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An Open Letter to President Obama: You Brought Down the Boogie Man, Now Bring Back the Hope!

May 3, 2011 Front Page, Power 4 Comments

An Open Letter to President Obama: You Brought Down the Boogie Man, Now Bring Back the Hope!

Congratulations Mr. President, you’ve had an amazing week. Not only did you silence the haters by producing your long-form birth certificate (and kudos on roasting Donald Trump like a bag of Planters peanuts), but you also took out the world’s most wanted criminal. During the campaign, your detractors questioned if you had the heart to be our Commander-in-Chief, but boy were they wrong! I can only imagine how former President George W. Bush felt when he found out that you were the one that actually “smoked him out!”

I know that there are dozens of conspiracy theories out there, including that Osama Bin Laden isn’t actually dead or that he actually died years ago. But you know what? Sometimes you’ve got to let the haters hate. Trust me, these people are just trying to steal your shine. To me, it doesn’t even matter if Bin Laden died yesterday, years ago and/or if he is still in a cave in the hinterlands of Afghanistan. Either way, the absence of the mastermind behind 9-11 represents an end of an era, and you are responsible for ending that chapter of American history.

Of course, there are those in Washington D.C. that argue that we may be less safe now, and that we need to actually make even more investments in our military-industrial complex. But I don’t buy that. Bin Laden’s death presents your administration with new opportunities to think seriously about our foreign policy and most importantly, the size of our defense budget. Because even if we only reduce the spending on the special forces operations that were chasing Bin Laden, our nation could be saving billions of dollars a year and reinvesting in our nation’s economy.

At the end of the day, there are no bigger threats to our nation than the unemployment and joblessness rates affecting our nation’s workforce. Especially in a political climate in which elected officials from both sides of the aisle seek to cut benefits for poor people. Because, unlike terrorism, which seeks to undermine society through shock and awe, hopelessness prevents the disaffected from believing that they have what it takes to become active participants in society. And I am not sure if you know this or not, lots of people, including the young people from your old stomping grounds, the South Side of Chicago, are teetering closer to the abyss of hopelessness and despair. (Did you know that since the wars in the Middle East started, more Americans have died on our streets than have died fighting for freedom? Sorta scary, huh?)

So continue to be brave and bold, Mr. President. Our nation needs a leader that has the moral courage to stop making financial deposits in death and destruction and start making investments in the type of infrastructure and social development programs that powered our nation in the post-World War II era.

The only way that we can start dreaming again is when the  everyday citizens believe that their leaders are willing to go to the mat for them. You’ve proven that you have what it takes to bring down the boogie man across the seas, now is the time to lace up the gloves and take on hopelessness that is preventing us from dreaming again. Don’t wait until the election or a second term to demand that Congress make huge investments in job programs. We need it now!

With admiration and appreciation,

Robert “Biko” Baker

Executive Director, League of Young Voters

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Currently there are "4 comments" on this Article:

  1. CJ says:

    Well said Mr. Baker

  2. [...] died on our streets than have died fighting for freedom? Sorta scary, huh?) Continue reading at 99Problems.org Tags: shock and awe, donald trump, special forces operations, defense budget, conspiracy [...]

  3. martha main says:

    Millions of us who want to work are faced with losing our unemployment insurance or have already exhausted our benefits because we have not been able to find a job. Congress needs to understand that America’s Labor Force needs its help. The Democratic Congress understands this very well, it’s the Republicans that don’t want to understand, that don’t care.

    Since the new Congress commenced I have been waiting daily to see some sort of legislation proposed to help create Jobs. Oh yes, there is a lot of hot air about repealing this job-killing bill or that job-killing bill but no actual concrete effort is being made. I think Congress must think the American people are stupid. They keep using the “hot words” like job-killing or the one I like best is “uncertainty”. Stop using political talk, roll your sleeves up and all work together. I am a living, human being who has been living with “uncertainty” for three years. And I am tired of it. I am tired of corporations, banks, politicians getting richer while I am hanging on by a thread. I would like to be able to snag a $10.00 an hour job – perhaps you could advise me where to look. Politicians need to stop campaigning for the next election and start dealing with the emergency situation of the unemployed.

    It seems that Congress has forgotten that they work for US.   We, the American people, voted them, and you, into office to help and protect the lives of Americans.  But it seems that they have forgotten this. We are diligently trying to find jobs. And we are tired of struggling to pay our bills, we are tired of the pussy-footing going on in Congress.  We are tired of job rejections. There are people losing their homes, living in cars or ‘tent’ cities.  There are parents who are not eating properly, just so their kids can eat. There are more and more suicides. And all through no fault of their own. There are God-fearing people who I fear will report to crime, just in order to survive. And now the Republicans want to take away safety nets like the food stamp program or energy assistance to name a few. Some Congressmen keep stating that they are worried about our children’s children having to pay off the national debt.  Well they need to start worrying about the children of the families that are affected by unemployment TODAY – give them a chance to have a tomorrow.  A deficit is not a living, breathing thing – but Americans who vote in elections are. If Congress can afford wars, tax breaks and bailouts – then Congress can afford to maintain programs for the unemployed. This is a national  emergency, a national disaster, as well as a national humiliation.  And what is sad is that not only is America witnessing this immoral behavior, but the whole world have their eyes on us. I am so ashamed of what is happening in Washington. But there is small ray of light up on the horizon – it’s called election day. And tho it’s two years away, this is the day that unemployed Americans, their friends, families and neighbors will be voting and their voice will resound across this nation. “We will not vote for anyone who did not vote to help the unemployed.”
     
    But still I beg – until jobs kick in and every American is able to find employment – we need additional weeks in order to survive.  Give us back our dignity. I urge you. as a representative in Congress, to fight for the unemployed, for the 99ers who have exhausted all benefits and to fight to add additional weeks of unemployment benefits. Please bring H.R.589 to the floor. Please don’t let this crisis become a time of shame that our children’s children will look at and say “How could they ignore desperate people.”

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