Dear Mr. President,
I am writing to remind you that from a just peace perspective no one can “win” a debate with political prevarications – a.k.a. lies. In my interpretation of just peace, truth, respect and security are three primary principles rooted and grounded in the Golden Rule that are necessary for peace. Just peace is not only a relatively new paradigm for thinking about war and peace, but it is also a way of conducting our lives in ways that make for both personal and political, for local and global peace.
Truth-telling is a necessary component of justice. And without the due regard that justice is, there can be no peace. Respect for the American electorate, for the realities of our lives, for our fears and dreams, means that public policy ought to be built upon a foundation of rock solid principles. Government of the people, by the people and for the people is how we ALL come together to make life better for EACH of us. The end goal is the sustenance and joy of every person. The end goal begins with a eudemonism that helps to create the conditions for human flourishing and for the flourishing of the natural world and for all of creation.
Respect for the intelligence of the American people means that the women and men who want to lead us ought to know the truth of the observation that you can fool some of the people all of the time; you can fool all of the people some of the time; but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. When people seeking public office change position from one day to the next, even holding contradictory positions within the same sentence – “I will cut taxes for everyone but the rich will not pay less.” – this demonstrates a profound lack of respect for We the People of the United States. Worse, it demonstrates a lack of moral intelligence. (I have written about this in an essay at JustPeaceTheory.com)
The good news is: The American people are paying attention, and while you have their attention it is imperative to speak the truth to the people. You were correct to say in the first debate that we have data. As you know the data show that tax cuts for the rich, for the so-called job creators do not lead to higher gross domestic product (GDP). In a report issued by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), an arm of the Library of Congress that exists to give “authoritative, confidential, objective and nonpartisan” analyses to members of Congress, we learn that tax cuts for the rich only leads to income inequality.