It has now been a little over a week since your resignation as governor of Alaska, and thankfully you haven’t made many recent headlines. It seems America has been too busy discussing race relations, health care, and the economy to notice you. How refreshing!
As a 17-year-old American who has to live in this country for probably the next 80-90 years, I formally request that you pack your bags and swim across to Russia. After all, it must be close enough if you can see it from your house. I have never seen, nor have I ever heard of, a politician less qualified and less engaged than you are, and I want you to leave politics for good before you start giving the impression to other politicians that somehow these deficiencies are acceptable.
It’s not so much that you and I see two different Americas, or that we just have different perceptions of the same core American ideals. It’s that you fundamentally misunderstand America’s ideals. Every time you talk about freedom, or the future, or “the wisdom of the people,” I only have one question: what the hell are you trying to say?
One of the most absurd “arguments” you made in your farewell address was that the “wisdom of the people” can solve our most complex problems. The day that the “wisdom of the people,” and I assume you are referring to white, Anglo-Saxon, gun-owning Republican people, solves health care, education, or really any part of domestic or foreign policy is the day I move to your state, start a gun shop, hunt caribou, and build homemade artillery shells to send to the minutemen on the US-Mexico border. You’re right in asserting that government can’t make us happy, just like it can’t tell women what they can and can’t talk to their doctors about, and can’t tell gays and lesbians what kind of love is moral. However, you are wrong in saying that government can’t cure the sick and insure their families; that it can’t educate our children and reform our adults; or that it can’t generate employment for those who need it and lift those who don’t have it out of poverty. Government has done all of those things for a very long time, and will continue to do them for even longer.
We have very complex problems in America, problems that require complex solutions and intelligent leaders. I don’t want to grow up in this nation knowing that my destiny – and my country’s future – has been determined by a woman more concerned with maxing out the Republic National Committee’s wardrobe budget than tackling the tough issues.
It gives me some hope that you’ve all but disappeared from even the cable news networks this past week, but I am still wary. I’m wary that when the “birthers” that replaced your news cycle finally implode into a racist, xenophobic spitball of self-righteousness, you might feel it appropriate to make more of a fool out of your party and your country by re-entering the national spotlight.
I have had to grow up in this country, the land Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy, under George W. Bush. A man who demonizes being smart and educated as “elitist,” and who somehow manages to make being uninformed and unengaged into something honorable. I’m lucky enough now to have a President who does none of those things, and quite frankly I don’t want to turn back the clock.
William A. Nelligan
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