What Have you Done?

An open letter to Americans:

As a Canadian, I’ve been observing for some time now, with great concern and even greater disbelief, the political farce enacted day after day in your country. And I keep asking, what have you done? For it seems to me, and to many others as well, that you have embarked upon a truly destructive course that may eventually bring the United States to the brink of ruination.

What have you done? You have elected a president on the strength of an ellipsis, neglecting to fill in the three dots trailing after his every echoing jingle—“Yes we can”…what? You have credited a nimble spinner of tales, a pretty fellow with no significant experience of the real world of risk, hard work and the hazards of survival, a thug with a beguiling smile. You have elevated to the highest office in the land a man without discernible qualifications who is plunging the nation into unredeemable debt for generations to come. You have installed possibly the most consummate liar in POTUS history, who breaks campaign promises as if he were cracking eggs for the skillet and changes his mind almost daily like a weathervane on steroids. You have put your trust in an intellectual lightweight and geopolitical bungler who makes Jimmy Carter look like a paragon of acute intelligence, moral substance and rare diplomatic foresight.

What have you done? You have bought into a fraudulent narrative. You have made a Faustian bargain with a suave Mephistophelian who offers hope and change but delivers instead inevitable suffering and a violated people. As in all such compacts, the price for a brief state of euphoria is subsequent prolonged distress. You have given carte blanche to a man with a personal dossier blacked out in many places like a letter from the front, so as not, apparently, to divulge sensitive information. You have raised among you a man whose friends and influences would surely have precluded him from meriting your confidence had you paid attention to plain facts rather than to quasi-mystical incantations. You have anointed a man with a sinister agenda. You have voted for your historical nemesis who with his every move and decision renders you increasingly insecure in a violent and unforgiving world.

If you need a slogan to trigger a reaction, it should not be “Yes we can”—whatever that might conceivably have meant—but “What have we done?”—whose implications should now be obvious. I pray it is not too late to reverse the trajectory you have unthinkingly plotted for yourselves. It may be a shame to let a serious crisis go to waste, as your president’s intimate adviser cynically put it, but it would be a much greater shame to let a crisis reach the point of no return. And there is little doubt that you are now facing an impending crisis of the first magnitude, both domestically and globally.

Let us count the ways.

The response to a looming international menace is paralysis, appeasement and misconstrual—to the dire effects of which we are all, not only Americans, susceptible. American troops are targeted on the battlefield by the interventions of rogue regimes, such as Syria and Iran, which the present administration refuses to condemn and, indeed, with which it is seeking closer engagement. Defense capability is progressively truncated. Officials sworn to defend the nation to the best of their ability are saddled with the fear of prosecution, discouraging their peers and successors from properly doing their job. Detained terrorists are repatriated to their fields of operation, many taking up once again the jihadist activities for which they were originally interned. Acts of military aggression are adjudicated as civil offenses, awarding terrorists the same constitutional rights as ordinary Americans. Solemn alliances are flouted with whimsical impunity and typical hissy fits while manifest tyrants are treated with kid gloves and gestures of obeisance. UN kleptocrats and avowed enemies are laureled with meretricious authority. This is what your president’s current foreign policy amounts to, abetted by a carefully selected and pliable cadre of career puppets without character or backbone.

Meanwhile, legitimate dissent is denounced as a form of subversion. The Constitution is euphemistically interpreted as a “living document,” that is, as subject to tampering, which is nothing less than an assault upon the foundational heritage of the Republic. Individual liberties are being relentlessly eroded and private behavior regulated by an expanding government bureaucracy. The prospect of enfranchising up to eleven million illegal immigrants presages an American ochlocracy, that is, government by the masses rather than the laws—the very antithesis of Republican rule. Unelected officials, appointed by the president and known as “czars,” wield disproportionate power as they carry out their master’s directives. Unsustainable entitlement programs impinge dramatically upon the future. Income redistribution schemes disincentivize industrial and commercial productivity, creating a shrinking GDP and budgetary shortfall. Discredited hypotheses such as anthropogenic “climate change” are allowed to drive economic policy, leading to even further instability. Major tax hikes are on the horizon, complemented by the shell game of disappearing numbers, especially in regard to the so-called healthcare “reform,” with revenue calculated over a longer period than expenditures. New debt is piled on old debt like Pelion on Ossa. Fiscal blood drains from the nation’s arteries. These and more are the daylight consequences of your electoral delirium.

