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Thursday, September 6, 2007

7. No Apologies Here Either

Dear John Edwards,

I know you must be busy with all the campaign stops and debates you’re attending but I just wanted to shoot off a quick letter regarding some of your recent comments. It’s not that your opinions have all that much affect on me, but with the remote possibility of you reaching the White House, your mind will no doubt drift towards legislation that very well could impact me – hit me where I live, so to speak.

John, last week you said that, if president, you would ask Americans to give up their SUVs as part of your plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Now I don’t mind you asking me nicely to make changes in my life but what I do mind is when the morals and beliefs of those that think as you do are thrust upon me through laws that impact my quality of life.

The problem I have here, John, is that you live in a 28,000 square foot home that must consume a boat load of energy each day. When away from home you fly on private jets that produce more carbon dioxide in one cross country trip than my small SUV produces in over eighteen months. When you leaving a campaign stop I see you settling in to your nice, big, gas-guzzling Cadillac Escalade SUV. Yes, I’ve heard that you buy those trendy little “carbon offset credits” that Al Gore is so tickled by, but somehow when I look at my modest lifestyle compared to the lavish one led by you and Elizabeth I just feel that you would need to scale back a long, long way before you even think of suggesting I give up one of my small comforts.

I know the press was dogging you a little on this issue last week, questioning you if there was a contradiction in asking Americans to sacrifice while you are living in a mansion large enough to accommodate over fifteen families. You replied that you came from nothing, worked hard and you “have no apologies whatsoever for what I’ve done with my life.”

Now John, I realize that hanging around with your buddies Ted Kennedy and John Kerry might make you think that most Americans are either born into money or simply marry it. But the reality is that like you, most Americans are also hard working individuals from modest backgrounds that have made their own way in life. For you not to give up your SUV or private planes or luxury home while asking us to start thinking about what we should be sacrificing seems just a tad hypocritical. No doubt you’re also thinking about raising taxes should you be elected president. Not only do I not want you to take away my SUV, I don’t want you to take away any more of the money I earn either.

You see John, just like you, most Americans don’t see a need to apologize for what they’ve done with their lives. They worked hard in school and in their jobs, they’ve saved and sacrificed for their children, they’ve invested and they’ve taken risks. You must know this yet you want us to make more sacrifices and feel badly about our choices in life while at the same time seeing no need to change your lifestyle in any way – well except that Elizabeth has agreed to give up tangerines, a move applauded by Al, Tipper and Leo DiCaprio, no doubt.

No John, I’m not asking you to apologize, I’m asking you and all of the other candidates running for office to be role models – you know, leaders, before even thinking of imposing legislation upon me which affects my lifestyle. I’m asking you to fly coach on commercial airlines, to move into a 1,500 square foot home, to drive a modest car, to mow your own lawn, to iron your own shirts, to prepare your own meals and to get $20 haircuts – just like me and most other Americans. My carbon “footprint” is so small next to yours that you can’t plant enough trees to offset your “greenhouse pollution” next to mine, yet you still want to take away my SUV.

I’m not apologizing and I’m not feeling badly about my life choices and neither do most Americans. But you know what John? I’m only suggesting that you change your lifestyle based on your comments and your beliefs, not mine. I live my life according to my own beliefs and principles and I’m happy for you to live according to yours. But when you cross that line and start talking legislation and forcing people to change their lifestyle to conform to your beliefs, I have a problem.

Thanks for listening, John. Feel free to pass this along to your other liberal friends.



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