It used to be that when people got in Akhtar Raqeeb’s cab they called him Mr. Santa; since 9/11 they sometimes treat him like Osama Bin Ladin.
That’s a reflection of the fractured country and the hatefulness that has come to dominate the nation’s political debate, says the white-bearded Ashburn father of four who immigrated with his parents from Pakistan nearly three decades ago. The naturalized U.S. citizen wants to change that.
Loudouners may take notice of his campaign to unify America as his van passes by. He has adorned it with red, white and blue images that publicize his new organization, Taxi Politician.
“Taxi Politician wants to show the world that America is a great country. Unfortunately, America is losing respect because American people are not doing their jobs,” he said, noting that many don’t even bother to vote.
He said that neither the Republican or Democratic parties are any help in the current political climate. “American people are divided, but they do not know who is going to unite them. Americans think it is an American leader’s job to unite everyone, when it isn’t. It is everyone’s duty to protect America and Americans.”
In addition to uniting the country, Akhtar hopes his organization can help provide services to others, including veterans, homeless and teachers, and even improve transportation to those in rural areas.
He has a website at taxipolitician.com.