An Open Letter to Barack

Dear Senator Obama,

In the beginning, I was not a supporter. I was not a believer, preferring to find comfort in my love for the Clintons, mainly Bill. Hillary, despite being a Senator, was not really on my radar. After all, I live in Ohio, and she was not my senator. She was just the wife of the last president I liked.

I heard your speech four years ago, when you burst onto the scene at the Democratic convention. I got chills when you talked. Didn’t know you from Adam, but you touched me then, for the first time.

When you declared for president, I was skeptical. I liked you, but not enough to support you. I was a Hillary girl. I thought she knew the questions and had the answers that I wanted to hear from my representatives. I also didn’t think a black man had a snowball’s chance in hell of being taken seriously enough, by black people, let alone whites.

I felt and still feel that whites, or I should say, many whites who take issue with you, do so because of color and inborn prejudices that “we” are somehow never up to the task of leading. The racists are the ones who are honest about these feelings. I’m not mad at them. They are, what they are. They can change. Judging by your poll numbers, a lot of them have changed.

Alleged liberals and the enlightened who are horrified by the racist label, are the ones who need to get real. We all have prejudices against others. We make change when we admit this and go on toward the common goal. We still haven’t done this, yet, as a country. The apology from Congress was a beginning. Your candidacy is a start. Your winning will not be the end, only another step on a very long journey.

I remember listening to your speech on race in my car on the radio. I sat in the parking lot of Circuit City in a rain storm with tears in my eyes, the emotion so strong that it’s welling up in me now as I write this. I called my sister in South Carolina after you finished...still in the car in the parking lot. She’d listened too and told me that she goes to church with the young woman you talked about in your speech. They are friends.

Inadvertently, you drew closer to me and you don’t even know me. That day, I wholeheartedly changed my allegiance. I was already leaning when Caroline Kennedy became a supporter. I lived Camelot and like all good memories, I want them back. I wanted to feel good about this country again. I haven’t felt good about this country since the days of the Kennedys. Clinton came close, and I think that is what led me to Hillary in the beginning.

Now you have the nomination (or will, officially, later this week). You have it because we, the people want change. We hear you and believe that you are the beginning of change. We can’t take another four years, yea even another year of the stuff running off capital hill in Washington.

What I need now is to know how you intend to affect the change that you have begun. Your selection of Joe Biden is a good thing. Let him do the attack dog thing on McCain. Let McCain hang himself, as he has done, over and over with his Rovian attacks on you. If McCain were really listening to the stuff coming out of his mouth, albeit written by others, he might not be saying it. I think his campaign speaks volumes about the kind of president he would be and therefore not worth my support. I’m glad you haven’t stooped all the way down to his level. But I do think you need to fight back. The Bulls couldn’t get past Detroit in the playoffs until they learned to play Piston basketball. You know that. You can play with a dog without getting dirty. It can be done. But let Joe do it. You need to sharpen your message.

Is there something you can do on January 20th....I don’t know....an executive order, maybe..repealing the Patriot Act..to show us you mean business about change....How about abolishing the Department of Homeland Security...

How about closing Guantanamo and restoring Habeas Corpus and Posse Comitatus.

How about sending the message that leadership in the House and Senate needs to be changed, Walking wastes of oxygen like Pelosi and Reid need not apply.

How about giving us a Justice Department for all the people, not just politically appointed hacks.

How about bringing back General Colin Powell or the likes of Madeleine Albright to help you out of this mess.

Your campaign keeps getting compared to Camelot...how about a New Deal to jumpstart things like work and jobs for people who don’t have them. How about programs like some type of peace corp to work nationally and internationally to bolster our reputation with our neighbors.

I would really like to see a revamp of the Veterans Administration. I don’t for the life of me understand why Vets have to go through what they do, after coming home from protecting us. In my mind, if you’re a Vet, all you need to do is to present your ID at any hospital, to any doctor, any dentist, whoever...and get treatment. Paperwork not necessary. It should be our way of thanking them for what they do for us.

The GI Bill built the middle class in this country...how about rolling out a new version to help the guys and girls mired in Iraq and Afghanistan..

I can go on and on and on, but I won’t. There are thousands of things that need to be done now and in the near future. I understand you have to be elected first. I think that is going to happen.

As a people, we need honest effort...from you and from those you choose to help you. The lies and prevarications of the past eight years must be relegated to the past. Open communication between the president and the people is what is needed.

We believe.....Now make it so...

Jo Anne Moore
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