Letter to the Editor-November 5, 2008

Isn't a part of "life" being able to trust that our food is healthy and that we can rely that our elected government is watching out for our safety at its most basic levels?
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Dear Mr. President

Congratulations, you have worked long and hard to get where you are. Now that you have won the election, it is important to know that winning an election does not make you a leader - it only makes you the President. As such, the President of the United States is an official who makes decisions that affect the entire world. Our President is a leader who has the ability to make decisions based on truly understanding the needs of the world. And by understanding these needs, as President, you can gain the trust of not only the people that have voted for you, but also the people who didn't vote for you. Through this understanding we can again be the "United States" of America.

This nation was born out of an irrepressible desire to be free. On July 4th, 1776 we codified our freedom from Great Britain. More than 200 years later, we, as a nation, must now embark on a journey to free ourselves from our mental slavery. I speak of a mental slavery that has manifested in our reliance on finite resources, while simultaneously and unjustly exploiting labor from other nations as well as our own. That Declaration of Independence which began our search for the freedoms that Americans fought so hard for, which was the wellspring for the DNA that runs through the blood of our nation, stressed two Lockean themes: individual rights and the right of revolution.

No American disputes the notion of America as a beacon on a hill, emanating the convictions of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness towards all. As a nation, however, we have strayed far from the true meaning of that declared creed. "Life" is no longer about the ability to truly live, but rather about a certain standard set forth by marketing campaigns. Billions of dollars are pumped towards the notion that life is not worth living without one more, newer faster (add anything here). As a people, we have forgotten that life is truly about living, and living is about so many things that cannot be trademarked (i.e. love, truth, friendship, health, etc.)

We have lost the meaning of health as we fight for healthcare while our food supply has been tainted by big "agra" businesses. Isn't a part of "life" being able to trust that our food is healthy and that we can rely on our elected government to watch out for our safety at its most basic levels? Isn't life also knowing that we can live our lives without destroying the lives of others? Isn't life about knowing that by truly living, we are creating better opportunities for all and striving to leave this world better than when we entered it? Isn't life really about our basic understanding of who we are and how we can live our lives to inspire? Isn't life about learning what it means to be human?

We have been eroding the notion of "liberty" that we previously made for the past 100 years. Our delusional need for "cheaper" and "faster" has enslaved us to a disposable life. Americans no longer have a basic understanding of what it means to be able to sustain ourselves. Every year, more of our food and clothing originates from outside of the U.S. When we cannot afford our lifestyles, we simply look to improbable interest rates to fund the gap. We have created vehicles at overseas manufacturing plants to reduce our dependence of foreign oil. As Americans, we must ask ourselves, isn't liberty about being able to sustain ourselves on what we can produce, while using imports as a supplement instead of the dependence that we have created? Isn't liberty about being able not to live in debt our entire lives? Isn't liberty about knowing that the economic future that we are creating for our children is not being compromised by the bad decisions that we are making today? Where do all the pieces fit...what is the greater plan?

Happiness: today we live in a culture that has grown to know "happiness" as it is measured in milligrams and sold in a bottle with a childproof lid. Actually, happiness is about knowing that through our process of the pursuit of life and liberty we have enriched the world in which we live, not only for ourselves but for generations to come. When we, as a culture, decide that happiness is what we want to create, we will find true happiness for ourselves, but right now we have lost our way. We have forgotten what it means to be happy, what it means to wake up and feel alive, and that the day is filled with opportunities to fulfill our dreams and to pursue all that really, truly makes us happy.

Mr. President, I am just one of over six billion people in this world who desperately want change. But real change cannot be merely a political platform or an agenda. It must come from understanding where we are and where we need to go. We must end our myopic views of the world and broaden our understanding of how it relates to the decisions we make each day.

We must realize there is no difference between us and that which we destroy. We must once again find our roots as beacons of this world and remember that being on top is not about domination or control, but about leadership and guidance. We have the opportunity to lead this world into the next millennium, and we must lead with the notion that we want to preserve the next millennium. Let us renew our vows of our true Declaration of Independence.


Joshua Onysko

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