A Letter to Conservatives

Dear conservative friends and neighbors,

I am not your enemy.

I am not a socialist or a communist. I am not for taking your money to give to someone else. You work hard for what you earn, and you deserve a good return on your investment from the taxes you pay. We have made a pact to collectively pay for things that we cannot achieve on our own: military and police for our protection; public schools for our children’s education; roads and bridges so that we can get goods and services all over our nation; a legal system to settle differences; and many other things necessary for a modern society.

I am a capitalist who believes we need protections for consumers, for our workers, and for our environment. I believe without these protections that naked greed will destroy these pillars of our economy. Republican leaders would lead you to believe that good regulations are the enemies of successful businesses, but only someone willing to risk the welfare of our citizens or our environment would believe that.

I am not out to destroy your culture. American culture is enriched by diversity and the dream that we all have the opportunity to succeed and achieve more than we were given at birth. Republican leaders want you to believe that for other working-class people to succeed, it has to be at the expense of your own chance for success.

I believe that immigrants are a net positive for America. Companies decide who they will hire, so how is it possible for an immigrant to steal a job from you? Furthermore, we now have near record unemployment. Here’s the problem: greedy corporations are making record profits, but not paying their workers a living wage. Our government has to bridge the gap so that people can survive. This is corporate welfare at its worse.

The real job killer is automation, not immigrants. Corporations will gladly replace workers with robots and computers that cost less and work faster and more efficiently. By 2030, we will lose 73 million jobs in the US to automation and artificial intelligence.

I believe in equal protection under the law for everyone, not just the wealthy who can afford to pay for good legal representation. That includes equal treatment by law enforcement and a presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

I believe in a fundamental right to privacy. The data about your healthcare, your communications, and your financial transactions must be protected from anyone but yourself. I believe that your decisions between you and your doctor should remain between you and your doctor alone.

I believe that healthcare should be a right in America. I believe that for less than we are already paying for healthcare collectively, we can all have excellent health services if we cut out the middleman private insurance industry that profits from denying access to necessary health treatments.

I believe that America has succeeded because of our decision to work together to achieve more than we can do on our own and the protections intended to protect the least of us from the worst instincts of human nature. That is the very definition of American exceptionalism, or what makes America great.

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