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Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014

Letter to President Obama From a Christian Jazz Musician

November 9, 2012|5:42 am

Dear President Obama,

Congratulations on your victory last night. It was hard-earned and I'm sure you must be glad to have it behind you. I don't know how you and others do it. I have little stomach for how the campaign process has devolved into a mean-spirited attack on people instead of policy. I cringed every time I watched one of two seemingly good men – or their supporters - insulted on a personal level. I debate policy all the time, and the freedom to do so is precious. But, personal attacks like those levied against you, Mr. Romney and regular people should have no place in our society.

I did not vote for you. My personal political philosophy differs from yours and, so, I was compelled to vote my conscience. But I accept that you are still and again my President. As such, I am writing with a heartfelt request.

When you were elected into office in 2008 it was exciting. Again, while I didn't vote for you, it was still thrilling to watch our nation topple another cultural barrier. I, too, got choked up at times. And it was clear that you had a mandate from the people. Your win was pretty strong and it seemed that people were overwhelmingly with you and your vision for America.

But as I write this, the prediction is that you'll win the popular vote by only two to three percentage points. That's a marked difference from last time, and it must be clear that that mandate is not as strong as last time. Many who were with you in 2008 were not with you this time.

While it may not be exactly 50/50, it's close to that. Half of this country – your people – are not aligned with your party's views and are worried about America's direction. They are scared for their own lives now and the lives their children will have, and for the future of America. I know you share those same concerns.

My hope is that such a clear divide in our nation would cause you, in your quieter moments, to do some serious soul searching. You promised to be a President for ALL the people. Right now, it can be argued that you are only president to half of the people. I'm sure you would want your legacy to be greater than that.

I know you love America. I believe you love its people. I also know you love both of your beautiful daughters, Sasha and Malia, equally. I believe you would never be satisfied if only one of your daughters felt happy, heard, safe, secure, included. Last night, half of America celebrated while half of America wept. I know you would never celebrate one daughter's happiness without making effort to heal the other's sadness. That is your America right now. Half of your children are frightened for their future. I am asking you to love the American people equally, like you do your daughters.

I would offer that, if there is to be a "mandate" this time, it isn't so much to transform America into your idea (or one party's idea) of what America should be as much as it is to heal the divide. THAT'S the mandate – to heal the divide! I believe the only way to do that is to come closer to the elusive middle on many issues. Become a champion of compromise not out of partisan frustration but for the good of the nation. How I long for a president who can do this.

As a committed Christian, I am instructed to pray for my leaders. However, I will be praying for you not out of obligation, but because I truly hope for God's blessing and guidance for you these next four years. If God is with you, I will not be against you.

I am pledging to you to pray for you, your leadership, your administration and your family over the next four years. I will pray:

…for your health and well-being, and for the health and well-being of your family.

…that you will be a leader of compromise between opposing ideologies, paving the way for a more united America, seeking to combine both Liberal and Conservative values, not seeking only one above the other.

…that the Democrats would support you in a move toward moderation.

…that the Republicans would offer healthy opposing views but not seek only to block every move, becoming partners in compromise for the good of the Nation.

…that you will be successful in protecting our nation both at home and abroad from those who would harm us.

…that you would be successful in restoring America's economy. I know you will use taxes as part of the solution, but I pray you will also begin to claim responsibility for the state of the economy and make real efforts to curb spending – so many of us worry for our children's financial future.

…that you would seek to allow your faith to inform your actions.

…that you can truly fulfill your promise of being President to ALL Americans.

I don't envy you. America is divided and caustic like never before. Should you seek to heal the divide, you have a tough road ahead. But what a legacy that would leave!

May God bless you and your family,

Tony Guerrero (and family)

Tony Guerrero is an internationally recognized jazz musician, composer, producer and author. He has worked in both the secular and church music fields and is also the founder/director of the anti-human trafficking organization FACT Alliance. On the Web: http://www.tonyguerrero.com/
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