Who am I to address the citizens of another country? A loyal friend, and a citizen of a nation whose fate is inextricably bound up with yours. My interests are also at stake. That is why I am glad to note that many people are now awakening to the nature and extent of their folly, but far too many still malinger in the grip of a profound narcosis. To these latter, I would say that, in your desire for novelty, your pampered sense of frivolous grievance and your hypnotic suggestibility, you have chosen to cohabit with an incubus. You have shown a readiness to be seduced not by a lover of freedom but by a votary of his own malign gods. Despite the recent surfeit of Hollywood films, TV programs and neo-gothic novels fondly rehabilitating the undead, deep down you must know there is no such thing as a good vampire.

And so, in conclusion, I ask once again. What have you done?

  • betty boop

    Wow, the view from the North doesn't sound any prettier than it does here in the tank.

  • bobo

    Thanks for laying out the problem so clearly and succinctly,but what of the solution?
    Where do we go from here to get this ship on an even keel or is it really too late?
    Someone (why not you) needs to articulate and define a way forward. There are many who will follow.

    • lovezion


  • Stephen D.

    Mr. Solway, A very poignant post which I will share with many. I think you are right. Our new "echoing jingle" should correctly be "What have you done?"

  • Sassamon

    Hopefully, the anesthesia is worn off and the pain is so great, so very great, that the giant is awake and angry and contrite of his folly. Hopefully, God is called on and in his mercy we will recover. God help us all.

  • Alex

    God, as almost always, would only help through our own effort:

    1.No legalization for unlawful invaders. Do this and a half of electorate which is already degenerated into parasitic binging zombies will be changed irreversibly;
    2. Term limits for professional whores occupying the highest offices of the land. Subsequent prohibition of usage of acquired connections and powers for personal enrichment.
    3.As a result of No. 2 – disbandment of corrupting Government/Union-run educational system.

    If we do this three – there is a hope for slow and painful recovery. Skip any of them –and we are domed.

    • lovezion



  • Don Carlson

    Mr. Solway's question raises others. For instance, how many patriotic Americans are there who live beyond our borders and are citizens of other countries?

  • Rachel C

    You are entirely correct. There are many, many Americans who agree with you. Though I agree, I don't know what to do about it.

    • lovezion


  • grog

    Yes, step by step, the American system is beining dismanteled- I am one of many Canuks who are viewing the events unfolding in the US with great dismay. As a hunter and believer in freedom I have always viewed your 2 nd amendment with envy. With Obama / Clinton embracing the UN small arms treaty, it is only a matter of time until your 2nd amendment is "trumped" by international law. We Canuks will also lose re the "semi-auto rifle" clause. Oh, your 2nd amnedment will probably remain -in writing- but the UN ruling, once fully official, will supersede american law- much as Interpol has been given sweeping increases in power within the USA by Obama. Hope this missive makes sense as I cannot write anywhere as well Mr. Solway.

    • maryann

      I'm not sure that could ever happen. Too many Americans have too many guns, and they won't give them up easily or without a fight. Thank God.

      • davarino

        Damn straight. I dont own a gun but am seriously considering it if these numbnuts keep it up

        Dont start nothin, wont be nothin

    • Gil

      At least with the treaty, it must be ratified by the senate. The other safety we have is that no treaty can trump our constitution or it is considered null and void. even on the off chance the senate does ratify it, many states are already nullifying unconstitutional federal gun laws through their own state governments and ignoring unconstitutional federal laws. A few states have even gone as far as to make it a felony for any federal agent to enforce an unconstitutional law with in their state boundries.
      This will be the last and largest line of defense for our republic, our states, which created the very government that is now trying to “fundamentaly transform America”. I still hold a lot of hope for this country as long as there are enough states in it that still adhere to the strict limited power structure they allowed the federal government to have. We were a nation created by our states, not states created by a nation. As long as enough states remember this, we will come out of this ok…..I hope.

