Mr. Vice President,
I recently received a call soliciting money for your campaign. I am a life long Democrat, having voted Republican only once. That time was in the last senatorial campaign, when I voted for John McCain. The primary reason for that vote was his unflinching stance against the anti-democratic nature of our present campaign finance laws. I voted For President Clinton and you twice, and I have no regrets, except that imaginary scandals kept the two of you from accomplishing what I do believe you both wanted. As things stand now, a vote for you will be a vote for more of the same. The Buddhist Temple will not go away. It is irrelevant that you did nothing wrong. The last eight years proves that. Using that incident as a lever, Republicans in congress will find something somewhere to distract the public from anything of significance that you want to accomplish. In order for me to support and vote for you, you must do something to wash the tarnish of money not just from you, but from all future campaigns, and you must wholeheartedly embrace an idealistic vision for the country. Leave pragmatism and compromise for congress. That’s their job. The job of president is to lead them in the right direction. You must inspire greatness in all Americans, and you can’t do that from the middle of the road.
1. You must come out firmly and unequivocally for dramatic and swift reform of the way in which this country finances campaigns. And you must rebut clearly and firmly any accusations of hypocrisy, if necessary by admitting to unethical (not illegal) behavior in the Buddhist incident. It is ridiculous for you to be expected to do any less than the maximum the law currently allows to raise money, but you must stand for a drastic alteration of that law. Do so by being open about what you are required to do under the present system, not by hiding it.
2. You must stand up for our environment, our workers, and stand for justice and equality for all people. You must not be swept away by the wave of globalization, you must ride and harness it. If we can export McDonalds to China, we can export human rights too. We can “bundle” them together, to use a software term. The goal of the United States of America should be for every human on being on earth to be guaranteed at least the same rights that Americans have under our constitution.
3. It is inexcusable, in a country this wealthy, for any child or adult to be hungry or homeless. It is unacceptable for any elderly person to have to chose between medicine and food. It is imperative that the children of this country, all the children of this country get the best education available on earth. These are not things to be compromised on, these are things to insist on. You will not get my vote by moving to the middle. Right now, I see no significant difference over the next four years regardless of whether you or George Bush is president. We need a candidate who has the courage to stand up unequivocally for what we all know is right and make it happen.
Mr. Vice President, I believe that, in your heart of hearts, you have a vision of our future that closely matches mine, but unless you can voice it and successfully move our country towards it, I will not vote for you. At this point, you are doing little or nothing to wash the tarnish of scandal off, and you are backing away from everything that I believe in. That is not leadership. That is not vision. That will not win you the White House.