My dad is one of the coolest guys that I know. Born and raised in South Carolina, he has lived there for all of his 81 years. Amazingly, he does not possess the prejudices and Republican tendencies found in most Southern men of his generation. In fact, he is a fiery liberal, a principled man of honor and character, and unfortunately, a lonely supporter of the President amongst his friends and golf buddies, around his neighborhood and his town. As a South Carolinian, my dad is considered not quite a pariah, but a strange bird, indeed. I have witnessed him singlehandedly debating a crowd of relatives with his "unpopular" progressive views, and in recent years, his oldest friends. It is hard to always go against the grain, to always be the one who disagrees, the odd one out.
He taught us by example to have empathy for those less fortunate; he always rooted for the underdog, and passed that on his kids.
We talked on the phone this morning, me wishing him a Happy Father's Day, and he wanting to talk politics. Dad gets fired up about an issue and has a small handful of friendly liberals with whom to hash it out, my mom, my brothers, my uncle, and me, and that's about it. He earnestly asked me this morning how to get a letter to the President, and I told him to write one up....
Sure enough, he did. So here it is, a letter to President Obama, from a very brave, fine man, my Dad.....
To President Obama:
I admire your perseverance and cool in the face of so many problems. My wish for you is that you will call it a day after one term and have a full and happy life with your family.
For now, please recognize that Republican obstructionists, and many of those in your own party, cannot be reasoned with. They are living 24/7 with the hope of bringing you down. With the constant, unrelenting drumbeat from Fox News and now, to my amazement, MSNBC and CNN with notable exceptions, it is time to say "to hell with them', and take the offensive.
Step number 1: Get out of Afghanistan NOW. They don't want us there, we can't afford it and no more blood of our troops should be shed there. Like the family who wants a new Mercedes, but is not able to afford it no matter how great the drive may be; we cannot afford this war, period.
Your handling of BP was masterful. Thank you. Now, how about appointing someone like Colin Powell to take over the awful Gulf problem. Reinstate his commission if that will help. We need one person in charge down there to oversee the recovery and the healing of the region.
I have thought for a good many years that your appearance on the scene now is not an accidental thing. Please use the remainder of your term to do the right things without thought of political results. It might prove surprising. I know there is a majority of silent, sensible people out there who are rooting for you, I being one of them.
Susan in SC's Dad
(Name withheld, because, well, he is a private guy.)
Happy Father's Day, Dad!