  • L. Miller

    Short of a real 2nd American Revolution, we can only hope for a 'clean sweep' Revolution and a mandate that all seeking office in the future be able to explain the Constitution and each Amendment. I use the word HOPE since roughly 47% of those who should pay taxes do no. They are allowed to vote but do not have a vested interest in this country save that of how much more they can be given by those in Congress who brazenly show their greed for money and power by bribing the populace with more and more 'FREE stuff' to vote them back into office. These 47% do not pay taxes but instead at least 20% to 40%
    of them receive monetary 'reimbursement' (free money for not paying their taxes) from the government. If God grants us the mercy of a second chance, we MUST enact a Term Limits Amendment (which may be far easier than enacting an Amendment that requires payment of income taxes) so that we do not suffer ever again from Nanny Statism.

    • lovezion

      WELL SAID, MILLER! I LIKE YOUR SENTENCE: "…a mandate that all seeking office in the future be able to explain the Constitution and each Amendment.", HOWEVER, LET'S NOT MAKE IT JUST A "HOPE", BUT A D-E-M-A-N-D !!!
      If we are suffering so much with this adminsitration, at least let's use this suffering as a lesson on our RULES of how we expect to accept those seeking gov. posititons from the floor sweeper all the way up to the president.

  • Terry W

    Several years ago I spent a week camping along the north shore of the Great Lakes in Canada. I met many wonderful people. We shared our thoughts freely and I heard a great deal that I carry to this day. The one thing that sticks out most in my mind is one of my new Canadian friends comments about our wars in Iraq & Afghanistan. He wanted the US to think hard and long about what we did in the Middle East. Bad choices by America will affect them in ways we have not even thought of. To quote him he said: "America is the last hope of keeping out the darkness". I hope and pray we will find a way to live up to that and find a way to lead by example how maybe the rest of the civilized world can face terrorism and hate.

  • Mo

    Don’t blame me! I didn’t vote for this man! I knew what he was from the minute he came on the scene. I tried to warn people but they refused to listen. They are STILL refusing to listen.

    Looks like I’m just going to have to suffer the consequences of other people’s bad decision.

  • Steve

    Yes, those who voted for the Obamanation bought the total lie from the liberal press.

    However, I also lay the blame on the RNC for refusing to cultivate a viable CONSERVATIVE condidates on top of the ticket in '08. I literally had to "hold my nose" and pull the lever for McCain. I imagine that many good conservatives stayed home and refused to vote at all. I believe that McCain would not be much better (although I think that he may have started with immigration instead of healthcare)… but the results would have been similar… more government, more taxes, less freedom, etc., etc., etc….

  • Sprinklerman

    He can only pass bad bills laws if he has a compliant and willing Congress. I agree with Alex but a first good step is to throw out all the members of Congress now up for election in November 2010 for those who have shown prior conservative motives in prior office. Any office holder who voted for the Health Care bill should be removed.

  • 1776again

    What are we doing? Buying guns and ammo.

    • Mobuscon

      Do all you can with your VOTE this November.
      Don’t waste your vote on third or fourth parties.
      Join the new, invigorated, Republican Party and win back both houses.
      They can’t implement their monstrous laws and policies if we refuse to FUND them.

  • Steve R.

    May I offer a modest suggestion to those wondering how to address this "red" tide sweeping away our cherished freedoms? The Tea Partiers are, it seems to me, the most viable alternative for the moment. If you have been doing your own thinking, as many here have, you know the rather ugly portrait of our growing movement is painted by those who fear us and the impact we're having on the debate. We are, in fact, patriots like yourselves, with growing numbers of independents and even conservative Democrats disgusted, angry, and very concerned with the leftward trend our country is on.

  • Steve R.

    The Tea Party itself has begun to morph into local political action — mostly with the Republican party, it's true, but with the focus that putting the "republic" back in "Republican" is the best way for now to return to the Constitutional principle of limited government. A third party will not work, for if anything in US history is clear it is that third party's split the vote, hand the election to ones opponent, and become a dead end. Together, using the system our Founders put in place, we can stop this disaster — hopefully before its effects are irreversible. I pray God daily that this is so; that His vision of freedom — of both body and spirit — delivered through our founders, will be saved for future generations. If that is to happen, we are the ones who must do it. The time for handwringing is over.

    • davarino

      I guess I agree, but if the repubs let us down again and revert to business as usual then we have to start a third party, otherwise there is no difference.

