A condolence letter regarding the passing of our great nation and institutions, written by a 21st Century Progressive citizen and addressed to our Founding Fathers. The letter caught the particular attention of two noble men who helped create our nation and Constitution, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
From their place in the Constitutional Constellations, 1st President Washington and 3rd President Jefferson, decide to investigate the fall of their noble experiment in creating a nation based on equality of individuals in both rights and law. Washington and Jefferson initiate their investigation from the Passed President’s Club, founded by 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt. After gaining knowledge from TR, and a surprise meeting with the 37th President, Richard Nixon, Washington and Jefferson continue their quest.
On a rock wall in a Passed President’s Club garden, two quotes are etched in stone:
“WE MUST SCRUPULOUSLY GUARD THE CIVIL RIGHTS AND CIVIL LIBERTIES OF ALL CITIZENS, WHATEVER THEIR BACKGROUND. WE MUST REMEMBER THAT ANY OPPRESSION, ANY INJUSTICE, ANY HATRED, IS A WEDGE DESIGNED TO ATTACK OUR CIVILIZATION.”
Another section of the wall:
“WE LOOK FORWARD TO A WORLD FOUNDED UPON FOUR ESSENTIAL HUMAN FREEDOMS. THE FIRST IS FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND EXPRESSION – EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD. THE SECOND IS FREEDOM OF EVERY PERSON TO WORSHIP GOD IN HIS OWN WAY – EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD. THE THIRD IS FREEDOM FROM WANT – WHICH, TRANSLATED INTO WORLD TERMS MEANS ECONOMIC UNDERSTANDING WHICH WILL SECURE TO EVERY NATION A HEALTHY PEACETIME LIFE FOR ITS INHABITANTS – EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD. THE FOURTH IS FREEDOM FROM FEAR – WHICH, TRANSLATED INTO WORLD TERMS MEANS A WORLD-WIDE REDUCTION OF ARMAMENTS TO SUCH A POINT AND IN SUCH A THOROUGH FASHION THAT NO NATION WILL BE IN A POSITION TO COMMIT AN ACT OF PHYSICAL AGGRESSION AGAINST ANY NEIGHBOR – ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.”
The 32nd U.S. President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, sits in his wheelchair in the garden, somberly and sadly contemplating the words he had spoken in the past.
Washington and Jefferson approach FDR. Jefferson speaks to Roosevelt ’s back.
Jefferson: “What statesman like expressions of wisdom etched in stone, we have before us, Dear Sir. May we assume those are your preeminent and notable words?”
FDR turns his wheelchair, looking into the sun, as he answers the questioner.
FDR: “Yes, those are my words. However, today in our nation they are scoffed at by a divisive, deceitful and destructive President with aid from his mean spirited political machine. The Republicans are attempting to destroy all the checks and balances that the founding fathers wisely created to protect our nation.”
Washington: “Yes kind Sir, you are correct. We endeavored mightily to protect the nation from a king or a single party tyranny.”
FDR finishes his turn, adjusts his pinch-nez glasses and reacts to the great and noble men.
FDR: “What an honor! I understand you magnificent founding fathers received a condolence letter regarding the failure of our great nation and Constitution. I mourn along with you. This Connecticut Yankee turned false Southerner fellow, Bush, is out to destroy my Social Security program, which helped to pull the nation out of a terrible depression and even worse, he started an unjust war, expending our greatest treasure of young men and women along with our national treasure, then destroying and killing a nation for their oil and dominance of the region. ‘I hate war!’ Do you great men see a way to save our nation?”
Jefferson: “May haps, dear Franklin Delano Roosevelt. ‘Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government.’ A conundrum befalls us with this jackanapes Bush presidency, determining which region of foul governance to first attend or attack, be it truth telling, calumny, corruption, malfeasance or religion, albeit religion should not be on the table.”
Washington: “Ah my dear Thomas, recall what I said long ago; ‘We ought to be persuaded that the propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which heaven itself has ordained.’”
FDR: “Our fine young President John F. Kennedy summed up war best. ‘Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.’”
Jefferson: “Regarding the principles of our Government and the thought of war, I addressed the issue in my Inaugural Address: ’The wisdom of our sages and blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty and safety.’”
FDR: “In my recent study of history, I came upon sound words from a fine man whose office followed my successor; ‘Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.’ That, my noble fathers, was a statement by the Republican president, Dwight D. Eisenhower.”
Washington: “That is profound, dear FDR. Eisenhower’s words allow me to construct a supposition. It has become more translucent to my failing vision, that young George W. Bush has not experienced war, its trials, costs, terrors or torture. While the commander and chief sits in a splendorous bunker, his young brave men spill their blood for a war with no apparent justification or conclusion. The same must be true of the commander’s advisors and confidants. Does that speak to the truth of it, dear FDR?”
Nixon’s voice emanates from behind a statue of George Washington in the garden. He steps out to speak to the three passed presidents.
Nixon: “I am qualified to speak about truth and let me say this about that. I admire all three of you great men greatly. You all served at a critical time in our nation’s history. Well, so did I. I took on a war, not of my making and I got us out of there. I got us out of there honorably.”
FDR: “But you were forced to resign.”
Nixon: “Well, let me say this about that. My problem with the presidency was merely a technical one. Who knew a few words on tape, two punk reporters and a white haired FBI guy, who I thought was a Hebrew and was the guy I suspected all along of ratting on me, could bring down my presidency?”
Jefferson: “Our endeavor from the start dear Sir, was to stress in our framing of the Constitution, that no man is above the law, not even the occupant of the presidency. I believe your Republican Party affirmed the concept with the 42nd President, Clinton.”
Nixon: “I had nothing to do with that. I paved the way and took the punches for that spoiled frat boy Bush. The ingrate has no class. He stuffed a pair of socks in his pants when he landed on an aircraft carrier. His handlers learned everything from my downfall and now don’t give a damn about me. Now that Deep Throat has been revealed and the Republicans have discredited him, the least they should do is give me a statue. And you know- I created the Environmental Protection Agency. They call it the EPA.”
By Jerry Drucker –
- Jerry Drucker is a freelance writer and screenwriter, political progressive letterwriter, member of Valley Dems United, Dems for Change and Valley Grassroots for Democracy. Jerry was voted as the 41st AD man of the year for 2008 by the LA County Democratic Party members.
Reprinted with permission from the Valley Democrats United newsletter, Margie Murray, Editor, where the article first appeared.
A Condolence Letter’s four parts: