Monday, November 15, 2004

an open letter

i was watching "david letterman" last night. tom hanks was the guest and i was struck by his comments on last week's election. it was the first time that i heard an openly democratic supporter in hollywood say something humble and sensible about bush's reelection. he commented that while "their guy" lost, everything was going to be fine. he went on to say, much to my surprise, that what shocked those in the entertainment industry the most was the fact that they (the entertainers) are a group who is supposed to have their finger on the pulse of the culture from which they can entertain people, but -- and get this -- they couldn't believe how out of touch they really are!!! wow! bravo, mr. hanks, for seeing things the way they are.

this leads me to make some comments about what i want from my government.

let me begin by giving a brief profile of myself. i was born in 1964 and am latino. i grew up in a middle-class family and have a graduate-level education. my income is modest, not because anyone is holding me down, but because i have chosen a vocation in which financial security will always be elusive. which leads me to my first point.

for me, as an individual american voice, it's not about voting my pocketbook. to me, being an american is much, much more than that.

i have two kids, currently seven and nine. i want them to grow up in an america that does not determine it's course of action based on the almighty dollar. rather, i want them to grow up in a country where, first and foremost, they can sleep at night knowing that their government is bending over backwards to make sure that the finest military in the world has the training, equipment and personnel it needs to protect them.

perhaps more important than that, i want my children to grow up in a country that is not antagonistic to their faith as followers of Christ in any way. i am raising my children to be committed to the Bible and to following Jesus Christ. putting aside all of the big hair, gaudy, televangelist and right-wing stereotypes of christians, the person who is truly following a Biblical faith will be the best friend that any muslim, hindu, buddhist and even athiest can have. the true Biblical follower of Christ will be absolutely committed to following Christ as "the Way, the Truth and the Life," and make every effort to share that Good News with others, but will also be committed to defending anyone else's right to pursue their faith as they see fit. i want my kids to grow up in a country that does not begrudge them or limit their pursuit of that kind of faith.

i want my kids to grow up in a country where it's government cares for the less fortunate and downtrodden, not by enabling them to be dependent on government bailouts, but by believing in them enough to train them how to be everything they were created to be and getting to a place where they can challenge others to do the same.

i want my kids to grow up in a country where it's courts uphold the laws of the land, not figure out ways to bend and change those laws because they are inconvenient.

i want my kids to grow up in a country where those who break the law and violate the rights of others receive their due discipline.

i want my kids to grow up in a country that has a respect for our nation's heritage, with a view toward the challenges of the future; a country that understands that "tradition is the living faith of dead people" while "traditionalism is the dead faith of living people."

this is the country i hoped for as a kid and i hope my dear ones will live in.