Letter to Right Wing Radio

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Dear Rush, Sean, Ann, Bill et al:

I have a request in the interest of the country we all love so much. Give the new president 100 days, the time the mainstream media has traditionally laid off an incoming chief executive, the same amount of time you would ask for your candidate had he won.

Three months of unity, sort of like we had after 9/11, when people rediscovered what it meant to be American, as our freedom and peace were threatened.

As President-Elect Barack Hussein Obama said tonight, the country had been more divided during the Civil War, and it healed its wounds, under the leadership of another Illinois senator. How about letting Obama settle in a bit before you renew your junkyard attacks? I know, it may not help the ratings, propelled as they are by anger and fear. But you know, and I know, a truce and an open mind could be the best thing for a troubled country.

Give him the respect that John McCain gave him tonight, the acknowlegement that he is president to all of us, and that we need a leader who can mend the divide, but can only do so if we give him a chance. McCain showed class while his booing followers didn’t, showing pride in serving a president, even one who just defeated him. You can lead those voters who now feel disenfranchised out of the hatred, into the kind of America you who profess to love so much in the name of patriotism.

You just spent a year calling him a socialist, a communist, a dictator, a Muslim, a terrorist, a Manchurian candidate, a follower of a white-hating preacher, a hate monger, a man supported by U.S. enemies, a man who will tax you to death. You heard little or none of the same vitriol from the other side. You saw instead a concerted, organized campaign that stuck to its message, included the Joe Sixpacks and real Joe the Plumbers and brought a surprising landslide of a vote.

How about stepping back for a bit and looking at the possibility of a united America, one that can take on its problems together, crossing party lines. Show some real patriotism. Support your new Commander in Chief as if he were your own—which he is. Give him the respect you would want from the other side, and show your listeners that you really do have some class.

Focus for a minute on the way Obama tried to include a great Republican, Lincoln, at least taking the first step toward mending the fence.

It was one of the highlights of a great speech, the kind of statesmanship, you must admit, that is too rare in American history and deserves to be celebrated when we see it.

“Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House – a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity.

“Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends…though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.” And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn – I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.”

Here’s how Lincoln asked for the same thing from both sides of the Civil War in his second inaugural address. Maybe you could keep it in mind today and until next May.

“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan–to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”

You are the opinion leaders and you know it. Your words on the radio ring through the population. This is your chance to show us how much of it is an act to scare the population into listening more, and how much is genuine love and concern for this country.

I’ll be listening. And if it’s back to the same old hate talk, I’ll turn it off.

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