October 6th, 2009

Sailor Steeler

An Open Letter To Arlen Specter

Dear Senator Specter,

I would like to first say that as a Pennsylvania resident, I am proud that you have served the people of Pennsylvania. Even though I have not voted for you in the past, I can count on you to be a definitive voice in Congress. In a landscape where true independence is frowned on, I appreciate your individuality in the face of party affiliations.

Despite this, I ask that you please reconsider running for another term.

I'm not asking because I don't feel you are qualified to be a United States senator. On the contrary, your years of experience, your sharp analytical mind, and your unique tenacity make you more qualified for representing the commonwealth of Pennsylvania than any candidate I have seen in the field. My concern is with regard to your physical constitution.

Even though you may be in health fit enough to serve, I worry that your opponents will use your age and previous illnesses as a liability. Those on the left cast McCain as an "old man" and by winning the election, the Republican party was set back. I can't deny that as much as I disagree with the Republican platform, ageism worked against that party, and I fear it may be a double-edged sword.

Also, while I'm certain you love your job, I worry that in the twilight of your life, you are spending too much time in politics. Life is short for all of us, and although there is nothing wrong with pressing on, one day it stops for everyone. Perhaps the time has passed for you to move by direct action. Besides, who is left to train the next generation if you're still legislating? We need you to pass on your knowledge directly, not by example, before it is lost forever.

I know you will never read this or reply to this, but I hope that someone close to you will send a similar message and that you will listen. Even if you feel you cannot lose, I wish you wouldn't run for the 2010 election. I'd rather you bow out gracefully than be forced out against your will by someone or something else. For the sake of the residents of Pennsylvania, I ask that you please consider the thought.