Jul. 29, 2016

An Open Letter to our 2016 Democratic Presidential Candidate...

 

Dear Mrs. Clinton,

I wrote an open letter to our Republican ticket last week after the RNC. The letter was really a journal of my own feelings. I willingly shared those feelings realizing some of my thoughts would make many of my friends very angry. I do not want to show any partiality in this election, so here is your letter. I realize neither you nor Mr. Trump will ever read my letters, but writing makes me feel better.

I really don’t know how to start your letter. I cannot think of anything to say about you that hasn’t already been said and resaid, and resaid, and resaid again. My husband and I had a heart-to-heart conversation a few nights ago, Mrs. Clinton. What we discussed is the same thing echoing across my community and within my friendship circles. The lies have to stop. The character assassinations must stop. There have been so many lies from both sides of the aisle that our heads are spinning.

I made the decision to not address the accusations regarding your reliability and honesty. Believe me, the majority of my Facebook friends use every chance they have to make sure the world knows they think you are a liar.  I do not consider myself naïve, Mrs. Clinton. I simply find it too farfetched to believe you have the entire FBI and our federal court system in your pocket. Unfortunately, Mrs. Clinton, we’ve moved from a country of “innocent until proven guilty in a court of law,” to “guilty until proven innocent in the court of public opinion.” But, in your case, Mrs. Clinton, many have decided you are just guilty.

Obviously, Mrs. Clinton, you are a woman. However, I will not be voting for you simply because you are a woman. We cannot claim that we want to end gender bias but be willing to capitalize on our gender when trying to win an election. I long for the day that people are examined based on merit, credentials and experience; not race, not rumors, not gender, not religion, and certainly not on how loudly they yell or how often they tweet. With that said, let’s hear it for the girls!

As I shared with Mr. Trump, I don’t understand why the stars and candidates’ kids are included in these conventions. But, I do know that stars are people, too, and should be allowed to participate in the process. I must admit, your stars were certainly more impressive and I liked your daughter the best. She is real and authentic – a dying trait these days. The word, “natural” comes to mind.

Here is what is important to me, as an American:

Health insurance – while I do not see health insurance as a constitutional right, it is the right thing for our country to do for its citizens. I wish America would visit with countries that provide health insurance for all of their citizens. As a former grant writer, I know that providing easy access to health care actually saves all of us money in the long run. I admire you for taking a stand as First Lady by ensuring children would have access to health care. I admired President Obama for taking the first step – being willing to come up with something. I depended on Romney and now Trump to offer us alternative solutions or at least suggestions for tweaking the Affordable Care Act. I’ve heard nothing that will guarantee access to care or provide coverage in an effort to save everyone more money. We eventually pay for the uninsured anyway –either through high premium costs, excessive medical costs, or through county tax dollars for the larger cities that have county health facilities. I feel great compassion and concern for those who do not have this luxury.

Personally, I’d rather do the right thing and make access to care and affordable coverage available to all. If I need to help, I’d rather do it while they are healthy instead of waiting until they are sick. But, that’s just me. My opinion is not very popular in the Lone Star state.

Children – the most moving point of both conventions was at your convention when the Child Advocates and Social Workers spoke of your longevity of work with and for children. I have to tell you, Mrs. Clinton, that’s where you capture my attention. Some condemn you for being pro-choice, but I realize there is no choice unless we can be certain that good homes and ample food are provided for all children born in America. We cannot tell woman on one hand they MUST have a baby and then tell them out of our same mouths and belief systems that we are unwillingly to help them support that baby. To me, Mrs. Clinton, this is hypocrisy at its very worst. But, that’s just me – also not popular among most of my friends. I remain loving to my friends who disagree with this perspective. I often wonder if my fellow Christians realize that priests induced abortions in Old Testament days by forcing a woman to drink a biohazard compound. Until we work out a solution for unwanted babies, safe options are necessary. Each woman must answer to God; I can’t answer for her.

Diplomacy – I could not bring myself to watch the mothers sharing the stories of their slain military sons during the Republican National Convention. Their stories were stories of tremendous love mixed with unbridled anger. The Gold Star mother that spoke at the DNC spoke lovingly and graciously, paying tribute to her son. She voiced gratitude for the compassion our President has shown over the years due to her tremendous loss.  She shared how her loss and President Obama’s encouragement led her to run for School Board despite being in her 70’s. I am a sucker for a happy ending. I am inspired by people who move on and make changes based on their pain. I appreciate when we find the silver lining in our dark clouds instead of asking everyone else to only see the thunderstorms.

While I hope and pray these brave women found some relief in sharing their stories, I saw it as just another way to turn tragedy into politics. I wish military moms would publicly question why in the world our leaders approved two simultaneous wars with a volunteer military in the first place. Why didn’t we have a better plan for each war and an exit strategy for both? What do you plan to do to correct our mistakes, Mrs. Clinton? What do you plan to do in order to help heal our children since they willingly fought two wars for us and continue to suffer to this day? Remember, you helped create today’s wounded warriors. Some wounds are visible; some are not. Dallas and Baton Rouge are proof that these wars have tarnished a generation. Most of my fellow Texans do not agree so I have also been the victim of Facebook attacks.

