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<nettime> Michael Moore: An Open Letter to President Obama
Patrice Riemens on Fri, 23 Nov 2012 04:29:05 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Michael Moore: An Open Letter to President Obama

(bwo Goanet)

An Open Letter to President Obama

By Michael Moore, Michael Moore.com

20 November 2012

Dear President Obama:

Good luck on your journeys overseas this week, and congratulations on
decisively winning your second term as our president! The first time you
won four years ago, most of us couldn't contain our joy and found
ourselves literally in tears over your victory.

This time, it was more like breathing a huge sigh of relief. But, like the
smooth guy you are, you scored the highest percentage of the vote of any
Democrat since Lyndon Johnson, and you racked up the most votes for a
Democratic president in the history of the United States (the only one to
receive more votes than you was ... you, in '08!). You are the first
Democrat to get more than 50% of the vote twice in a row since Franklin D.

This was truly another historic election and I would like to take a few
minutes of your time to respectfully ask that your second term not
resemble your first term.

It's not that you didn't get anything done. You got A LOT done. But there
are some very huge issues that have been left unresolved and, dammit, we
need you to get some fight in you. Wall Street and the uber-rich have been
conducting a bloody class war for over 30 years and it's about time they
were stopped.

I know it is not in your nature to be aggressive or confrontational. But,
please, Barack - DO NOT listen to the pundits who are telling you to make
the "grand compromise" or move to the "center" (FYI - you're already
there). Your fellow citizens have spoken and we have rejected the crazed
ideology of this Republican Party and we insist that you forcefully
proceed in bringing about profound change that will improve the lives of
the 99%. We're done hoping. We want real change. And, if we can't get it
in the second term of a great and good man like you, then really - what's
the use? Why are we even bothering? Yes, we're that discouraged and

At your first post-election press conference last Wednesday you were on
fire. The way you went all "Taxi Driver" on McCain and company ("You
talkin' to me?") was so brilliant and breathtaking I had to play it back a
dozen times just to maintain the contact high. Jesus, that look - for a
second I thought laser beams would be shooting out of your eyes! MORE OF

In the weeks after your first election you celebrated by hiring the
Goldman Sachs boys and Wall Street darlings to run our economy. Talk about
a buzzkill that I never fully recovered from. Please - not this time. This
time take a stand for all the rest of us - and if you do, tens of millions
of us will not only have your back, we will swoop down on Congress in a
force so large they won't know what hit them (that's right, McConnell -
you're on the retirement list we've put together for 2014).

BUT - first you have to do the job we elected you to do. You have to take
your massive 126-electoral vote margin and just go for it.

Here are my suggestions:

ruse, an invention by the Right and the rich, to try and keep their huge
tax breaks. On December 31, let ALL the tax cuts expire. Then, on January
1, put forth a bill that restores the tax cuts for 98% of the public. I
dare the Republicans to vote against that! They can't and they won't. As
for the spending cuts, the 2011 agreement states that, for every domestic
program dollar the Republicans want to cut, a Pentagon dollar must also be
cut. See, you are a genius! No way will the Right vote against the masters
of war. And if by some chance they do, you can immediately put forth
legislation to restore all the programs we, the majority, approve of. And
for God's sake, man - declare Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid
untouchable. They're not bankrupt or anywhere near it. If the rich paid
the same percentage of Social Security tax on their entire income - the
same exact rate everyone else pays - then there will suddenly be enough
money in Social Security to last til at least the year 2080!

2. END ALL THE WARS NOW. Do not continue the war in Afghanistan (a
thoroughly losing proposition if ever there was one) for two full more
years! Why should one single more person have to die FOR NO REASON? Stop
it. You know it's wrong. Bin Laden's dead, al Qaeda is decimated and the
Afghans have to work out their own problems. Also, end the drone strikes
and other covert military activities you are conducting in Pakistan,
Yemen, Somalia, Colombia and God knows where else. You think history is
going to remember the United States as a great democracy? No, they're
going to think of us as a nation that became addicted to war. They'll call
us warlords. They'll say that in the 21st century America was so in need
of oil that we'd kill anyone to get it. You know that's where this is
going. This has to stop. Now.

3. END THE DRUG WAR. It is not only an abysmal failure, it has returned us
to the days of slavery. We have locked up millions of African-Americans
and Latinos and now fund a private prison-industrial complex that makes
billions for a few lucky rich people. There are other ways to deal with
the drugs that do cause harm - ways built around a sense of decency and
compassion. We look like a bunch of sadistic racists. Stop it.

people are facing homelessness because of a crooked system enacted by the
major banks and Wall Street firms. Put a pause on this and take 12 months
to work out a different way (like, restructuring families' mortgages to
reflect the true worth of their homes).

5. GET MONEY OUT OF POLITICS. You already know this one. The public is
sick of it. Now's the time to act.

6. EXPAND OBAMACARE. Your health care law doesn't cover everyone. It is a
cash cow for the insurance industry. Push for a single-payer system -
Medicare for All - and include dentistry and mental health. This is the
single biggest thing you could do to reduce the country's deficit.

7. RESTORE GLASS-STEAGALL. You must put back all the rigid controls on
Wall Street that Reagan, Clinton and the Bushes removed - or else we face
the possibility of another, much worse, crash. If they break the law,
prosecute them the way you currently go after whistleblowers and medical
marijuana dispensaries.

8. REDUCE STUDENT LOAN DEBT. No 22-year-old should have to enter the real
world already in a virtual debtors' prison. This is cruel and no other
democracy does this like we do. You were right to eliminate the banks as
the profit-gouging lenders, but now you have to bring us back to the days
when you and I were of college age and a good education cost us little or
next to nothing. A few less wars would go a long to way to being able to
afford this.

9. FREE BRADLEY MANNING. End the persecution and prosecution of an
American hero. Bush and Cheney lied to a nation to convince us to go to
war. Manning allegedly hacked the war criminals' files and then shared
them with the American public (and the world) so that we could learn the
truth about Iraq and Afghanistan. Our history is full of such people who
"break the law" for the greater good of humanity. Army Specialist Bradley
Manning deserves a medal, not prison.

10. ASK US TO DO SOMETHING. One thing is clear: none of the above is going
to happen if you don't immediately mobilize the 63,500,000 who voted for
you (and the other 40 million who are for you but didn't vote). You can't
go this alone. You need an army of everyday Americans who will fight
alongside you to make this a more just and peaceful nation. In your 2008
campaign, you were a pioneer in using social media to win the election.
Over 15 million of us gave you our cell numbers or email addresses so you
could send us texts and emails telling us what needed to be done to win
the election. Then, as soon as you won, it was as if you hit the delete
button. We never heard from you again. (Until this past year when you kept
texting us to send you $25. Inspiring.) Whoever your internet and social
media people were should have been given their own office in the West Wing
- and we should have heard from you. Constantly. Need a bill passed? Text
us and we will mobilize! The Republicans are filibustering? We can stop
them! They won't approve your choice for Secretary of State? We'll see
about that! You say you were a community organizer. Please - start acting
like one.

The next four years can be one of those presidential terms that changed
the course of America. I'm sure you will want to be judged on how you
stood up for us, restored the middle class, ended the s***ting on the poor
and made us a friend to the rest of the world instead of a threat. You can
do this. We can do it with you. All that stands in the way is your
understandable desire to sing "Kumbaya" with the Republicans. Don't waste
your breath. Their professed love of America is negated by their profound
hatred of you. Don't waste a minute on them. Fix the sad mess we're in. Go
back and read this month's election results. We're with you.

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