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Joan E. Dowlin Headshot

Dr. Obama, Please Listen to your Patient

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Dear Mr. President,

The American taxpayer is angry. We've been footing the bill for the nation for years now and our money has been mismanaged. We pay your salary and your staff's and that of Congress, the Supreme Court, Social Security, Medicare, the Post Office, the Pentagon, and countless other government agencies. We've funded two wars, cleaned up numerous natural disasters (due to climate change?), seen American jobs and businesses shipped overseas, and watched corrupt politicans abuse their power.

Recently we have been asked to bail out banks, mortgage companies, and the automobile industry which have failed due to greed, mismanagement, and lack of federal regulation. Then some of these companies had the gall to give million dollar bonuses to their executives while they fly around in their private jets ( as do members of Congress.) Who wouldn't be angry?

There is plenty of blame to go around for both political parties. This economic crisis has been coming for some time now. We realize you inherited this mess but we need to all work together to get out of it.

It may have been fun to mock the "tea baggers" in April, but this grass roots movement is not going away. They are ordinary American citizens who worry about the economy, unemployment, home foreclosure, fighting two wars, inflation, rising gas prices, and now health care.

What started out as small tremors (tea parties) has erupted into an earthquake (Health Care Town Hall Meetings). And the anger is real. Just ask Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) who witnessed it at her town hall gathering.

"Bitter small town Americans" as you described them during the Presidential campaign
have turned into "an angry mob" (as called by the DNC). I believe this "angry mob" is mad at both parties and most distrust government (I wonder why after the last eight years?)

Mr. President, you need to hear the American people. Remember what you said in your acceptance speech to those who did not vote for you? "I'm your President too." This is not the time to tell us to "stop talking" at town hall meetings. This forum was designed for you to stay in touch with the public.

After eight years of being ignored by the last administration, we don't want more of the same from the opposite side of the political spectrum.

Here is how I see it. You are the Doctor and we are your patient. Passing the stimulus bill, the budget, cap and trade, and now presenting health care reform is like getting a heart, liver, and kidney transplant all at one. We can't handle it!

I know health care reform was a big campaign promise from you and it is needed. But that was before the economic collapse in September 2008.

We need time to give the Recovery plan a chance to work. Allow us to heal before tackling such a complex issue as health care. There's time for that later.

This is your "teachable moment." Just ask Bill Clinton about 1994 when he lost touch with the pulse of the American electorate leading to the GOP's "Contract With America" and Republlican control of Congress.

President Clinton learned his lesson, listened to the public and got re-elected two years later.

The American pulse is still there but it is very weak. It's saying "Before you throw another expensive government progam at us, let us digest the bitter recovery pills we've had to swallow. Let's see if the medicine works, then we'll talk health care reform."

Be patient with your patient and we will do the same for you.