Saturday, August 05, 2006

I want to meet with the President of the United States

I want to meet face to face with my president, with the man to whom I have vested enormous authority over me and my family, in exchange for a fine quality of life and physical security.

I want to meet with President Bush and see what sort of man he is. Does that sound like an outlandish thing to want to do? Do I sound disrespectful? I don't see why you should feel that way.

I am an American citizen. I pay taxes (lots of them, in fact) and those taxes pay the salary of the President, and everyone else in government. In that sense, I and millions of others are President Bush's boss.

Since this is a democracy, some believe the greatest the world has ever known, our leaders are or should be accountable to us.

The President is not a King. We do not have a monarchy in which the Glorious Leader cannot be questioned. We, very fortunately, do not live in a nation in which it is a crime to meet the eye of the President (an act punishable by death in some monarchies in the past).

It should not be difficult for an American citizen to meet with President Bush, especially if that citizen is ready to fly anywhere in the country to attend such a meeting.

I want to sit down with President Bush and have a simple conversation between two human beings. I would like to know things like....

Is he sharp as a whip, eager to take me on in debate on the major issues of the day? What better way to test one's ideas, to celebrate the power of the freedom of speech?

Does he exude the sort of gravity, a weightfulness, that a man with the future of the world on his shoulders (at least more than any other single human) would naturally acquire?

Does he seem respectful of those around him, particularly those who serve him?

Is he truly compassionate? It is easy to say you care, quite another to really mean it and act on it.

I want to see for myself, because from what I can tell from his appearances on television and the occasional quotation in the newspapers (the only ways that I have been able to experience the President directly, to date) it seems quite possible that George W. Bush is, in fact, a sorry excuse for a President.

If I met him and was able to experience his integrity first hand, I might be less troubled by his apparent trampling on the Constitution and the principle of the separate of powers.

If I met him and was able to feel his compassion, I might be less horrified by the agony his policies have caused the lives of literally hundreds of thousands of human beings.

So I am going to call the White House on Monday, August 7, and ask for an appointment with the President. At his convenience, his choice of location. I will chronicle my efforts to meet with the President in this blog.

Now, just so we are entirely clear on what I want to accomplish, I need to spell out my requirements for this meeting. Clearly, if I only am given five minutes to shake his hand and make small talk, I will not be able to take the measure of this man.

So here are the minimum requirements for my meeting (hopefully they sound reasonable to you):
  • The meeting should last at least a half hour.
  • We don't have to be alone (I am certain that will not be allowed), but those others present should be silent observers. I want to be able to talk with my President directly and without intermediaries.
  • We must treat each other with the respect due to fellow, equal citizens of our wonderful nation. We are all equal under the law, aren't we?
  • The meeting can be recorded. In fact, I would encourage the media to attend.
Ah, I bet that some of you are now thinking to yourself: so this is just some grandstanding by another commie-pinko-liberal-radical-tree-hugger, out to embarras the President.

Not at all!

I believe that a critical element of a successful, working and thriving democracy is openness and transparency. I have nothing to hide in a conversation with my President. Why would he have anything to hide from me? He surely is not going to divulge any secret information to me.

So that is my plan. I start on Monday. I will let you know how it goes. And I encourage you to do the same: ask for a meeting with the President, your President, our #1 Public Servant.

2 Comments:

Blogger mac said...

We do not now, and never have lived in a democracy. The government is a republic. The Hamiltonian system whereby government is aligned with the wealthy is now irreversibly entrenched. In Jefferson's utopia the President might feel obligated to the average citizen.

I recommend that you become a fabulously wealthy military contractor first. Then the President will come to you.

8:06 AM  
Blogger Dave S said...

I know you didn't intend this, but the audience of your letter may think it insincere, and that you don't really think he is intelligent.

"So I would like to meet with you so that I can be assured that the way the media covers my President is inaccurate and insulting.

I would like to meet with you so that I can experience first-hand your intelligence, compassion, sense of humor, and leadership."

You essentially said, "I disagree with everything you support; everyone thinks you're an idiot; let's have tea so you can prove us wrong."

Dave S.

4:36 PM  

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