A few weeks back, I used this blog to write an open letter to right wing cheerleader Sean Hannity to welcome him to North Dakota. I thought I would do the same today to welcome President Obama to North Dakota.
Dear Mr. President,
Welcome back to North Dakota. I had the honor of listening to you speak when you visited our state as you were running for office in 2008 at the North Dakota Dem-NPL Convention in Grand Forks. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for not making us wait for several hours for your speech like Sen. Clinton did. Perhaps before she replaces you in office, you can talk to her about the importance of time management.
Mr. President, I am not going to lie to you, I wish you would have visited my hometown of Minot during our 2011 flood. I do think that your Government served our city well; however, I think we would have benefited from your visit.
Now I understand that you have never been super popular in North Dakota. However, even though North Dakota may never support you, make no mistake; North Dakota can help you to achieve your vision for our country. Obviously, our fossil fuel development gets a lot of press. In part because of our amazing technology, we have been able to significantly reduce our reliance on foreign oil. However, we can and must do a better job. We must reduce the rate of our flaring. While the flaring looks pretty cool when you fly over our state, it is literally money being burned up. I hope that with your leadership, we can find ways to continue our fossil fuel development, create many jobs, and not destroy our environment.
In addition, our state has more opportunities for growth with wind power. The reality is that until the technology improves, wind power may not be able to exist without some government assistance. However, that is no excuse not to support wind technology. North Dakota can be and should be a big part of that improving technology.
I am really glad that you will be visiting the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. I have several close friends who are members of that tribe and who have experienced life on and off the reservation. Unquestionably, when I think of these friends, the story that sticks out most is the story I heard about the Wounded Knee Massacre. The story to my friend was not something he learned about from a movie, a book, or a history class. It was the story of his family. His Great-grandmother was a survivor of the massacre as a baby. She only lived because her mother covered her with her corpse and shielded her from a bayonet attack.
Mr. President, if you want to start to heal the wound with the Native American peoples, it is time to withdraw the twenty Medals of Honor that were awarded to members of the US Army for their participation in the massacre. The Medal of Honor is the United States of America’s highest military honor, awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.
Killing 200 women and children is not an act worthy of such an award.
Mr. President, welcome to North Dakota, I hope you enjoy your time in our state, and I hope you use what is great about North Dakota to make the United States better.