  • Tom

    Up until very recently, the U.S. Senate always ratified treaties that may have impacted U.S. civil rights by adding a codicil stating that it was understood by the ratifiers that there would be no adverse impact. For example, the ratification of the UN Charter itself had such a codicil added.

    It is widely understood that treaties are equivalent to the U.S. Constitution and thus override U.S. law. What is untested is whether the Constitution itself can be amended (and effectively repealed) by treaty ratification. I'm sure the Founders would have said NO, but who knows what could happen today? We need to work very hard to make the distinction clear that treaties being "effectively part of" or "added to" the Constitution is not the same as amending it.

    People who want a living Constitution will instead end up with a dying document.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Tar_n_Feathers Tar_n_Feathers

    The Faustian bargain is a very apt metaphor. Many Americans have chosen to make their deal with the devil, and it's not just Dems and libs. Execs in the auto and banking industry have done it, as have irresponsible voters. I'm afraid that for too many Americans, the temptation to get on board the government goodies gravy train is too great to resist. Through history, people have often shown an eager willingness to choose masters over leaders. I just hope that there are enough Americans left with the guts to oppose this current government sponsored slavery.

  • Turbeaux

    Amen brother!

  • Fiddler

    This is a STELLAR POST! I will share it with my friends. I feel if there is to be a litmus test for conservative candidates, they ought to be able to CONVINCE us that they know and espouse the Constitution and why it was supposed to RESTRICT governments impinging on individual rights! While we live in a global economy, despite our "unpopularity" in the world from which Obama reflexively responded in "obeisance", we have our SOVERIGNTY no matter who bellyaches about it.

    We are, I'm afraid TOO generous, TOO willing, TOO responsible, and those who gripe and moan want us to feel TOO guilty. This is like a spoiled child who after you satisfy their Id cries for more. Those in the media like Keith Olberman need to be roundly repudiated for their sophistry and their sanctimonious rants about white men. He deserves SCORN of the highest order.

    • lovezion

      Fiddler, when you say " need to be roundly repudiated for their sophistry and their sanctimonious rants about white men."…do you mean "against" or "for" white men? Thanks.

  • Dennis Menzer

    Make the elections in November the turning point, get rid of Obama's goons, and elect people that will put the brakes on his vision! In the next Presidential election make the change maker a one term president…..simple! Yes simple but VERY effective. Dennis

  • Ghostwriter

    I've got news for you,sir. Most Americans are beginning to wake up to this guy. To many in my country,his beliefs are as foreign to us as they are to you. Don't worry. I think there are enough people who want to put a stop to this guy as much as you do. I,myself,am not real sure about Obama but there are those who don't like him and they are going to scream it from the mountaintops.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Jaafar_1946 Jaafar_1946

    "What have I done?"

    Well, what I myself did was to cast my vote for John McCain, while watching with bewilderment the world-wide enthusiasm for Barack Obama. It wasn't just Americans who were suckered in by the Obama Cult. Europeans and Australians loved him, and I'm willing to bet 50 tacos that Canadians were on the Obama Express as well.

    Ask yourself what YOU did during the election of 2008. I did everything in my power to defeat this absurd candidate, and got nothing but ridicule and abuse for it. I repeat: NOTHING….BUT….RIDICULE…AND…ABUSE.

    Now people are waking from their drugged sleep and asking me what I have done??!! I fought it, tooth and nail, every inch of the way. How about YOU??

  • gpcase

    The problem runs deeper than the majority being enchanted by a charismatic speaker: the public desired an Earthly Savior – the proverbial knight in shining armor who rides in on a white horse to rescue us from "greed" and "corruption." But this alleged savior, an outwardly intelligent and compassionate man who promises to transform America, is the very cause of the problem: namely, government intervention and the steady usurpation of individual rights. Regaining Congress won't get to the root of the problem: the public's desire to be taken care of.

  • gpcase

    You see, most of the public has been taught to believe that they need government to take care of them, to provide a safety net in case life takes a wrong turn, as if they should not be held fully responsible for the consequences of their actions. Ask most people if they think the entitlements are on a sound footing, and if you catch them in a moment of candor, they will agree these programs are drowning us in debt, but at the same time would be terrified at the thought that we should privatize them. Their irrationality and their fear prevents them from thinking about viable solutions but instead will comfort themselves in an unthinking sense of morality, believing that we are our brother's keeper, as if a derelict brother-in-law deserves, much less could be made independent by, a lifetime of subsidies.

