IB TIMES STAFF REPORTER, International Business Times
Submitted by: Jon Gilbert
Leon G. Cooperman: Open Letter To The President
Mr. Cooperman begins:
Dear Mr. President,
It is with a great sense of disappointment that I write this. Like many others, I hoped that your election would bring a salutary change of direction to the country, despite what more than a few feared was an overly aggressive social agenda. And I cannot credibly blame you for the economic mess that you inherited, even if the policy response on your watch has been profligate and largely ineffectual. (You did not, after all, invent TARP.) I understand that when surrounded by cries of "the end of the world as we know it is nigh", even the strongest of minds may have a tendency to shoot first and aim later in a well- intended effort to stave off the predicted apocalypse.
But what I can justifiably hold you accountable for is your and your minions' role in setting the tenor of the rancorous debate now roiling us that smacks of what so many have characterized as "class warfare". Whether this reflects your principled belief that the eternal divide between the haves and have-nots is at the root of all the evils that afflict our society or just a cynical, populist appeal to his base by a president struggling in the polls is of little importance. What does matter is that the divisive, polarizing tone of your rhetoric is cleaving a widening gulf, at this point as much visceral as philosophical, between the downtrodden and those best positioned to help them. It is a gulf that is at once counterproductive and freighted with dangerous historical precedents. And it is an approach to governing that owes more to desperate demagoguery than your Administration should feel comfortable with.
First and foremost, we applaud the honesty and forthright nature of Mr. Cooperman's response. We absolutely agree that President Obama should, in fact, be the one leading the charge of propriety. He should be walking above the fray of a disgustingly rancorous political debate during the most unpresidential presidential election season in history.
But to accuse President Obama of "class warfare" as a strategy for getting reelected seems to me to be utterly disingenuous and and a patently absurd overreaction at the same time. If one were to read between the lines, one would likely arrive at the conclusion that Mr. Cooperman voted for Mr. Obama and is simply upset that the president has "stooped the level of his Republican adversaries" in engaging in a debate that was framed by the Republican party. And that's the point, this whole debate has been concocted and framed by conservatives because they know all too well how easy it is to get the idiot masses riled up about government intrusion into their paltry lives.
And who is this debate really about? That's right. Rich people. Mr. Cooperman may very well be one of the very few good guys who happen to have more money than god. And we offer him a sincere golf clap for his inestimably hard work and fantastic luck in achieving the dream that eludes 99% of Americans. But given how few jobs have been created by the 1% in recent years after the explosive growth in their collective wealth, I find his calls for toning down the rhetoric a bit hollow.
Whether he likes it or not, very very rich people are actively and purposely driving the discourse, legislation, economy, and this country toward a plutocracy. This site is all the evidence one needs to see this eventuality unfolding.
Nonetheless, on the merits on his arugments alone, I agree. If only the fickle political nature of the voting public were so easily impressed by an adult in the room.
I can only wonder how he feels about the Republicans.