An Open Letter To Candidate Romney by Sara Zacharias
Dear Mitt Romney:
I saw your video.
I saw you speaking candidly and off the cuff about me. Don’t get me wrong, I know that you didn’t mention me by name or anything, but we both know you were talking about me.
When you were talking about 47% of the population that is never going to vote for you because we are “dependent victims” who lazily live on government programs like food stamps, I can’t help but take personal offense. In fact, once you decided to lump in anybody who is never going to vote for you, you weren’t just talking about me, but many people I love, and about 90% of the people I know.
My children eat because of food stamps, Mr. Romney. Now, sir, I want you to picture a Wyoming cowgirl: a mother, a fighter, a righteous, determined, God-loving woman. A Rocky Mountain Grizzly Bear Mamma that would make Sarah Palin’s makeup-wearing pit bull shudder. Picture me staring you in the eyes as I ask you, “What business have you got talking about me and mine like that?”…..
Charles Pierce: These are some things the president of the United States cannot say but that I can say about him. Because he is a black man, he has an obligation to be grateful to the white people who voted him into office. Because he is a black man, he has an obligation not to use the full powers of his office in such a way as to alienate any of the white people who so graciously voted him into office. Because he is a black man, he has an obligation not to use the full advantages of his office in his effort to get those white people to reelect him as their president for another four years. Because those white people voted him into office, his primary job as president is to make sure his entire presidency is a demonstration of how far we’ve come as a nation on race, and that means he is not allowed to do anything or say anything that the white people who elected him can perceive to be divisive, because his primary function is to make them feel good about themselves. In theory, at least, all presidents are servants of the people who elected them. In the case of Barack Obama, it has seemed from the start that the idea as applied to him was more than mere metaphor. He is the first president in my lifetime whom the country felt obligated to remind that he know his place.
The rules of the office changed on him just about the second that his hand came off the Bible in January 2009. Every benefit of every doubt that ever was given to every president, good or bad, was not given to him…..
…. It has been hard not to notice that he is the first president in my lifetime who is treated as though he has been given permission by the country to lead it, a permission that can be rescinded at any time, for whatever reason, fair or foul.
…. The event of him is still remarkable. The idea that America elected a black man to be its president forty years after it declined to allow Martin Luther King Jr. to stand on a balcony without getting shot still maintains its power to awe and inspire. Of course, he can’t make full use of that, either, because as we know by virtue of his very election, race is no longer an issue in this country. But the rest of us can make of it what we will. Even in this, his second cautious, no-drama campaign, there remains a sense that you could get in on the making of history again. It’s time for Barack Obama to be as bold as he wants the rest of the country to be. If the path is narrow, you might as well run as walk.
I have two great friends who are gays. They’ve been together for 10 years. Four years ago they adopted a 10 months old baby. The only reason they got him was due to his severe illness. He didn’t have much more time to live and no one else wanted him. For more than two years I’ve seen them being the best parents any kid could hope for. They gave this baby their full, unconditional love, knowing that their time together would be very limited. Tommy died last year. All who knew him are still in deep grief. And these two guys, two of the best parents I’ve ever seen, one of the most in-love couples I’ve ever seen – they can’t get married. This is wrong on every level, on every level.
Mr. President, I understand your struggle. It’s a journey many people had to go through – myself included – and nothing can change the fact that no president comes even close to what you’ve done for gay rights in America and in the world. But, this is the final step and it’s time to take it.
I honestly don’t believe that at this point you’re still against gay marriage. Everything I know about you points to the other direction. And if the calculation is political, that’s not a good one either. Most of the country is already on the right side of this issue and the people who may not vote for you because of this, were not going to vote for you anyway.
Dear Sir, you are the greatest man I’ve seen in my life time. I’m grateful to be able to witness this greatness with my own eyes. But now you’re about to become probably the last Democrat president/presidential candidate to not run on fully supporting gay marriage. No matter how much good you did for gays, you’ll be remembered as being on the wrong side of the last big civil rights issue. Even behind the much older Joe Biden. This can’t happen to you. You are Barack Obama.
I will continue to back you no matter what: I’ll work my heart out to make sure that you’ll stay in the White House – because you are a great president and you’re our only hope against a very dangerous and scary force. But please don’t miss this opportunity to bend that arc of moral universe just a bit more towards justice.
You are the face of hope, change and equality for an entire world.