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Awesome Tranquility, Measured Rationality

Awesome Tranquility, Measured Rationality

Anonymous's picture

Dear Mr. President-Elect, Congratulations on your masterly win in the 2008 presidential campaign. Your opponents had complained that before your nomination, you “had written two memoirs but no significant legislation.” Whether or not these concerns had any merit, your brilliant management of such a complex and ambitious political campaign left all such accusations in ruin. You have proven, to the satisfaction of all fair-minded observers, that you can manage. More to the point, you have proven that you are a leader of women and men. I’m an independent who did not vote for you, but am willing to give you a fair chance to win my support. It could be that I speak for a large number of Americans whose support you will need. Would you please bear with me if I make a few requests that, if honored, will indeed cast you as “The Great Unifier” in the eyes of many moderates? Conservatives have seen you engage, unnecessarily in my view, in an early battle with the Sean Hannitys of the world. Moderates have watched you deftly, in Bill Clinton style, step around the real land mines of the political landscape. I hope to see you step around such land mines throughout your Presidency -- not just around the land mines that threaten your public image and popularity, but also around the national land mines that threaten real economic and social damage. I believe that you have it in you to do this, as President Clinton usually did. I hope that yours will exceed even his political dexterity. Conservatives were enraged to see you represent your views on Iraq more moderately, during the campaign, than they believe you represented them in 2007. Moderates, on the other hand, have seen a flexibility of judgment that is essential in a man who will make truly important decisions. You shortly will become the best-informed person on the planet, so I encourage you to continue in your flexibility – even when this displeases the demagogues who see the world as two-dimensional and its solutions as being very simple. Please, on our behalf, make the decisions you believe to be right, based on the best information you have that day. As you know, Thomas Jefferson said, “Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.” You have been, in my view, the coolest and most unruffled man to compete in a major election during my lifetime. The awesome tranquility, and the measured rationality, that you exude won you this election. The fact that you display such rationality and tranquility is very encouraging. These have also been among the defining traits of America itself. As the historical America has won its wars, it has calmly declined to occupy and exploit its defeated opponents, but rather has treated such opponents with a humaneness unseen from any other major power in the world’s history. As the historical America has faced economic setbacks, it has come together politically to overcome them with intelligent, coherent solutions. America has a long track record of intelligence and decency. Mr. President, you indeed put a face on America that we all can be proud of. There are those of us who have not yet made up our minds on how much support to give you personally. We encourage you to govern, in good times and bad, with the reasonableness of spirit that you displayed in seeking to govern. Sincere best wishes, Jeff Clarke