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As Long as We Remember...

July 20, 2012

An Open Letter to The President

Joe Charlebois


The President

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Washington, D.C. 20500


Mr. President:


As your employer I would like to remind you of your responsibilities as President of the United States. They are many and varied.


These responsibilities include: Commander in Chief of our armed forces; the ability to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States; make treaties (with 2/3rds of the United States Senate approval); nominate ambassadors, consuls, justices of The Supreme Court as well as all other officers of the United States (with 2/3rds of the United States Senate approval); fill such vacancies while the Senate is in recess. You are also to deliver from time to time information to the Congress regarding the State of the Union.


It is not your responsibility to “take care” of the American people by expanding an ever increasing definition of what the role of governance should be. That responsibility is left to each individual American.


Likewise, the federal government is not an omnipotent entity that exists to control the people of the United States. On the contrary, We the People, as willing citizens, created the federal government to administer the duties authorized. The federal government exists at the behest of We The People, not the other way around.


Mr. President, America is great not because of a protective government. It is freedom for the individual that makes our nation great. It is what separates us from other nations. It makes us exceptional. Exceptional because – unlike other nations – our rights and freedoms have not been granted by the government but rather those natural rights that each one of us was born with.


That same freedom is what allows the entrepreneur to be successful in this country. Even with all the encumbrances of regulation both necessary and unnecessary, the entrepreneur continues to push forward to be successful. He or she does so because as children we are taught that we can – with hard work and determination – achieve anything.


Succinctly put, a friend of mine, Dr. Mark Cooper, nails the essence of our exceptionalism when he writes: “The difference is that in an economic system that values individual responsibility and rewards individual achievement, it is possible for the poor to achieve wealth. The only way that happens in a collectivist system is to gain favor with or to become part of the ruling class.”


Mr. President, you should know that even without parents, teachers or government assistance, Americans have for hundreds of years been successful.


As I stated previously, the government does not exist to provide for the citizen, government exists on behalf of the citizen. It exists to provide structure and levels of protection through an agreed set of laws that maintain our individual rights and freedoms.


Mr. President, your point of view that believes a paternalistic government exists to provide for its citizens is a failed one. It has failed every time it has been given an opportunity. It is not what our Founders intended, but rather feared.


Please realize that even as we may rise and fall together as a nation, we are a nation of individuals who cherish our freedoms and our rights.






H. Joseph Charlebois, Jr

Frederick, MD



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