of beast. We forget they are just people who happen to see things differently. I honestly believe my viewpoint is correct and that the president has made some wrong decisions, but that doesn’t mean that I think he is a bad person. It means that he and I disagree. I am passionate about my ethics and will stand to defend them, but there is a peaceful and loving way to do so. I can agree to disagree and do it with civility. I hope we all can get to a point that we are willing to reach out to other people despite our differences. I long to see the day we take time to listen to one another. That does not mean sacrificing our values; it just means we will choose to love our neighbors as ourselves. By the way, I would be honored to have dinner with the President of the United States of America if the opportunity ever arises – hint, hint. - Tim