An Open Letter to Hillary Clinton

Dear Madame Secretary,

By now the shape of this thing should be apparent to you. Your esteemed opponent is surging. He “lost” the first primary by the most razor-thin of margins, and won the second by the largest landslide since JFK. Your lead in the polls in Nevada and nationwide has collapsed. You are constantly modifying your message to try to reclaim some of those votes, often in ways that don’t make sense. You’re running against your own record even more than against Bernie Sanders. The establishment still has your back, but your allies are fewer and fewer every moment. Meanwhile, your past misdeeds are knocking at the gate, and the baying of the hounds of justice grows louder and closer every day.

How much longer are you going to keep this up?

It’s time for you to face the truth of things, and that truth is this: you are never going to be President of the United States. There is no remaining scenario in which you come out on top. You can hire all the attack dogs you want, pull in all the money from PACs and lobbyists you can, make whatever message changes you think will help. You can pull your husband and your daughter into the fight, you can call in every favor owed to you, and it won’t matter. You aren’t going to win.

You see, Madame Secretary, what you’re pushing is the status quo. You’re selling more of the same. You’ll “continue Obama’s legacy,” you say. The problem is, things right now aren’t so good. Virtually nobody wants to maintain the status quo. There is anger in the streets, there is discontent and dissatisfaction percolating in the bastions of the proletariat. We’ve been screwed by you and your ilk for forty years. We’ve watched our standard of living decline, we’ve watched our infrastructure crumble, we’ve watched our political process come under the control of the oligarchy. We’ve seen the lie of “trickle-down” economics for what it is, and we’ve seen the corruptive influence of money in politics. More of the same? No. That way lies death, and we all know it.

The other problem is, you have the misfortune to be running against an honest man. Americans haven’t had this opportunity in a generation, to rally behind someone who has earned our trust through forty years of scrupulous honesty. Bernie Sanders is just a man, with his own flaws and his own problems, but his integrity is unquestionable. In comparison to those we’ve had to choose between for the last thirty years, he might as well be the Second Coming. I’m sorry, but you have no hope of competing with that. You never did, and if you were truly the savvy operator you claim to be, you would have known this from the start.

You cannot escape your reputation, Madame Secretary, and that reputation is that of a power player, someone who will buy and sell her principles for political ends. Perhaps that is what is best suited for the system we have, but even you must see that such a system is toxic, corrupt, and against the ideals this country was built upon. We, the American people, are passionate, hard-working, idealistic people. We deserve better. We deserve a leader who embodies the highest form of those ideals. You don’t have that reputation.

Madame Secretary, if you are truly concerned about the future of this country, then it’s time to accept the reality of the situation. Even if you are able to win the nomination, either legitimately or via back-room brokering, the people will not follow you. You do not have enough supporters to defeat the GOP candidate, whoever that ends up being. You will not rally the independents. You will not get the Millennials out to vote. If you are the Democratic nominee, the 2016 election will have the lowest turnout in history, and the majority of those voters will be conservatives. They will vote for their candidate, and the White House will fall to Trump, or Cruz, or Rubio. If that happens, this grand experiment of freedom and self-governance will be over.

It’s time to recognize that continuing to chase the Presidency is folly. It’s self-serving, the action of a woman who craves nothing but power for its own sake. It is a waste of time and money that could be put to better use elsewhere. A billion dollars, Madame Secretary. How many people around the world could that money help? And that’s to say nothing of your own personal talents. How much good could you do if you were to focus on your non-profit? How much could you improve the station of women and minorities in this country if you weren’t wasting your resources on servicing your ego, on this vanity project that is never going to bear fruit?

The President of the United States should be an individual who wants to use the position for the good of the people and of the country, not somebody who’s in it for their own self-aggrandizement. It should be clear by now that the American people are going to follow such a man all the way to Election Day and beyond. I’m sorry, Madame Secretary, I know how badly you’ve wanted this and worked for this, but it isn’t going to happen, and it’s time for you to accept that. Please, cease your attacks, end your campaign, and help us all make this country a better place and consign the GOP to the dustbin of history.


The Rev. Jack Phoenix
On behalf of the American People

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