Monday, March 22, 2010

Dear Mr. President

As many of you know, I am not a fan of the current administration. You also probably know that I didn't vote for either Obama or McCain in the 2008 election. And you can also probably guess that I am not a big fan of social welfare programs (using the word "welfare" in the purest academic sense). So, with the passing of last night's health care reform bill, I have decided to write and send a letter to President Obama. Here it is:

Dear Mr. President,

My name is Stephen Bohn and I live in Nashville, TN, one of America’s leading cities in the field of healthcare. I’ve got some of the finest medical facilities in the world right in my own backyard: Vanderbilt, Baptist, Centennial, St. Thomas, I could go on and on and on. And I visit several of them on a weekly basis. That’s right. Weekly. But more on that in a second.

Now, the first thing that may come to mind, Mr. President, when you read the word “weekly” next to the phrase “visit several of them” may be “Well, I just helped pass a huge health care bill that’s really gonna help this dude out.” I figure that how most people talk and I figure that you’re a lot like most people: just a dude trying to make it in the world. And that, Mr. President, is something that you and I have in common. We’re just two dudes trying to make in this world. Like Sam and Frodo. Or Thelma and Louise. Or Butch and Sundance before the Bolivian army showed up.

As I was sitting at my friend’s place last night watching a movie called Zodiac (which is really good, by the way), my mind kept drifting between the movie and the health care reform bill that was being passed. However, my phone was dead so I couldn’t check the status of things and I was at one point in time snuggled on a couch between two really good looking women. I was living the American dream. When the movie finally ended, I got in my car, charged my phone and saw that much to my confusion and amazement the bill passed.

I’m 29 years old. I’m in relatively good health. I run when I’m not too busy watching re-runs of Futurama in the morning. I try to get plenty of sleep. I drink more than my fair share of water. I sometimes watch what I eat. It’s not because I enjoy all of these things. I’d love nothing more than to eat cheeseburgers each day, drink three beers at lunch, and stay out all night every night but I can’t because if I do those things I won’t be prepared for one of my three jobs the following day. That’s right. Three jobs. Oh… back to the visiting hospitals on a weekly basis. Do you know what one of my three jobs is, Mr. President? It’s delivering flowers. That’s right. I have a business degree from one of the most respected schools in the world and I work on Saturdays at a flower shop; admittedly a job I absolutely adore. Why? It’s so I can live the life I want to live. It’s so that I can travel the world. It’s so I can pay off my car and one day in the hopefully not too distant future buy a home here in Nashville. It’s so I can afford to eat the occasional cheeseburger, drink the occasional beer, and stay out until the wee small hours of the morning on occasion. It’s not so that I can pay for someone else’s health care, I assure you.

Your newly approved health care reform bill will simply enable people, Mr. President. It will enable the people in the United States who don’t work as hard as I do to literally reap the benefits of my labor.

Mr. President, I didn’t vote for you. I didn’t vote for John McCain. As you can probably tell by my fearless tone of this letter and by the language that I’ve used herein that I am a fairly staunch libertarian. I want freedom in every sense of the word: freedom from oppression; freedom from government imposed regulations; freedom from tyranny. But more important than any of those “freedom from”s, good sir, I want “freedom to”. I want the freedom to write a letter to the leader of the free world telling him how much I think his health care bill sucks; the freedom to take on my own responsibilities (socially or otherwise) as I see fit; the freedom to own up to the decisions I’ve made; the freedom to spend or save the money that I’ve earned as I see fit; and, most importantly, the freedom to ask out one of the women that was sitting on the couch next to me last night. I am a realist however and I understand that nothing comes for free… especially that last one.

I didn’t get to one of my jobs this morning on a road that I designed. I didn’t breathe the clean air I breathed on the way from my car to the office because I regulated pollution in Davidson County. I didn’t install the stop sign that kept me safe this morning at an intersection as someone else blew right through it. I’m no martyr and I’m certainly not a complainer. I am, sir, a man of action. I am appreciative of all the good things that this country has allowed me the opportunity to do and continues to allow me the opportunity to do. It’s where the action and opportunity meet where I can achieve great things.

And so, Mr. President, I figured that just another dude like yourself would appreciate my situation and that you as a well-educated person would understand that you cannot tax and fine a nation back to prosperity. I figured if I had a gripe, I should go straight to the top with it because that’s how things get done. I figured even though the bill passed last night and I can’t change it much right now I would let you know my thoughts on the matter. But mostly, Mr. President, I figured I would let you know what myself and millions and millions other of Americans are thinking this morning: that you can take this health care reform bill and shove it up your ass.


Stephen Bohn

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