" "More Than Just Musing" #22
AN OPEN LETTER TO TOM STEYER AND HOWARD SCHULTZ
Dear Howard and Tom, it appears that your interests, crusades, quests, ventures for the Democratic nomination for President have come to an end. Your patriotic/political legacies could end up as a footnote in a biography of Donald Trump.
Tom, your real legacy might well be as a trader who built a 37 billion fortune and spent 16 million of it chasing Trump in search of the Presidency. Life may reward you with another 37 billion, but who needs 74 billion and a footnote.
Howard your real legacy might be the entrepreneur who populated the world with over twenty-seven thousand coffee shops with the marketing plan of a friendly atmosphere, high prices, and no refills. Although conspicuous, your presidential aspirations faded early so you may not have even earned a footnote. (By the way, in Eighteenth Century London, coffee houses were gathering places for essayists, playwrights, and poets. Rich with wit and satire, so foreign to the selfing, texting, twittering, facebooking, and youtubing of today.)
That's okay. These times present an opportunity for both of you to create patriotic/political legacies that are not available to a newly-elected President who will be encumbered by his tribe, the bureaucracy, the lobbyist's check books and the desire for a second term.
The people's overwhelming desire for an honest, fair, and deliberative government shows up in every poll. Every election cycle provides an opportunity for such a government and every candidate promises, litmus tests aside, that he/she will go to Washington with that focus. It doesn't happen.
Maybe the range of candidates is limited by gerrymandering, by tribal leaders, by lack of transparency, and by big money.
Maybe the will of the citizenry is not honored therefore not respected in presidential elections by counting the vote of a citizen in a sparsely populated state more than a citizen in a densely populated state. Why would a candidate who receives 2.8 million votes more than the opponent be denied the Presidency?
Maybe the voters are historically discouraged and frustrated by on-the-spot decisions regarding voter rights that are made by politicians and political appointees, and by rules and laws designed to suppress participation.
Maybe justice takes a back seat when lifetime judicial appointments, with a 50% plus one Senate confirmation, are politicalized by litmus tests, by tribal loyalty, and by big business with big money.
Six small steps in one direction - bringing government back into the hands of the people - would go a long way.
Elizabeth Cochran, Bayard Rustin, and Cleisthenes left legacies that impacted lives, altered perceptions, and forced changes. Who understands or even knows of these people. They unknowingly built their legacies by living their lives and doing what they thought was right and important.
The ultimate sports legacy is that of Ted Williams (19 years as a player, 19 years as an all star, 6 times batting champion, a record .406 season average, .344 lifetime average, 2 time MVP, 2 time Triple Crown winner, and all of this while answering the call - two tours of duty as a marine fighter pilot.
Tom and Howard, do you realize that Ted Williams never won a World Series ring.
Legacies are formulated by doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason.
Howard and Tom, with your intelligence, drive, experience, business acumen, and resources, what do you see as your legacies? Will your legacies reveal a service to your country?
The 28th Amendment to the Constitution is a good place to start.