(I was in Washington DC this past weekend. I had a tour of the White House scheduled, but it was cancelled. I was upset over this, so I wrote a letter to the President. Here is the letter I wrote that day.)
September 2nd, 2008
Dear President Bush,
I didn’t get to go on my White House tour because I was told that you needed the house that day. Dude, that is not your house. I am pissed. I planned my entire trip around going to the White House, and now I’m left hanging. I checked out of my hotel early just so I could be at the tour on time. And because of lame security restrictions I left my camera with my luggage, so now I can’t take fun pictures at the capitol.
You need the house? For what? All I could get from the park rangers was that you were doing some uplink for the Republican Convention. My tour wouldn’t have bothered you at all. This is another example of the over zealous security following the tragedy of the 9-11attacks.
We always claim to refuse to negotiate with terrorists but by putting our own nation within a tyranny of fear you have succeeded in doing just that. It’s the erosion of simple liberties that are tantamount to letting the terrorists win. Why do I have to take my shoes off at the airport? All the new travel regulations make us less free. I hate less free. What do they accomplish anyway? Are we truly safer? I doubt it!
Nobody could hijack a plane like they did on 9-11. It was a one time deal. People would rush those bastards before they could say “box knife” today. So why all the extra precautions? It’s over. Let us get back to being free.
(After a couple hours I calmed down. Here is the letter I'm really sending the President.)
September 4, 2008
Dear President Bush,
I recently visited our nation’s capitol. I was excited and grateful to have secured a tour of the White House through contacting my local representative to congress. White House tours are hard to come by these days because of all the security involved. I planned much of my trip around the visit, and when I arrived I was told all tours were cancelled for the day. When I enquired for the reason, I was merely told that the President needed the house.
After my initial sadness over not being able to visit one of our country’s greatest historic treasures, I started thinking that there was no reason a White House visit has to be such an elaborate procedure. I feel I need to remind you sir, that the White House does not belong to you. It belongs to all of us. We the people of the United States own that house, and we should have the opportunity to visit it. We should have the freedom to touch that edifice and to immerse ourselves within the collective history of what it stands for. I realize on a grand scale a cancelled tour is not such a big issue, but it is a microcosm of a greater issue. America today is living under a tyranny of fear. It’s the loss of the simple liberties that gives me my greatest concern for our future.
I was able to visit the other two branches of our government without a problem. Only the executive branch provided an obstacle. I understand the need for security, but I think it’s gotten out of hand. Possibly it’s gotten out of your hands as well. I’m sure you don’t make the specific security policies of the White House, but you could if you wanted to.
A portion of the Presidential mansion could be made available to the public at all times. If you ordered it, the security agencies working for you would make it happen in a way that is safe for you and all subsequent administrators, and also provide the American people with a chance to feel closer to their government and their history. I am a student of American history. Just to walk under the iconic columns of that great structure would have provided me with the utmost wonder. You sir could make this happen.
I’m asking for you to use your influence to do the right thing. Give the executive mansion back to the people. Let the citizens of the United States bask in the brilliance of this symbol of self government in order to help inspire and remind us why we are the greatest nation the world has ever seen.
Thank you for your time.
Christopher Ronald Hill
(If I had written either draft while I was sitting at the park bench just after being denied my tour, I would not have addressed it to Mr. President. "Dear Heartless Cocksucker" is what I was thinking at the time.