Charles Rehn - Democrat for President 2004

A Conversation With America
Questions That Must Be Answered
Web Edition (c) 2002, 2003 Charles Rehn All Rights Reserved




Preface: Drawing the Line


I'll bet I've re-written this 4 or 5 times.  It's important that you, and everyone, understand that I'll be raising some issues, and making making some objective observations that will appear to be nothing more than partisan criticism... criticism of the media, politicians, policies, extremes... I don't intend it that way at all.

What's important for you to understand is that I think America is great. And I' don't mean just as a country with military might and respect in the world as a leader in technology and human rights.  I've driven across this country 4 times, and saw some incredibly beautiful places and enjoyed talking to and hearing stories from a multitude of nice people.

What I want to talk to you about is more akin to considering, for a few minutes, that it's time to hit the reset buttons on some things in this country.  I'd like to request that you give some time to considering the heritage of this country, the values we claim, the intent of the laws and customs we share.  But even more than that, to consider the future.

Back in the late 60's and early 70's, we used to say things like "What kind of future are we leaving for our children?".  I believe we are at a point where it is relevant to ask questions like that again. And to answer them with responses that address the big picture.

We live in a responsive and adaptive world.  People are competitive by nature. And, technology of all sorts offers advantages and temptations. People are only people. We're not bad. We're just people. We do things we are employed to do, we go along with things we don't necessarily agree with, and before you know it, things have gone just a little out of whack.

I believe that when people are informed, we make the right decisions.  I also believe that when people believe they really have a voice in their government, when they believe that their feelings and desires are being heard, respected and responded to, then people work together to find a way to make things work..

But I also believe that, to a large degree, competition and the vast technologies required to market politics and leadership has caused us to become divided as a nation.   Instead of seeing issues as something to speak out on in order to cause understanding and respect for, we market positions, and label differing opinions and preferences as right or wrong, liberal or conservative.

The United States Constitution provides us a framework that does not enforce preference, but allows preference.  Each of us has our own needs and desires, and so long as they do not cause harm to others, they need to be respected.

I'm not really a moderate, a centrist, a liberal or a conservative.  I'm sure some will want to place a label on me.  What I am is a systems analyst, someone who actually wants to hear all sides of the issues, without bias or prejudice, because I believe that when I have all the facts, I can find ways to make things work to meet all requirements.

And it's not about more expenditures or altering the American way of life.  It's about efficiency, it's about encouraging citizens to participate in government, and to hold the government accountable and responsible for the legislation and policies constitutionally mandated to serve all the people.

What I have to say is an effort to have an intellectually honest discussion with you, and encourage you to vote and take responsibility for the power you have as a citizen, and to be empowered at how you can make a difference toward having an America that truly is the nation we say we want... in our own country, and the ways that we interact with the rest of the world.

Blame will not create the future.  Drawing the line and moving forward is the only way to make it safe and productive for us all to contribute. Besides, we all share equal responsibility for the past and the future. The past is done.

I encourage you to go out and have a conversation with a friend or your civic group about the future of America... the possibility of what we can create...  in the context of how it can work for us all. 

That's the real promise of America.  That's the  promise we have the opportunity to share with the world.

You could say, I intend to make sure we keep that promise.  And I hope you'll be my partner in causing it.