Everything I read, which is non-partisan, believes our interference in the Middle East has actually contributed to the formation of extremist groups such as the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and ISIS. I believe you are right, Mrs. Clinton. Your experience prepares you for the reality of ISIS. Your temperament reveals you are ready despite those who believe you did not do enough regarding Benghazi.  I don’t know.  I wasn’t there.

I want solutions to root problems, Mrs. Clinton. I will listen to the sad stories if it makes the mothers feel better, but the sad stories will never make us a better country until we learn we must attempt to be the world’s deliverer; not their destroyer. We need solutions; not more scapegoats.

Immigration – Now there is an area that Mr. Trump has my full attention. He voices similar concerns as I have but seems to go to far extremes in trying to find solutions. I personally believe having stricter entry laws for those coming from hostile areas is an excellent idea. After all, we put up strict stipulations when SARS was an issue in China and Zika was an issue in Brazil. We were not discriminating against Chinese or Brazilian citizens by keeping them out. We were simply doing the right thing in protecting others from the diseases that harm. Terrorism is a disease that kills, Mrs. Clinton. We need protection. We need a plan. It’s not a matter of hate; it’s an issue of safety and security.

Since you are being slammed for President Obama’s mistakes, I’d like to discuss one in particular that I cannot defend or rationalize. If President Obama was willing to light up the White House in rainbow colors for the same sex marriage and he was willing to light up the White House in support of France’s first terrorism attack, our President needs to be willing to light up the White House in blue to support our law enforcement community during this horrible time of senseless killing. You cannot say out of one side of your mouth that there are “bad apples” in some police departments but then defend Black Lives Matter as being a wholesome outlet to voice frustration. There are bad apples everywhere, Mrs. Clinton. Be fair. Be equitable. Or keep the lights off.

Faith - Christians need to be heard, Mrs. Clinton. I’ve read that you are faithful to the United Methodist Church. My exposure to the UMC reveals they are much more sensitive and compassionate in the area of social justice, which explains a lot. However, Mrs. Clinton, Christians need justice, too. Do not vehemently protect Muslims and then turn your back on the rest of us. Our Constitution defends freedom of all religions; not the protection of just one. This will be especially important when/if you select the next Supreme Court Justice. If you go farther left, the Court is going to fall out of one side of their building. Balance, Mrs. Clinton. Say it with me, “B A L A N C E.” Christians and our values matter, too. Oppression is never right and freedom of religion is never wrong.

Most importantly, “shared wealth” is not Scriptural. Whether you are a Liberal Democrat or a Democratic Socialist, God never intended any man to carry the weight for every man. Well, besides Jesus. We only need one Messiah, Mrs. Clinton. God told us to “consider the ants” when explaining how we can be successful as a community. Ants can carry much more weight than their own body weight because they work hard, Mrs. Clinton. Whether they are carpenter ants, fire ants, sugar ants, etc. it doesn’t matter. All ants work. They are stronger together because they work individually to be stronger together.

Jesus taught us to give the coat off our back if someone in need asks. It is a teaching on the spirit of charity, compassion, and generosity. However, Mrs. Clinton, we are going to run out of coats if those continually asking for coats do not eventually sew or purchase their own coat. If we reap what we sow, as the bible says, we can’t eat if we refuse to plant.

The Apostle Paul taught us to bear our own burden and to bear the burdens of others. The concept isn’t “shared wealth,” Mrs. Clinton. The Scriptural concept is shared responsibility.

Lastly, the early church sold all their goods and supported one another. Everyone had goods to sell, Mrs. Clinton. One group member did not support the other group members without all group members sacrificing equally. Do not take my father’s retirement fund or my husband’s hard earned money to rescue serial welfare recipients. When we do, we enable the weak. We are not helping them become strong citizens ready to contribute to the overall good of our nation.

Idle hands are dangerous according to the Bible. I realize that sometimes those idle hands are not caused by laziness but are caused by lack of options in making a viable future for oneself. So, Mrs. Clinton, how do we plan to put idle hands to work? What is your plan for children in inner cities who have limited resources and poor public education?

America once claimed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave. Somewhere along the way we changed our tune. We are now the country of division, selective freedom, and fear. Mrs. Clinton, our country needs unity, strength, and appreciation for what we are doing correctly. But, that pride must be balanced with proof that all people have an important role in the direction we take and that we can always improve as individuals and as a nation. How do you plan to make us better, Mrs. Clinton? All of us; all Americans? Until we see every American as a fellow American, America will not and cannot get stronger.

In closing, thank you Mrs. Clinton for keeping your acceptance speech under an hour. Jimmy Fallon makes me laugh and we all need more laughter in our lives. Especially during campaign seasons.