Friday, January 23, 2009

Peter Quinn's Letter to President Barack Obama in America Magazine

Peter Quinn, author of Looking for Jimmy, Banished Children of Eve, and Hour of the Cat, offers an open letter to President Barack Obama in the current issue of America magazine:
"I have not had higher hopes or greater expectations for any president since John F. Kennedy. You are every bit as intelligent, articulate and capable as he was. You seem wonderfully agreeable and genuinely decent. Your call for a new era of bipartisanship is admirable. You have set out an ambitious agenda that includes rescuing the economy, undoing the free-market idolatry that resulted in ruinous deregulation, reversing arrogant and self-defeating unilateralism in the conduct of foreign affairs, repairing the decades-long neglect of our infrastructure, instituting sane, long-range environmental protections and achieving universal health care. But do not be deceived. Great presidents must take on powerful enemies as well as tackle great crises. Lincoln had the Copperheads. Franklin D. Roosevelt had the "economic royalists.'' You will have yours, too. Sooner or later, as day follows night, the diehards will set out to frustrate any process of significant change. Be resolute. Be tough. Stick to your beliefs. Markets were made for man, not the other way around. Free enterprise is a guide, not a god. The world is now and forever interdependent. No country or society can go it alone. The environment is our home; it is not for sale. The poor will be with us always; and as always, the poorest and most vulnerable will need our help. With malice toward none, Mr. President, but with firmness to do what is right, remember you cannot make everyone a friend. Partisanship is not pleasant. But there are times when it is necessary. Sometimes a measure of a president's success is the vehemence of the enemies he makes.
-PETER QUINN, a novelist and essayist, was the speech-writer for two New York governors.


John Mark said...

Peter Quinn is awesome.

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