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An Open Letter to A Very Sad American

By Jeff Hughes

Editor’s Note: I was sent a letter from a woman calling herself A Very Sad American outlining why she voted for George W. Bush. She asked me to post her letter and I only chose not to because she refused to give me her real name and I believe that anonymity is counterproductive in debate. It’s hard to take someone’s position completely seriously if they refuse to stand behind it with their real name. I asked Jeff to read and respond to A Very Sad American’s “Open Letter to the Democratic Party.â€? I urge everyone to go read the letter, it’s thoughtful and well written.

Well, in the spirit of Noah Brier, I have decided to address each of the Very Sad American’s points in an attempt to dismantle more “myths� of the Democratic agenda.

First, let me do as she does and explain who I am. I am a 22 year-old musical theatre writer. I won’t be seeing the new Chucky movie. Harry Potter bores me and I don’t really need a car, so the SUV question doesn’t come up. I believe not only do gays deserve the right to be married, but I find the idea of debating the issue physically revolting. How dare we say who can love who? How dare we deny a lover a hospital visit? How dare we do as the president begs and ask the heterosexual world to determine what is right for the homosexual world?

I am pro-choice in all cases at all time. It boggles the mind how a political party can spout a pro-life mantra and then spend the other hours of the day attempting to defeat welfare. I guess it’s better to have poor families and damaged communities then to upset the baby Jesus.

So I’m over there. On the left. And very proud to be there. I don’t have any money. Don’t have a job. Don’t have healthcare. Now you know me.

I’d like to start by saying that I have trouble taking any remarks seriously when they come unsigned. Apply your name to everything you write. For an election so based upon accountability, I find it somewhat disconcerting that you’d take them time to organize your opinions in such a thoughtful manner and not take personal responsibility.

So now, your points. I think they are well-written, intelligent and obviously passionate. However, passion does not make up for what I find to be several fundamental flaws in each of your arguments.

1.You didn’t give me clear positions on the issues.

Response: Did John Kerry give clear positions on the issues? Not as clear as I would like, no. But this argument can not be sustained as a reason for choosing George W. Bush over John Kerry. “Flip-flopping� has another name in circles of mature adults: admitting mistakes. John Kerry supported a war we all supported under false pretenses. He then, as you yourself pointed out, voted against an unruly amount of money asked for by a president out of control. I ask you this: Has there been any greater flip-flop in the history of American politics than W’s reasons for the Iraq war? A flip-flop that has cost the lives of a 1,000 American soldiers and – according to the New York Times – 100,000 Iraqi civilians. Would you rather a flip-flopper or a president declaring victory before a war is won? John Kerry’s belief that this is the “wrong war� doesn’t undermine the concept that the war must be completed, hence his plan to send in 40,000 more troops.

2/3. You didn’t convince me that you would defend America against the threats of terrorism. / You insulted my intelligence by the constant mantra of Kerry’s service in Vietnam.

Response: First, you’re insulting the man if you actually believe John Kerry didn’t understand the ramifications of 9/11. Second, you can not say that Kerry did not prove his ability to defend the nation and then complain that he ran on his war record. You champion a heroic war record when the presidential contest is focused on a counter-terrorism effort and an ongoing war. You make a false claim that Kerry did not believe 9/11 deserved a military response when he – in fact – greatly supported the attack on Afghanistan. You remember that attack? That was when we attacked those responsible. The Bush Administration has continued to flip-flop on the relationship between Iraq and 9/11, best seen in Dick Cheney’s tripping over his own words during the Vice Presidential debate. Cheney said in his opening statements, “and he [Hussein] had an established relationship with Al Qaida. Specifically, look at George Tenet, the CIA director’s testimony before the Committee on Foreign Relations two years ago when he talked about a 10-year relationship.â€? Later in the same conversation, Cheney had this to say: “I have not suggested there’s a connection between Iraq and 9/11, but there’s clearly an established Iraqi track record with terror.â€? Being that Al Quida was responsible for the attacks on the Trade Center, doesn’t that reach as contradictory. I don’t blame John Kerry for not understanding a position on Iraq because we have no definitive reason for being in Iraq. As president, he would have been caught between Iraq and a hard place (you like what I did there?).

4. Your constant references to the opinions of the rest of the world scared me, and I’m not talking about the “global test” comment. I don’t care what Europeans think about me or my country. I learned in high school that living my life with one eye on the opinions of everyone else leads only to unnecessary turmoil and pointless pain. Why didn’t you?

