If there are horses to ride where you are, or if you have wood to chop and brush to clear, I know you’re busy so I’ll be brief. Reminds me how you used to begin some of your speeches with, “As Henry the Eighth said to his wives, ‘I won’t be keeping you long.’”
I’ve been thinking about you a lot, Mr. President, especially since the Democrats’ health care reforms passed and became law. When the bill passed I cried for the first time since you left us, not just because of what it portends for the future of our country but because it begins such a shocking reversal of the America you fought so hard for and achieved.
You nailed it back in 1961 when you said, “One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. From here it’s a short step to all the rest of socialism.” You saw a Barack Obama coming.
Although you always saw the sun rising on America, not setting, I wonder if you would still say that America’s best days are yet ahead when we have a president hell bent on putting our best days behind us. During the years I was honored to have an association with your White House, your optimism even rubbed off on an old pessimist like me. I sure could use a big dose right now because my tank is running on empty. How I crave your steadying reassurance and your soaring, inspirational words.
Sometimes, when I’m really down in the dumps, I get out some old video tapes of your speeches for a temporary buck up. As I watch them I get those bygone goose bumps and a lump in my throat all over again, hearing you talk about liberty and the power of the American spirit and how it “flows like a deep and mighty river through the history of our nation.”
But after I put the tapes away, your speeches reminding me that your America was about the greatness of the American people and how there are no limits when our spirit is unleashed, I’m jolted back to the reality that President Obama’s America is one aimed at crushing our spirit as the power of the federal government is unleashed.
You warned that we cannot lose freedom anyplace without losing it every place, that freedom is fragile and never more than one generation away from extinction. Will it be during our time that we lose freedom, as the forces of big government do to us from within what no foreign power has been able to do from without? I have never before been so frightened that such is the case. Whereas you are remembered for, “Tear down this wall,” Obama may be remembered for, “Tear down this country.”
I’m sure you were proud of all the folks who started making their voices heard last summer, ordinary Americans with the courage to speak out in the face of condemnation, threats and ridicule. Unfortunately they and the majority of Americans who opposed massive government spending and the Democrats’ health care reforms were not listened to. The Democrats found the peasants revolting. While you said the people are the masters of the government, this administration sees it the other way around.
As Obama prepares to clamp even more restrictions on free enterprise, I think of your words, “Trust the people. This is the one irrefutable lesson of the entire postwar period, contradicting the notion that rigid government controls are essential to economic development. The societies which achieved the most spectacular broad-based economic progress in the shortest period of time are not the most tightly controlled, not necessarily the biggest in size or the wealthiest in natural resources. No, what unites them all is their willingness to believe in the magic of the marketplace.”
This president and his cohorts do not trust the people; they have contempt for them. They believe that America needs to be cut down to size and they are taking a machete to our country’s greatness. You must be heartsick.
And what a contrast, Mr. President, between your championing freedom around the world and Obama’s apologies for America’s role in freeing so many from the bonds of tyranny. I’m sure you must blanch as you watch him give the back of his hand to our traditional friends and put his arms around our enemies.
How I wish that you could charge in like the cavalry and save us. A friend recently said that times like these produce a great leader and someone will emerge to save the country. I pray he is right.
Well, it’s time to wrap this up Mr. President. You must have things to do, maybe getting together with some old pals such as John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, William F. Buckley and others. Maybe you’ll even have a beer with that son-of-a-gun Tip O’Neill like back in the good, old days.
As your shining America fades further into the past and a shadow emerges over a diminishing America, I can’t find sufficient words to tell you how much I miss you, how much millions of Americans miss you. We miss having a president who loved America with all his heart and who brought out the best in us by restoring our pride and re-energizing our confidence in what we can achieve.
We also miss your smiling face, your sunny disposition, your humor and your plain decency. Whatever the future holds, we will always remember you. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President, for giving so many of us the times of our lives.
With enduring appreciation and affection,
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