Dear President Obama,
If you should have learned any lesson your first year in office, it should be this:
The American people are not ideological.
Of course, when I say "the American people" I mean the Independents and other swing voters.
The Progressive Democrats have their share of voters, but they will never have enough votes to win. Whenever they don't come across as weak and politically-correct, they come across as self-righteous and totalitarian. And frankly, they love the idea of a World Government more than they love their own country.
The Conservative Republicans have their share of voters, but they will never have enough votes to win. Whenever they're not whiny and obnoxious, they come across as hypocritical and totalitarian. And frankly, they are more concerned with the security of Israel than they are of their own country.
Mr. President, the key to your success is the people with no strong opinions on anything whatsoever. These are the people who put you in office. All they really want is a job, hopeful prospects for the future, and a feeling of safety from criminals and terrorists.
The American people who put you in office - i.e., the Independent and swing voters - did not elect you to give them a "free" healthcare system that's more expensive than they're already paying for. They did not elect you to impose expensive new regulations to curb "global warming" when their own heating bills get higher and higher.
If anything, you were elected to get things back to where they were during the Clinton Presidency, when there was virtually full employment, the national debt was shrinking, and the only foreign disputes and "crises" were ones the Clinton Administration deliberately chose to provoke with no real risk to the American people.
You have a little over 2 years and ninth months to secure your re-election. Don't run to please the Progressives who will never vote for the Republican anyway, and don't run to placate Conservatives who will never vote for you anyway.
Think instead of those swing voters, the ones concerned with their jobs, their prospects, and (rationally or irrationally) their safety.
Make this your goal: that they will be, in 2012, better off than they were "four years ago" - i.e., 2008.
Here's is what I suggest you do in the next two years:
1. Get out of the quagmire of Afghanistan as quickly as possible, and stop escalating hostilities elsewhere.
2. Let the Republicans demagogue the issue of this pull-out to make you look "weak."
3. Let the Democrats tank in the Congressional elections of 2010.
4. Start dealing with Republicans in private while railing against them in public, but sign legislation allowing for massive federal de-regulation of the economy, spending cuts, and entitlement reform
5. In 2012, make the case for peace and prosperity as a ticket to a second term, the same way Clinton and Reagan did.
In 2012, you could campaign on "Security through Strength," similar to Reagan's "Peace through Strength." All you really need to do is persuade us that the economy is growing, jobs are opening, and the deficit is shrinking. A Republican Congress will help you achieve these goals - more so than ideologically-committed blue-state fascist progressive Democrats.
Mr. President, the American people didn't elect you in 2008 because they wanted more government. They didn't elect you because they wanted less government either. Rather, they wanted things to go back to the way they were, when their jobs, hopes, and security seemed secure under a Democratic President in the 1990's. If you realize what is in your own interest and the national interest, you will move away from the Big Government policies of the Bush era and toward a repeal of the last decade.
The worst you can do is offend your own Progressive base, but they are losers anyway.
James Leroy Wilson