I write letters to the president.

You know, sometimes I get it in my head that it’s worth taking five minutes of my finite existence to do something utterly and pathetically futile, just because I will feel better having done so, and because I can (<–no small thing, that).

Dear Mr. President:

For what it costs in both tax dollars and lives, here and abroad, perhaps you might consider upending the entire U.S. military paradigm. Humanitarian aid, even to our “enemies” would be far cheaper, far less inhumane, and far more likely to settle conflicts with a WIN-WIN.

For just one example, why not provide Palestinians the same amount of aid we give to Israel without accountability, in the form of rebuilding and improving their destroyed infrastructure, including creating world-class healthcare facilities that all people in the region would have access to?

Think outside the box, because the box is making a darker world and suffocating all of us.

-Iris Vander Pluym

Hey, I never said they were good letters.

Have a go at it yourself: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/


  1. robert79 says

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some poor intern in the white house reading all these letters and updating fields in an excel sheet:

    Reduce military spending: +1
    More humanitarian aid: +1
    Health care: +1
    Israel: -1
    Palestine: +1
    Think outside of the box: +1

    And of course, any suggestion that doesn’t fit in his excel sheet (the box), doesn’t get marked and never reaches the president’s desk even as an extremely diluted statistic.

  2. JM says

    The President can’t really upend the military budget on that kind of scale, for that talk to Congress. The President just has some discretion within figures set in the budget by Congress. Of course, for the President to even propose spending any significant amount of money on Palestinians would be a huge change.

    I do agree that the US should be spending more on gifts, humanitarian aid, even development loans then we do. I’m not a reduce the military budget to zero guy but it is bloated.

  3. brucegee1962 says

    All presidents — probably all politicians — do what robert79 was describing, and have people read their letters and report data.

    I know that Obama asked for a small, selected sample — maybe ten letters per week? — be given to him to read. I don’t know if either of his successors kept up the tradition — of course his immediate successor wouldn’t have gotten involved with this whole “reading” thing.