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Ann J. Atkinson Headshot

Senator McCain, Please Put Your Country First

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Dear Senator McCain:

Your campaign people seem, well, a bit inept. Please take a little advice from someone who disagrees with you on almost everything but wants to admire you, and wants you to be able to walk away from this campaign, win or lose, with your head held high. Right now, the prospects of that don't look so good.

Your surrogates' rhetoric has me, frankly, scared to death. One of my earliest memories is my mother crying and watching a funeral on TV--preempting my favorite cartoon, Mighty Mouse. It was the funeral of John F. Kennedy. The idea that someone could make my mom cry like that deeply disturbed me. The idea that you are allowing your people to plant the seeds of similar violence horrifies me.

I have a little expertise in persuasive communication, having majored in it in college and being a reasonably successful attorney for the past 22 years. Let me suggest a few lines for your next big speech that will simultaneously start to quench this brushfire you have started, as well as bring a little dignity back to you, your campaign, and your legacy:

"My friends, I disagree with Senator Obama on a number of things. However, if you are planning on voting for me because he is black and I am not, or because he has an African name instead of a Scottish one, then thanks, but no thanks. You are not my friend, you have no place in my campaign or in the Republican Party, and you are not behaving as an American should. We have been a nation for over 230 years now, and we are still working toward that ideal of liberty and justice for all, but one thing we surely know, or should know, is that it is the content of a person's character, not the color of his skin, that should be used to judge him."

Then your people can insert whatever they like as far as your differences in policy, etc.

This could be your "Nixon goes to China" moment. It might not please the crazies your campaign has attracted in the last few weeks, but it just might make some of the people who are still undecided take a new look at you. As your running mate has said, at this point, you've got nothing to lose.

Please take this advice, sir. I know you do not want to go down in history as the person who started a wave of violence that destroyed our country. Please, put your Country First, as you like to say, and do this--for us, for yourself, and for the sake of our children.

God Bless You,
Ann Atkinson