Saturday, August 02, 2008

An open letter to those who keep emailing me to participate in RNC spruce up efforts

Thank you for your email yesterday about efforts to add decorations and plantings to our neighborhood on August 16. I understand that this effort is being undertaken together with Spruce Up MSP, a group that wants to tidy up our city to welcome the arrival of the Republican National Committee's convention in September. I am grateful for your efforts to make our neighborhood a better, more attractive place. It is a goal I share.

I must, however, respectfully decline your invitation to participate to welcome our RNC guests. Planting flowers in front of or painting houses that are vacant as a result of the mortgage crisis that enriched unscrupulous mortgage lenders (and GOP donors) at the hands of homeowners and the cities where they live is an irony I cannot stomach. Pretending that my neighbors are affluent enough to afford landscaping and patriotic bunting when they struggle economically is a charade I can't be part of. Disguising my disdain for an administration that has treated our fundamental liberties as expendable by hanging an American flag on my porch mocks what America really stands for.

I understand that hospitality to one's guests is a tradition throughout the world, and that it represents the best in all of us. But I am not willing to let mere politeness trump decency and commitment to the ideals we share as a nation.

If you plan an event this fall after the convention, I will gladly dig up every plant in my beloved garden and place them all over the neighborhood at locations of your choosing. I will help however I can in efforts to improve our corner in the city we love.

But I cannot do it to to just make a political party that has so disregarded the ideals of our country feel welcome.

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