I am asking you to speak up loudly and strongly against the recent actions of Republican governors and legislatures in Wisconsin and other states. The working people of the United States, the very people who comprised the army of grassroots volunteers that propelled you to the Presidency, are under attack by the corporate interests in this country. They had your back in 2008. It is time for you to do the same for them.
Mr. President, you may think that by attempting to appease Corporate America, by appearing as a compromiser, and by appealing to the “independent” voters, you will be elected to a second presidential term, maybe even with a Democratic majority in the House again. If that is what you believe, then I have two reactions: First, all that rhetoric about the power of grassroots campaigning was a lie. Second, I think you will lose and the country will be much worse off for it. Do you think those independent voters will go canvassing in bad weather and make all those phone calls for you? If you still truly believe in the grassroots process, you need to give us a reason to work hard again like we did in 2008. If you’ve lost your confidence in the power of the grassroots, just look at what we achieved in Massachusetts last year.
Mr. President, this is your moment in history. The right is feeling their oats and apparently think that they can execute their end-game to finally reverse the gains the working class made over the first half of the 20th century. You can be remembered as the one-term president that let that happen. Or you can be on the other side of history. I’ve been told that one characteristic of a good political leader is the ability to recognize a forming parade and to get in front of it. That parade is forming with or without you, Mr. President. We’d prefer that you help.