  • gpcase

    When people are confused about reality, become irrational, and use their political pull to have the government confiscate the wealth of their neighbors, as well as borrowing from those not yet born, then we arrive at a place we see today: we are fast on the Road to Serfdom and nothing will stop it unless the people understand the moral code that supports individual rights and be able to resist the ethic of altruism (self-sacrifice) that supports all forms of collectivism.

  • gpcase

    The problem is philosophical: starting with the premise that what we sense is real, not an illusion, and that humans are rational, they are capable of understanding what's in their best interest to live and prosper (if they have lived free and not been coddled too long). From this foundation we can establish that we have the natural right to our own lives and conclude that we have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…and that government's only function is to protect those rights, and that these individual rights ought not be sacrificed to the needs of any collective, be it the tribe, the religion, the king, or even the desires of a majority of the people.

  • Rib/eve

    Great Post! Thank you very much David.

    What should we do?

    Well to start with if your not involved with any tea party group, get involved.

    Second, (this is just a start mind you) STOP PAYING FEDERAL TAXES!

    Individuals can go down to their HR department at work and fill out at w-4 form. You can opt out of paying fed taxes, not medicare or disability but federal you can. However, we need to go much farther than that.

    Small businesses, and large corporations alike have a bulls eye on their backs as well as the rich and middle class individuals. Businesses as well as individuals need to stop paying taxes! What is the point of complaining about how they (congress) pass outrageous spending bills if we keep forking over the money? We must close the purse strings or they will continue to ignore us.

  • Hymie

    We did what you SCREAMED at us to do for 8 years. Or don't you remember?
    Can't have it both ways.

  • Patches

    Great post Mr. Solway. Unfortunately, I think that our once great country will continue it’s descent regardless of who gets put into office in November. Politicians are too concerned with doing whatever it takes to gain votes, while too many citizens have gotten used to the idea of the government providing for them if they cannot provide for themselves.

    I believe that this country NEEDS a influx of viable third-party candidates that want to truly reduce taxes, uphold the constitution and slowly but steadily help citizens get back to work so they can provide for their own families. The time of government officials blindly going along with every whim and desire of powerful unions, lobbyists, and greedy corporations needs to come to an end.

    Yes, I am conservative, Christian, Italian-American who wants to be able to raise a family in a country that is not run by either the government or the big corporations. Is that too much to ask?

  • Joanne

    I, for one, as a U.S. citizen would appreciate this article be given permission to be printed in every American newspaper that exists. It is almost eloquent in its presentation and insight. There are Americans, myself included, who would contribute to a paid ad to present at least one Canadians take on the atrocity being committed here on Canadas neighbor to the south. What is happening is rapid in nature…..one cannot wake to what used to be a "normal" day with the present administration.

    • Bcauthran

      I TOTALLY agree Joanne!!!!

  • G-man

    One very big reason that Obama got elected was white guilt. Too many white people wanted to show they were not racist. They can forever say they are now guilt free as regards race. This is BS, but these people believe it. Suggest this reason to some white person who voted for Obama,and watch their reaction. They go off their rockers (enjoyable to watch).

    In my America of today, the PC crowd is in control of how blacks and whites interact with each other. Too many whites are intimidated to not be branded a racist. Fear is a strong motivator. Everybody is scared of being on You Tube with the racist brand on their forehead.

  • cam

    What are our options? Canada of all places cant help us. infact your healthcare system made our liberals so jealous they LITERALLY bit off the fingers of people pointing out holes in the giant socialized plan. We have no recourse, we need the strength of people like you. Living in the countries that already are where america is heading.

  • Tony

    You wish the problem in america were about politics!
    If you are smart enough you should guess that politics is not the issue, but the bad consuming habits you have to stop now!
    Everytime you buy cars, fast food, plastic stuff, and artificial food, you are voting for corporations to become powerful and manipulate you through a legitimately violent regime, disguised in "democracy"!
    Stop shopping at walmart!

