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An Open Letter to the President of the United States
By David G. Hanger


February 11, 2011
Friday PM

You give a good speech, Mr. President, sound on occasion like Martin Luther King morphing into JFK, on other occasions like Moses on the mount, but as President of the United States, at least to date, you suck. I say this to you not as one of your historical detractors, but rather as one of your avid supporters, and I admit I wonder at what I have been supporting.

This country is desperately in need of a leader, and so far you are not much of one. Leadership is not listening to your advisors, and then picking and choosing. Leadership is not cowering, then kow-towing to your generals, while dragging out two ridiculously useless wars that upon election you promised to end. Leadership is absolutely not crawling into bed with the crooks on Wall Street while every rest stop along the highways in this country is filled with whole families of beggars, and while middle class jobs are being exported wholesale overseas in order to support the greed of a handful of lard asses that exceeds anything Midas and Croesus combined ever conceived.

This incredibly out of touch economic policy of yours tells it all. People are starving, being tossed out of their homes, their retirement accounts wiped out; and you heed the advice of three Ivy Leaguers, all former Goldman Sachs employees, who direct you to feed, then feed again, the Wall Street bonus surge. The citizens of this country think you are out of touch because you are out of touch. You promised something to them, you promised something to us, and I have to wonder why did you bother?

It is not enough that your very election is a symbolic capstone saying to us all that anyone can be President; you need to do something with it. So far you have not done much that means anything to most Americans. Your tax cuts were hardly noticed. The “Max Baucus Show” led to a health care bill that emphatically demonstrated the incredible (and pathetic) vanity and arrogance of one Senator Max Baucus, and otherwise simply empowered and aggrandized the private health insurance business. Woo-hoo!

Your handling of the economy is an absolute joke. I do not care how many times I hear that we had to save Wall Street in order to prevent a complete meltdown of capitalism. We did not have to refinance them without serious regulatory controls to prevent them from what they are already doing again. What justification was there to make these bastards as rich as filth on government money when they had already burned through all of the money that was at their disposal for no other purpose than excessive greed? They get rich risk free; we pay for it; and then we pay for it again and again, in the form of deflated home and property values, in the form of severely reduced or wiped out retirement and investment accounts, in the form of no jobs, and in the form of higher prices for consumer goods, in particular fuel and food. The third bonus cycle on Wall Street since the bailout has recently been announced; bigger than last year, and several individuals last year received billions. Billions! And in the land of plenty many right now are begging for food.

You seem like nothing more than the president of Wall Street and the Ivy League Benevolence & Enrichment Society. Three cycles of multi-squillion dollar bonuses for those responsible for wrecking this economy, using government money as seed; trillions of dollars horded in about half a dozen banks; and real unemployment hovering around 20 percent. As the middle class of America is rapidly being flushed down the toilet called outsourcing, one gets the distinct impression that you are just fiddling around in your offices. We are near or at the point already in many places where the only middle class jobs that remain are government jobs. There are very good reasons folks are disenchanted with you.

You were elected President of the United States. Your fraternal brothers and Wall Street are doing just fine, indeed are getting filthy rich on our misery. They do not need your help, and quite a number yet need an escort to the nearest state or Federal prison. The ordinary people of this country desperately need your help, and I am not talking platitudes. If you cannot provide jobs, you have to provide something else.

I am the senior member of an extended family that is now approaching 40 individuals stretched over three generations. Two generations out my mildly racist father would probably not be so surprised that his five daughters led in time to a polyglot tapestry where intolerance could hardly be imagined, for here you will see black, brown, white, Indian, Hispanic, Oriental, Russian, Episcopalian, Mormon, Catholic, and Jew, and more. All American.

It is not all good. Among the young there is already a doctor of pharmacy and a NASA candidate, but there are also young parents living with their parents. And in too many instances their parents are suffering, too. My 62-year old brother-in-law is no longer a leading real estate salesman in the Portland/Vancouver area. Too many jobs that boosted that economy have been shipped overseas. Now he makes $8 an hour in a grocery store. A highly decorated Marine and a Vietnam veteran, he is going to lose his house shortly. His son-in-law has been paying for it all for the last couple years, but can pay no more. Now he is tapped, too. The dominoes just keep falling.

I am a generation older than you, Mr. President, and I have seen a lot more than you have just by having been around this long. Another word for “insulated” or “insular,” as your style is sometimes described, is “clueless.” There are big issues overseas, but there are big issues right here, too. Please get with the program. Ordinary Americans are hurting badly, and watching as a handful of greedheads keep shipping American jobs overseas just so they can get even richer, will not help you in any fashion. Nor does it help the good old USA.

We are not deceived. We see the future more clearly than you do. There’s a world of peasants and peons out there, facile enough, intelligent enough, and desperate enough to work for five dollars or less a day; and there is a small handful of incredibly selfish American business people who are fully prepared to destroy this country just to get rich as filth.

So far you have been their President, frankly seem perpetually bent over kissing their collective asses. Rather than lead, you follow. Rather than command, you seek endlessly to compromise with those who refuse to compromise. Look what it has gotten you: contempt.

While it is all burning to the ground around you, all you have is another good speech, more hot air. How about a new motto, “Hear my actions, not my words.” Feed and protect the poor, save the American middle class, and to hell with the rats that got us in this mess. Or do as I predict, and return to your frat rat mentality, and take us all down the drain with you.

So far your performance boils down to this: In early 1944 Winston Churchill, commenting on the command failures of Major General John P. Lucas that resulted in the confinement of the Anzio invasion, said this, “I had hoped we were hurling a wildcat into the shore, but all we got was a stranded whale.” You, sir, at this juncture, are the contemporary version of that “stranded whale,” and, regrettably, we are beached right along with you.


David G. Hanger
Ketchikan, AK

Received February 11, 2011 - Published February 11, 2011



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