Democrats & Liberals Archives

Dear John

Dear Honorable Senator John McCain,

I sincerely hope that since recent reports have raised the specter of a Kerry/McCain Presidential ticket, that you’ve received many letters as the one I now write. It is now 1 week and a day since Richard Clarke’s revealing 60 Minutes interview, and the resulting events of this past week have compelled me to request of you, yet another extraordinary act in service to your country.

In my forty years as an American citizen, we have faced crisis, battles and pivotal moments that have tested the very foundation of our union. Yet, with able leadership, both Democrat and Republican, our resolve has been rooted in our triumphs and failings - and, the lessons learned.

In 2000, I watched your Presidential candidacy from across the political aisle with respect and admiration. We are at odds on many issues, but had you won your party’s nomination, I would have strongly considered voting for you.

So, in 2004, many Dems (like me) saw in Gov. Dean what the GOP foolishly rejected in ’00. Like you, he energized not only the party’s base, but also others across this country now demanding truth, competence and equal representation.

It was encouraging and revealing when the extent of your close relationship with John Kerry came to light, as a result of your facing down the unjust criticism he faced - even from your own party.

Your outspoken candor, non-partisan civility and admonishments of your party’s abdication of core Conservative principles, has been met with the same derisive dismissal shown our allies and the U.N., by the current administration. But, as radical as it may sound (although you will never admit it out loud), there is one certainty that we would both agree upon.

That is, in spite of the many differences on major issues, if you were to reach across the political spectrum in a bi-partisan effort to put this country back on the right track, you will not only answer the earnest call for your leadership, but more importantly, you can begin the dismantling of a polarized and divided nation -a necessity in the face of an uncertain future.

Only once in this country’s history has a two party Presidential ticket been attempted. And, not surprisingly, it was in the midst of the greatest crisis a country could endure – The Civil War. Although, the Lincoln/Johnson term would end in tragedy and scandal, history only has reverence for their victory in salvaging our union.

I firmly believe that this nation is now facing a crisis of similar peril. Yet sadly, as we near one hundred and forty years since the end of the Civil War, once again the wound is self inflicted by those among us whose arrogant intent is to force their brand of governance on a disparate society, never imagining they would resist.

An administration devoid of clarity, pragmatism, and accountability, while stubbornly refusing to engage others of contrasting visions, cannot represent our dominant form of democracy, as we are already graded on a small margin of error.

I will leave you with a quote from former President Harry S. Truman, on leadership:

'Men make history, and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.'

Posted by Bert M. Caradine at June 9, 2004 6:33 PM