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Much as I like you, Mr. President – and I definitely do – you have really put yours foot in it this time. I’m not a sycophant. I don’t agree with all of your positions. For instance, I think your stance on gun control is outright unconstitutional, while at the same time, I understand why you’d prefer that it were otherwise, and, since the system itself is corrupt and largely unconstitutional these days, why you’d be willing to violate your oath in order to see things done the way you’d like them to be done.

This isn’t stupid; it’s calculating and it is very much political, “just the way things work today.” For instance, if you actually think the government presently is authorized to restrict citizens from owning arms, I’d love to sit down with you and show you why you’re 100% wrong. I think you’re far too smart to buy the standard arguments for your own position, though, and I suspect that in private, you’d simply admit that is the case. I understand political expediency. I also understand an urge to do good, and that the legalities of the system can frustrate that urge if not pushed to the side.

But this time… I’m disappointed in you.

Here’s the problem. You recently stated “With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations – none of which I know how to work – information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation”

Ouch. First of all, if you don’t know how to work them, you’re in the same boat as a Catholic priest giving advice about sexuality. That is, you’re incompetent and you should really avoid venturing an opinion before someone hands you your argument on a platter, sliced and diced. The fact is, all of those devices are capable of presenting the news in the same, or better, quality as a television or a newspaper.

Secondly, (gets out slicing and dicing tools) information’s very nature is to distract; new information always affects a viewpoint and alters it in so doing. So that’s not a problem. That’s a feature.

Third, information – such as your unconstitutional position on gun control – is something it is very important that the people have so they may judge your performance, and it matters not if that information comes in a newspaper, on an iPad, or through word of mouth. The key is accuracy, and Mr. President, accuracy is not a function of the medium of delivery – you’re absolutely wrong about that issue.

You went on to say “All of this is not only putting new pressures on you, it is putting new pressures on our country and on our democracy.”

Those pressures, in many cases, belong there. Our political system has existed for years in a partial information vacuum, where the people really didn’t know what was going on. They didn’t know how the financial system works; they didn’t understand that laws were being bought and sold by special interest groups; they didn’t understand that the government often operates under false pretexts that do not actually justify the actions taken in their name.

All of those things, and many more, should be brought to light and our government made to operate in a more responsible way that is either more in line with the authorizing document (you know, the constitution you swore an oath to uphold), or in such a way as to get amendments through that alter the legitimate authority the government has so you can operate using powers you actually have been given, instead of arbitrarily taking them using the judiciary or congress as a front.

Now, is it true that media – any kind – often presents the media consumer with false information? Yes. Absolutely. Now, let me put this question to you: Why is this allowed to continue? Why is the news media not strictly held to a standard of truth?

Now let me answer it: Because the government is in the habit of lying to, and misleading, the public. Consequently, the government doesn’t want the media to always tell the truth. Which kind of screws up its ability to keep hostile media such as Fox News from presenting utter nonsense to the news consumer.

So that problem is really right back in your lap, Mr. President. I’m all for truth in news; but in order for you to get it there, you’ll have to get the government to give up such habits as using the news to mislead the public. But please, don’t try to slough off the problem(s) with news upon the devices used to obtain it – that’s just absurd. It’s beyond wrong and, I’m sorry to say, it makes you look a lot less intelligent than you are. So stop that, will you?

While (I wish) I have your attention, thanks for working to push the healthcare bill through. It’s a start. I won’t be happy until pooling funds for healthcare is not in private hands, but still, baby steps are better than no steps.

Sincerely,
A conservative guy who voted for you, and almost certainly will again come next election.