I so inspired myself, I decided to write my letter tonight instead of put it off any longer. You can too. Here’s what I wrote:
Dear Senator McCain,
I have voted for you twice in my young political life, once as a citizen of Arizona for Senate, and once in the 2000 Virginia Republican Presidential Primary. I had strong hopes back then that you would win the Presidency. The 2000 election was painfully disappointing to me on many levels. I felt you were a better candidate and stronger leader than George W. Bush could ever hope to be, and your politics much more moderate and inline with my own and the rest of the country.
According to this poll, which I’m sure you’re aware of, a lot of people are unsure of President Bush’s leadership. I am so disgusted by the President, his policies and the people he’s chosen to fill key positions in the government that I no longer consider myself a Republican, even though I respect you, my current Senator, John Warner and many other moderates in the party. I feel the GOP has been taken over by the extreme Right and that’s a dangerous thing for this country. The Administration’s diplomatic failures would never have happened if you were President.
As I said before, I no longer consider myself a member of the Republican party. But, not so long ago, I considered myself a conservative. The past two years I have watched the Republican party turn from its principles and embrace the wrong issues and for the wrong reasons. I’ve seen the President lie to the American people and take us into an unneccessary war. I thought President Clinton was dishonest, but his lies were never on this scale. I’ve seen an Administration set on serving corporate interests in its “secret” energy task force in which the Vice President possibly broke the law by not turning over documents to the Congress. I’ve heard a President egg on terrorists, putting our soldiers in Iraq in even more danger (if people who were against the war were “aiding and abetting the enemy”, what did the President do in utter those three words?). I have seen a President push for changes in labor laws that will deeply hurt middle class families, and environmental laws that will hurt our environment. All this from a President who promised to return “honor and dignity” and “honesty and openness in goverment” to the White House.
What’s my point? Why am I writing? I beg you to challenge George W. Bush and run for President in 2004. President Bush has done lasting damage to this country: his diplomatic and military miscalculations, his sops to big corporations and the wealthy at the expense of the middle class, his complete abandonment of his campaign promises (an honest and open government?) and his gutting of the campaign finance reform you worked so hard to get passed. You can save the party from the extremists running it today. I believe you are an honest man, and want the best for our country. I believed in you then, and I believe in you now. Please run and show the world that all Republicans are not the neo-conservative extremists in power today.