THE BLOG
04/07/2008 12:09 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

An Open Letter to My Elderly Parents in Florida About the 2008 Election

Dear Mom and Dad,

I appreciate your multiple emails praising the scripted talking points with which Senators Clinton and McCain have been bombarding you and your retiree friends in southern Florida to appeal to your demography in that strange and oddly-shaped land of alligators, rednecks, and natural disasters. However, I must respectfully disagree with your separate choices of Clinton (mother) and McCain (father).

McCain is an elderly, mixed-up pol with some incurable disease that is forcing his campaign to advise him to withhold the release of his medical records. He's riding the polls on the near crashed-out wave of his ancient military credentials and the false patriotism of an extended neocon platform. Despite his honorable personal military service, anyone who supports his currently hawkish views and sends to their death more American kids isn't a "patriot" to me. Besides, to paraphrase Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign mantra "it's the economy and the Earth, stupid."

Are you really going to vote for a man who can't discern Iran from Iraq, or Sunni from Shia (and those issues are supposedly his strong points? This unnerving cognitive disability alone should disqualify him as a candidate for Commander-in-Chief.

We need someone now who can deftly multi-task the parallel demands of an imploding economy, a melting Earth, a tarnished reputation around the globe, an unnecessarily divided electorate, our insatiable thirst for fossil fuels, and a never-ending war in the Middle East. McCain's clearly not up to the task(s).

Hillary is talented, bright, and seasoned BUT she's also a greasy, corrupt, say-anything-do-anything, power-mongering, whining, hippocritical junkyard dog who should divorce Bubba after all of this and go back to the Senate, become majority leader, and kick some Republican ass. I am SO disappointed that I voted for her in the California primary but I AM glad that this primary season has gone on long enough and that she and her advisors have been put under enough stress for the real Clinton monster to emerge. That soap opera needs no rerun...

Senator Obama is a very smart young man who hopefully will succeed in the big leagues by surrounding himself with the best advisors who just helped him defeat the the most powerful and dirtiest political machine in U.S. politics. Just like that country lawyer Lincoln did -- as retold by Doris Kearns Goodwin in her seminal work Team of Rivals-- by nature of his brains, charm and powers of articulation, he brings hope to the starved masses of us that something will change to get this country back on the rails again.

We do agree on one point. The doubts and concerns you have expressed about Obama's failure to ditch Rev. Wright somewhere along the 20 year timeline (when he must have unavoidably heard one or more of Wright's outrageous diatribes) is inexcusable. I can understand and sympathize with some of Wright's complaints about race inequality, but "God Damn America" and the U.S. being to blame for 9-11 are over the line and Obama's silence could be deemed by some to be tacit consent.

However, I view all of this brouhaha to be the ambitious mistakes of a rising political star who thought he could get a leg up in the Chicago political machine by becoming a member of this influential and -- to be fair -- well-intentioned African-American church. I DO NOT seriously believe (and Obama has said as much in his Philadelphia oratory on race) that he has internalized any of Wright's irrational and inflammatory vitriol. Obama got his ass roundly whupped by this misstep and he seems like a man who has the capacity to learn from his mistakes -- unlike the "leaders" we've been forced to endure for the last seven years.

For the record, I never bought into all the Messianic hoohah surrounding Obama. It's amusing to witness, but don't dismiss him because of the crowds' rock-star reaction to him. They are thirsty for change and he can give a helluva sermon on the stump.

I do see a thoughtful, articulate constitutional lawyer and deft politician who may just take the time to listen to all sides of an issue rather than the stupid, unquestioning ideologue that Bush II subconsciously relied on to rip apart the fabric of this nation.

If Obama's campaign to date has been any measure of how he'll operate his White House, he'll undoubtedly heed the expert advice of his team of well-selected advisor-experts, help repair the nation's standing in the world, begin to mend the tears in our social fabric and appoint a few reasonable Supreme Court nominees so that I may live out the few good years I have left in relative calm and security from the rightwing nutbags...

I don't expect miracles, just a little duct tape...

Love,

Gary