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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Politics: An Open Letter to the Democratic National Committee

An Open Letter to the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Delegates and Super-Delegates:

Let me tell you about myself. I am a 36 year old man who until one month ago had been a registered Republican all of his life. I have a conservative bent when it comes to fiscal policy and social policy. At the same time, I have spent a number of years working in healthcare on one side or another (direct care, case management, non-profit insurance carriers, etc.), and I have a strong feeling that a rich and blessed nation such as America needs to take care of her own.

I come to you now because the vast majority of folks to reach elected office on the Federal level are immersed in the culture that got us where we are today. They are far too many politicians propped up in office by corporate dollars and special interests that detract us from the real issues of our time, such as how to regulate immigration to protect both the US economy and the immigrants themselves, or how to solve the looming Social Security crisis, or how to cut spending by getting the earmarks out of the Federal Budget by requiring such projects to be voted on as individual bills rather than as add-ons to massive funding bills.

These are issues that keep me awake at night after I tuck my 15-month old son in to bed. I think about what sort of country we are building for him and for his soon to be born sister. Many in both parties have lost site of the fact that elected office is “public service” and not “corporate service”.

This year the Democratic Party has a chance to say that this is not what we stand for. I am a relatively new Democrat, and perhaps my viewpoint won’t matter to you, but there are tens of thousands of people out here like me: Republicans and/or Independents looking for a new voice and a new philosophy for to lead us into the 21st century. I know we’re already there, but the last eight years have been a continuation of the dead and dying policies of the 20th century, and they just don’t work in the new world we inhabit.

The current race for the Democratic nomination is shaping up as a battle of the old versus the new. Putting aside the issues of race and gender, we have an opportunity to say that we are going to continue the policies of the Bush/Clinton/Bush empire (and let’s face it, the fiscal policies of the three administrations are cousins, if not more closely related), or we can stretch ourselves and begin to believe what a great country we can be again.

Like I said above, I was inspired by Reagan, not so much for his economic policies but because he had the audacity to stand up before the world and say that a New World Order was upon us. If I had been alive during the Kennedy years I believe I would have been even more inspired. Reagan and Kennedy faced difficult times with same audacity and hope and integrity. So regardless of their economic policies and other faults, they are linked in this fashion.

I have never met Barack Obama, but I have been following his career since the 2004 nominating convention. He is a man of integrity and of vision. He has the courage to see the world through a different paradigm than those enmeshed in the establishment. He gives those of us out here that see America’s uncertain future hope that we can be great again. He is pulling in many dissatisfied Republicans and Independents. He is attracting the youth of our country into the political process unlike anyone else since the Kennedy days. He represents the future. Hillary Clinton represents the past. Hillary Clinton is very competent and intelligent, and I am sure she is capable, but the path she offers to us scares many of us, as it is a continuation of the policies of the last two decades. These haven’t worked out very well for any of us but the rich.

It is looking like we could possibly go into the Democratic National Convention without either candidate having enough Delegates to win the nomination outright. While Hillary Clinton won the larger states on Super Tuesday, the polling numbers suggest a groundswell is building for Barack Obama. In states like California where as much as half of the votes cast were cast in advance, it is easy to see that Clinton’s margin of victory was built on votes cast weeks ago when she had a double digit lead in the polls. Opinion pulling on the day of the election showed Obama even or even up (Zogby).

Please do not ignore this movement. I realize that there are those who are itching to see the first woman president. I don’t think anyone is opposed to this concept, but I think it will happen when the right woman comes along at the right time. I am not sure that Mrs. Clinton is the right woman, at least not at this time.

We may be looking to you to decide who are nominee will be. Please look to the future instead of the past. We don’t want to be just “open for business”; we want to help shape the new world order. Select Barack Obama to be our nominee. My son and daughter are counting on you.


Wildy Haskell

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