September 18th, 2010
09:00 AM ET

LETTERS TO THE PRESIDENT: #607 'Whose vote? Whose values?'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Staunch conservatives are feeling energized, some liberals are feeling enervated, and I am feeling empowered to write yet another letter to the White House.

Dear Mr. President,

Most evenings as I drive home I pass pretty close to your house, which is to say “our” house (as in “We the people,”) which is to say The White House. If it’s late enough the lights are all off, but other times I catch a glimpse of that famous façade gleaming in the dark and it’s pretty interesting. I often wonder what you might be up to. I know that you are kept pretty darn busy and I have wondered if you ever just sit around with the wife and kids watching TV, or playing Jenga, or maybe working a jigsaw puzzle.

Anyway, if by chance you’re roaming around the lawn one night and you see me cruising by, give a yell and I’ll come over to chat.

Speaking of chatting, I have been following this “values voters” summit in DC with some interest. Ever since the big “values” election a few years back, I have felt like the term itself is so imprecise as to make it meaningless. Or worse, it may actually encourage a false impression. What we are talking about in this meeting, for example, is conservative values. But liberal voters could also have a “values” summit, and so could moderates, and so could wandering remnants of the Bull Moose Party.

When we use “values,” in the context of politics, what we mean is “our beliefs about things other than money,” and we’ve all got those, no matter which way we lean politically; ours views of an average family, for example, or what we think of religion, morality, sexuality, honesty, integrity, that sort of thing.

These matters are critically important to all of us in terms of how we see our world. But I hope the DC crowd (including all of us in the journalism biz) will bear in mind as we muddle forward through this election, that while each side can make what it wants of its values, no side can claim lay exclusive claim to the whole concept of having values at all.



soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Earl Little

    Dear Mr. President.
    There is so much opppsition to your recently passed Universal Health Care bill, especially about the requirement that everyone has health insurance or pay a penalty. I think that portion of the bill makes perfectly good sense, in light of the fact that currently, hospitals must provide treatment to everyone, with or without insurance. This is one of the things that is driving up the cost of haealthcare for everyone.

    Why aren't you and your administration really driving this alternative home: Everyone must have insurance OR, hospitals no longer have to treat uninsured patients. This should help cool the fervor of all the states that are planning to sue over the requirement that everyone purchase health insurance.

    September 20, 2010 at 1:24 am |
  2. Chi

    Really like your letter today 🙂

    September 18, 2010 at 1:55 pm |