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MEMBER DIARY

To President Obama, from an American

Dear Mr. President,

As you know, millions of individuals have risen up in the past year to protest your designs on our Health Care system in this country. These individuals, and their complaints, were glossed over by your administration, as you doubled down and committed to passing your legislation, your way, because “Americans want it.”

But, Sir, I am an American, and I do not.

Those same individuals rose up before, to protest your designs on our economy. You told the House Republicans that “Americans disapprove of the Stimulus, but like every policy in it.”

But I am an American, and I do not.

Your reactions to the concerns of Americans over your policy have been mixed with scorn and condescension. Your Administration has accused those voters of everything from ignorance to blind partisanship – and even of being bought off by special interests.

You don’t know us very well.

Sir, I am an American. My wife and my parents are Americans. My siblings and friends. You haven’t the knowledge to question our motivation or our patriotism, nor the credibility to question our intelligence. My pockets have never been lined by a special interest group, a campaign never funded, a cabinet never filled. Can you say the same?

I am a married father of four. I have worked in factories and offices, done manual labor and menial tasks. I am educated and well-read. Even, some would say, well-spoken. I have known times of great joy and times of great sorrow. I have known both want and fulfillment.

I am an American, sir – a member of the single most generous nation on Earth. I have been sustained by the kindness of my friends, and have been generous where I could. I was born into neither wealth nor privilege. I have been given neither education nor employment based upon my social status, on that of my friends or family, or on my race.

What I have is mine because I have earned it out of my own blood and sweat, or because it was given freely as a gift by those who love me.

I am an American. A descendent of those who crossed an ocean in search of freedom. A brother and friend to those who have crossed oceans to defend it. I have seen those men and women return from battle wounded in body and in heart, and I have mourned them and loved them and given them comfort, because I am an American. I have been both proud of my country and fearful for my countrymen.

I am an American who has been belittled because of his beliefs and judged, not on the content of his character, but on the color of his skin. But I am an American – and individual built of sterner stuff than to crumble and fall at the merest criticism.

I am an American who believes in the right to live my life, not by the consent of a government, but by a Liberty granted by God alone. I am an American, not by birthright, but by my belief in the inalienable rights to Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness, and in a government for, by, and of the People.

Sir, you speak for the American people, but it is a people with whom you are woefully unacquainted. You don’t know them, because you don’t know me, nor the people like me. I am an American, and I do not want to be taken care of by government. I want the liberty to take care of myself, and my family, without your interference.

I am an American, Mr. President. You may not like what I have to say, but by God, one way or another, we will be heard.

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