THIS IS A REPOST FROM NOVEMBER, 2020 THAT SOMEHOW GOT DELETED IN MY REDESIGN. I WANTED TO REPOST IT BECAUSE I INTEND TO HOLD MR. BIDEN TO WHAT I SAID (AND WHAT HE SAID).
Dear Mr. President-elect,
My name is Vincent Bath and I am a humble, middle-class American. I have little political power beyond my single vote; the little I can afford to contribute to political candidates; and the influence I wield with family, friends and followers of my little blog. However, sir, I am very powerful in the sense that I am representative of hundreds of millions of middle-class Americans that believe very much as I do.
Why Listen to Me?
Because I believe that you (like all professional politicians) operate in a bubble, isolated from the day to day struggles of middle-class life and conversations conducted in coffee shops and over back fences, I am writing to tell you how “we the people” feel about some things. I am going to be bold enough to speak for middle-class America and tell you how to conduct the affairs of your office.
My qualification for doing so is impressive. I have lived for 65 years –through twelve presidents; dozens of wars and military conflicts; ten economic downturns; the cultural and sexual revolutions; the civil rights movement; women’s liberation; riots and domestic disturbances; pandemics and a boat load of natural and man-caused disasters. There is little that alarms me anymore and I know, from experience, how things work.
I did not vote for you, but I have a great desire for you to be successful as you lead us. I believe, if you do not let pride or politics get in the way, you can do much to improve things in our time and for decades to come.
There is much we want to tell you and I could ramble for pages, but will attempt to be concise by just sharing a list of the five most important suggestions we have for you
Watch your back.
We have seen politics become more and more of a meat grinder over the years. In the last twenty, it has become insane. From the outset, you will face opposition and attacks. More than almost anything else, the way you conduct yourself in the face of all this, will determine how we feel about you and affect our willingness to follow you.
The ugly truth is that you have the added burden of being a target from within your own party. The radical left would love to see a less-moderate president in the oval office. I am not suggesting that Ms. Harris is party to any conspiracy, but there are those in your party that will do almost anything to advance their progressive agenda and they might not be willing to wait eight (or even four) years for that to happen. Please be wise and careful.
Don’t shove it down our throats.
One of the harsh lessons middle-class America learned in recent years is what happens when we give a political party a “mandate.” After winning the 2008 presidential vote by a landslide and gaining control of congress, the Democratic party proceeded to shove the Affordable Care Act down our throats. The ugly details will be left for another time, but suffice it to say that with all the good there may be in Obamacare, the way it was forced upon us still sticks in our craw.
Partly due to that memory, Mr. President-elect, this election was not a landslide and you do not have a mandate from the people, even if your party does pull off a senate majority. There is nothing so true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous or praiseworthy in your agenda that it cannot stand the test of scrutiny, debate and compromise. When in doubt, refer to suggestion #2.
Tackle the toughies.
Some cans have been kicked down the road long enough. The temptation will be for you to take action on the hot-topic issues of the day, but what America really needs is a president who will take on the difficult issues that are considered politically dangerous. They include entitlement reform, halting the erosion of the middle-class and immigration reform.
Yes, we need to survive this pandemic, seek justice reform and work toward income equality, but it is long-term thinking and progress on fundamentals that will make you a great president.
Keep your promise.
All through your campaign, you have promised that a Biden presidency would unify America. We are more divided today than any time I can remember (including the Vietnam and civil rights eras) and we need you to keep that promise. If I knew the secret formula for that, I would certainly share, but I can’t help but believe that open communication, compromise and open-mindedness, by both parties, are key. This will require that the party in power practice meekness.
Jesus taught that the meek will inherit the earth, but most people misunderstand meekness. It is not weakness. It is absolute power under absolute control. You and your party will have the power, so the question is will you practice control? If so, you might not inherit the whole earth, but they will certainly move a long way in unifying this country.
Give the power back to the people.
Over the past seventy-plus years, the legislative branch of our government has surrendered more and more power to the executive branch – creating an imperial presidency. I believe that true representation “of the people, by the people and for the people” exists when congress (the federal entity closest to the people) is functioning properly.
Fight the temptation to bypass congress with executive orders. Put the burden back on the shoulders of our representatives and senators. Expect them to behave and get the job done.
I am tempted to jump on my conservative soap box and plead that you discourage federal agencies from creating administrative law and congress from empowering them to do so; and that you return power to the states, but that might be too far afield from your philosophical mooring, so I will refrain.
Mr. President-elect, I offer to you my sincere congratulations and pledge – as an American – to respect the office of the POTUS and to give you a fair and unbiased opportunity to win my support and admiration. You may not be able to rank above George Washington, Abe Lincoln or Ronald Reagan in my book, but I really believe you can come in higher than either Mr. Clinton or Mr. Obama.
Good Luck and God Bless You.