Dear Senator Clinton:
Like you and many others in our generation, I was very idealistic in my youth. In 1968 I sold 'McCarthy's Million' buttons to my high school classmates. Four years later I was writing press releases for the Dick Clark Senate campaign in Iowa. And in 1976 I knocked on doors for Mo Udall. I have tried to hold on to those ideals, even after the stolen 2000 election and the disastrous presidency of George W. Bush.
Just as Eugene McCarthy, Robert Kennedy, and George McGovern inspired our generation, Barack Obama has inspired a new generation of idealists. Do not alienate them from our party. Do not become the Hubert Humphrey of 2008. In the last few weeks your campaign has become more negative, and all signs point to a vicious campaign against Obama in Pennsylvania and here in Indiana. You talk of seating the delegates from Michigan and Florida without holding a revote. Should your campaign win the nomination by such 'ends justify the means' tactics, you will surely lose the support of many young idealistic Obama supporters. As for me, I would vote for you, but only as the lesser of two evils.
While I plan to vote for Senator Obama in May, I have found much to like about your campaign. Your health care proposal makes more sense than his (though less sense than a Canadian-style single-payer system). You have creative but pragmatic plans for the economy, education, energy, and foreign policy. If you win the nomination fairly--without resort to the improperly elected Michigan and Florida delegates, and without a destructive campaign against Barack Obama, you will have my unqualified support.
The late Allard Lowenstein, who inspired so many of us to work for progressive causes, said at the end of that the 1968 Chicago convention that it had elected Richard Nixon president of the United States. He likened it to electing Arthur Goldberg Mayor of Cairo. I do not wish to see the Denver convention elect John McCain president. McCain is an honorable man, but his unquestioning support for Bush's war and Bush's welfare for the rich make him nothing but an older version of George W. Bush.
So please, please, run a clean, positive campaign. Support the mail-in revote in Michigan and Florida. (Senator Obama's rejection of the revote complicates matters, but your support of the idea might sway him.) We can't afford to alienate Barack Obama's idealistic supporters. And this nation surely cannot afford to have four more years of Bush policies.
Stephen Crews Wylder