  • http://joshuarogers.net Joshua Rogers

    Great piece! Attempting to raise the issue of "Yes we can, what?" before the election seemed to have no other reaction than accusations of racism. Apparently that anyone who didn't vote for Obama is racist. Huh. I didn't realize I was racist. I just thought I didn't want to buy into mindless marketing.

  • Bird Lives

    Ah yes, hindsight is always 20/20. Yes, Obama was elected by ignorant, American hating prople, white guilt, and the biased media. He is a charlatan, he admires Hitler, he want's the USA to become a third world country, he is stupid , a non citizen, a hater of white people. a Marxist, a baby killer, a menace to freedom loving people, a follower of Rev. Eright, Saul Alinsky, he loves the KKK and he is VERY afraid that Sarah Palin is going to whup his butt in 2012.
    Obama blames Bush for everything that is wrong with the USA, when we Know that Bush was one of the greatest Presidents ever, the Banks and Insurance companies LOVE Obama because he is trying to get them more money. The USA is under assault by the Blacks, illegals, homosexuals welfare queens and the Republicans are trying to save the country.
    The unemployment is Obamas fault and so is the Iraq war and Afghanistan and Iran and
    the high cost of health care and the failing schools and the crumbling infrastructure.
    Why, just the other day a bunch of left wing caol miners were killed in an unforseeable accident and the mainstream press blamed the owner of the mine because he makes 33 million dollars a year. It is Obamas fault and so is the lowering of many people's credit scores because the banks have cut their credit limits eve though they have very good credit history and now they will have a higher interest rate if they want a loan.
    Our country is in BIG trouble and we need to invade Iran and get their oil and Obama is trying to make sure that we become a facist, Communist, dictatorship and he will put all the white people in concentration camps and kill all the children and old people and he will then become the Emporer of the world.

  • mike

    would a white president help?

  • jennyjo

    What a great commentary! I couldn't have summed this disaster better myself. To those who drunk the Obama Kool-aid are you happy now???

  • Mary

    Come the next election, I believe Obama is going to have a rough time winning. Of course, right now he is leaning toward and relying on the Gay groups to pull it off for him. Guess we will see what happens. I did not vote for Obama and I am proud to say so.

  • Clayton

    Most of us paying attention are all but screaming warnings at the rest, but deaf ears prevail. Over the last year or so, I gave up on warning adults in this country. They either ignore me or actually get angry about my lack of faith in our system as is. Instead, I tried to focus on waking up younger americans to the dire situation we're in. After all, they're the future voters, right? It's their piggy bank we're stealing. It's their freedom we're crushing. It's their future we're throwing away. To a person, the response I get is "Politics? I hate politics! I'm gonna play my XBox instead."

    Bear in mind I'm talking about teenagers and young adults who have reached voting age. With that kind of blind eye and 'I don't care' mentality, the government is going to continue to get anything it wants. What's to be done about it? In a situation like that, what CAN be done about it? Frustrated is not a powerful enough word to express how I feel.

  • Chuck

    I am a Canadian who loves our neighbor to the south and north and I would ask that you read the book of Daniel, specifically Daniel 11;37. This verse seems to describe Obama personally. It is a description of the "king of the north" or, antichrist. There are more verses describing him and his government. I hope to God I am wrong, but if I am not, may He help us all. I am a friend and a brother, America. May the good Lord bless you and keep you strong. "Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty"(2 Cor. 3;17)

  • george

    We probably didn't do anything…he was probably elected by fraud…but just in case we (except me) did do this it was probably just to bring about the end times…

  • Obbop

    What does anything matter? The USA is destined to become an oligarchy.

    Too many citizens are brainwashed in too many ways.

    The "cult of diversity" and extreme political correctness is leading to an inevitable corporate-owned and operated country with a small minority elite class in cahoots with the eventual masters.

    The ongoing invasion of MILLIONS of barbarians from the south is a small part of the ongoing class war that began in earnest around 1972 or so the the roots can be traced back further.

    The USA is doomed.

    " There's class warfare, all right, Mr. (Warren) Buffett said, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning."

    Trying to fight or alter the inevitable is a fool's game.

    Too many USA citizens have been successfully indoctrinated / brainwashed that as "things" are is correct and proper.