Letter to Nader

Dear Ralph Nader,

I know that you must be busy, but I hope you take the time to read this letter.

Hello, my name is Jason and I'm currently an organizer for Progressive Future which is a grassroots organization that is supporting Barack Obama. I'm currently having a mini crisis in my life and I know you don't know what I'm talking about, but I promise you will by the end of this letter.

My job as an organizer requires me to canvass many hours everyday in addition to finding volunteers and putting into motion the “get out the vote” effort. I work 14 hour days to help get Obama elected and I must say it is very difficult for me to find the justification and motivation to continue. I know we only have a few days left until the election, but I feel as if I can't work another day.

First, I must say that I'm a horrible canvasser. I feel like I'm bothering people (which I am) and it's against my character to be a nuisance. I always try to avoid annoying people and I attribute this to my upbringing. Therefore, doing this job pushes me to my limit everyday. I have had multiple breakdowns since I started 3 weeks ago and I have confided and vented to my friends, family, and co-workers; it turns out that I'm not the only one who has had breakdowns.

The main advice that I receive from my co-workers is to remind myself that what I'm doing is extremely important. It doesn't matter that I'm bothering people because this is a very critical election. I agree and I understand what they're saying, but that alone is not sufficient to keep me going.

You might be wondering why I'm writing to you today, wondering where you fit into all of this. The answer is, I believe you are a great man. I want you to become president and I'm depressed to know that you won't be.

I believe Obama is the lesser of the two evils so I'm fighting for him, but it's difficult for me to sacrifice my conscience for reality. Let me explain.

I am a man of principle. I read political theory and philosophy in my spare time. It is my passion and therefore, I put a lot of thought into all my important decisions. My conscience tells me to fight for you, but the realistic side of me knows that you won't win and that I would rather have Obama than McCain. Thus, I'm sacrificing what I want to do for what I should do (maybe). I have concluded that fighting for Obama is the correct choice, but deep down inside, fighting for the lesser of the two evils is not enough for me. I want to fight for you.

The lack of passion in my work severely hinders me. I don't have the drive to get the job done, all I have is the fear of what could happen if I don't.

So I guess I'm writing to you today to apologize. I'm sorry that I'm not fighting for you, a large part of me wishes I were. And maybe, I'm writing this letter to you to apologize to myself. Maybe I'm apologizing to my conscience, I don't know.

I want to mention that my favorite quote is the one introduced in the beginning of “An Unreasonable Man.” I nearly jumped out of my seat when I saw it because it describes my philosophy in two sentences. I have been the unreasonable man before in my life, but now it seems that I'm the reasonable one. How ironic that in this situation, I believe progress depends on the reasonable man.

Or does it?

As I stated earlier in this letter, I'm having a mini crisis. I'm torn outwardly as well as inwardly, I'm physically and mentally exhausted. It drains me to ring the next door bell because I'm bothering people, and it drains me to search for more sources of motivation and justification to keep me going.

I want you to know that I will always be a one of your admirers. I can only dream of the accomplishments that you have achieved; my life seems useless in comparison to yours. I hope that eventually I will have the privilege of meeting you and maybe even working with you.