Dear Mr. President Bush,
First I'm inclined to thank you for your kind words in my Peace Corps invitation kit. I know you're really busy, so it means a lot. Especially since you planned so far ahead and wrote it while I was still a junior in high school...
I should also make a point to give my thanks for acknowledging the "difficult times" we're dealing with economically in your news conference today. And super-big thanks for signing that (too little too late) economic stimulus plan. (I'll be sure to invest it the Madagascan economy while it only produces misleading and very temporary results at home.)
I have to say, however, that I found your suggestions on improving our economy laughable. The solution to our gas prices woes is drilling ANWR? Even if I thought it was a good idea (I don't), it's not going to happen. Fight as hard as you want; there's too much opposition. But to suggest it on the pretense that you care about how hard gas prices are hitting middle America and not because drilling ANWR is the long-time goal of the people who got you where you are today is an affront. (Not to mention that this proposed drilling wouldn't benefit American gas prices for years, all the while the oil companies would be, excuse my cliche, laughing all the way to the bank.) We need both a short term and a long term solution. Drilling ANWR is neither. (Besides, those poor polar bears have enough troubles as it is!)
I understand and sympathize with (in a way) your assertions that congress won't work with you. Oh that pesky democracy thing you're spreading can be annoying, can't it. Checks and Balances... what a stupid idea.
But my biggest complaint about your news conference today was your tone. You talk like you're burdened by trying to explain something to a child for the third time. (My boss suggested that you talk like that because that's how it had to be explained to you... and he voted for you... both times...) As if one of the grandest aspects of democracy isn't transparency and accountability of the leaders to its people. You have the audacity to actually say "If there was a magic want to wave, I'd be waving it of course." (Insert your own Harry Potter joke here. I'll go with: oh, well then why didn't you get Dumbledore as a running mate?) Magic wand references? Seriously?
I know this doesn't have much to do with Madagascar. But it does. If I weren't leaving the country for 27 months, I would have all different worries about managing to pay back loans, to pay for health care (yeah, I had to go there), on top of rising gas and food costs while seeking a post-college 'real' job. Now I can put those inevitable troubles off for a while.
Don't get me wrong; I understand that there are far worse problems in Madagascar. Their problems make paying $3.59/gallon a trivial annoyance. (In many cases, they don't have roads to drive on even if they did have cars, anways). America is one of the greatest countries in the world (but it's no Norway). It's very American of me to complain about the state of things, after all. I know I am lucky to have the right to do so, and I try to not take that for granted.
But, Mr. President, I will feel a whole lot better about it on January 20th, 2009.
a little liberal PCV