Response: I like the rest of the world. I like the rest of the world a lot. I believe in the ability of America not to be an isolated superpower, but an international leader. You can not cite self-esteem realizations from your high school years. They just don’t apply. When you isolate in international politics, you make yourself a target. There’s a reason the United Nations was created. This is an opinion issue so I can’t call you wrong. But I’d bet you’re not someone who does a great deal of traveling. Because as much as you might not care, it’s disheartening to be so proud of your country and yet feel so embarrassed abroad.

5. You disturbed me with your demonization of the rich.

Response: Liberal democrats do not demonize the rich. We demonize unfair tax breaks given to the rich at the expense of the poor and middle class. John Kerry never hid from being a billionaire and he laughed at the notion of receiving a tax breaks. With so many in this country hungry, lacking health care and out of work – how can any person think it morally correct to give back to someone making a million dollars a year? Maybe I’m just a crazy lefty…

6. I could not stomach to listen to your incessant hatred of President Bush. Bush is stupid, Bush is an idiot, Bush is Hitler, Bush is a Nazi . . . Bush should be impeached, blah blah blah blah blah blah.

Response: Idiot/Dumb. Same thing. Hitler/Nazi. Degrees of the same thing. So basically you’d not like to have Bush called a dumb Nazi. I have never called Bush a Nazi and I don’t know of many non-extremists who have. What Hitler did and what Bush has done are not comparable in any way. Is Bush an idiot? Yes, absolutely. But I have never made this my basis for not voting for him. You should be not be citing extremist liberals in Union Square Park and for that in the same way that I will not cite Mel Gibson or the pulpets of Bible Belt. It’s a give and take. As for the impeachment issue – DON’T GET ME STARTED!!!!!!!!! THESE PEOPLE TRIED TO IMPEACH OUR GUYS A FEW YEARS BACK. FOR WHAT? For a blowjob.

7. I don’t think you really want my vote. I actively sought out your perspective. I tuned in regularly, for months, to your biggest media project, your serious effort to get your message out: Air America Radio.

Response: Air America Radio is not our biggest media project. Like it or not, Michael Moore is our biggest media project. Air America radio is a station designed for people of the left. We don’t listen to Bob Grant and Rush Limbaugh. We listen to Al Franken. Air America Radio is not attempt to spread the message but an an attempt to simple give liberals a place where their views can be showcased. Now I do believe that the liberal left has demonized religion a bit but it’s not for the reasons you give. The Right has decided, with the gracefully evil aid of Karl Rove, to attach itself to its base – the Christian Right. We have a separation of church and state – at least for the next few weeks – and this administration has done everything possible to erode that gap. The left sees this as a Constitutional abuse and so we attribute a great deal of animosity to “religion.� I don’t believe we discount the religious, just the power of Fundamental Christians in this administration.

Also, let me ask you this: how many speeches did George W. Bush give in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and California in the last few months. As many as Kerry gave in Georgia? The divide is there and neither side is trying to puncture. This is what the Electoral College creates. When there is so much importance placed on “battleground� states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, why would candidates waste time in states they have very little chance of winning?

Final Points:
You’re central ideology: I voted for Bush because he has values and doesn’t waffle on them is disheartening and very, very scary. This will upset you and its melodramatic, but would you then have voted for Hitler over Kerry? He had values and didn’t waffle.

John Kerry is a man of conviction. A man who fought in a war and then stood alone in front of his government and testified to the horrific situation in Vietnam. I would love to have your vote, but I want it because you believe this country can be better. I want your vote if you believe George W. Bush has been a disaster as a president and the ramifications of said disaster may not be truly felt for a decade. You ask me to treat the president with respect and I simply can’t. I’m sorry. I can not respect a man who so arrogantly and blatantly destroys the heart of this country. I can not be civil to a man who believes you retaliate for 5,000 deaths by murdering 100,000 civilians in a far-off land. I can not respect a president in bed with the moral underbelly of society: the Christian right. I believe the Bush Administration is fond of manipulation and my respect has to be earned…it can not be manipulated.

I’m sorry to say this but when a gay marriage ban is supported overwhelmingly in 11 out of 11 states, I can not believe this country is in the right place. The religious preach love and vote for intolerance. The red states claim moral vigilance and commit social genocide. If Roe V. Wade is attacked, I will stand in front of the Supreme Court and scream at the top of my lungs until no one will listen.

I believe in America. Just not this America.

Jeff Hughes always takes credit for his work, even though roughly 90 percent of it is offensive.

November 7, 2004