Saturday, September 30, 2006

An Open Letter to My Father

Before you begin reading this letter to my father, I need to begin with a preface. Although much of what I have written in the letter is accurate, no mere letter (or posting) can be completely true in all aspects. In truth, my father's beliefs are more complicated and nuanced than I have conveyed in this letter. I have done him a disservice if it portrays him to you as one who has completely "swallowed the kool-aid". I don't think that is the case as much as I believe he has accepted as fact the notion that liberals are bad for the country. His fear is that the country might get worse under the big "D" leadership. With this in mind, I write this letter from the heart and with the belief that you, the reader, will be able to get a glimpse into the hearts of both Father and Daughter as we struggle to communicate with each other in these most difficult of times.

Dear Dad,

I've been thinking a lot about you lately. Just this week your brother died. He was your best friend. You were his protector from the day he was born. I have watched through the years as you have been the pillar of strength to your family. From the time you were a boy to now and until the last one dies, you will be there for them. You've told me how very hard it has been for you to see them leave, one-by-one and year-by-year. For all you have done to protect them, you have not been able to protect them from death. And I know how that weighs on you.

And I've been thinking a lot about your service to country in World War II. You were called. You went. You served with dignity. And you told me that you learned from your experience that no country should ever send their young men and women to war except as the last resort. The. Last. Resort.

I've watched as you have lived your values. Loyalty to family. Loyalty to country. Do everything you can to protect your family. Do everything you can to protect your country.

And yet, over these last few years, I find myself angry with you. Angry that those very values that were your guiding principles through all these years and helped shape this country into being a beacon of light for the world have now become stumbling blocks to maintaining our country's democracy today. I am angry that your loyalty has too often been blind loyalty to the Republican Party. I am angry that in your desire to protect our country from all foreign enemies, you have failed to accurately evaluate the kind of protection our country now needs from the enemy within. As your attention is engaged by the outside enemy, you sorely underestimate the devastation unleashed by this Trojan Horse on the shores of this country you love.

This Administration and its band of liars know you. They know how to take your values and make a mockery of them. They know how to tell you one thing and do another. They know how to convince you that they respect your values as much as you do. Vote for them and they will take care of you and your family. You've worked hard all your life. You've done your duty. No need to watch over this Administration. They have you and your family's best interests at heart. No need to worry any longer.

They have promised you one thing and delivered another. They have said they will protect you and yours, while making us less safe, even as I write this letter. They demand your complete and unquestioning loyalty, even as they plot and plan to destroy all you hold dear.

I know I should direct my anger at this Administration and not at you. In truth, of course, I am angry at this Administration. I am raging angry. But I don't love them. I love you. And I don't expect them to listen to me. I did think you would listen to me. I am your blood. I am your daughter. I think I am more like you than either of us realize. But I don't feel like you are hearing me. At least you are not hearing me as I need you to hear me.

I am begging you to re-evaluate your loyalties. Loyalty to family is only a virtue when the family is worthy of your loyalty. Our family is worthy. Loyalty to country is only a virtue when the country is worthy of your loyalty. Our country is worthy. Loyalty to an Administration is only a virtue when the Administration is worthy of your loyalty. Few Administrations have ever met this criterion. Please believe me when I tell you that this Administration is not worthy of your loyalty.

I implore you to re-evaluate your vision of what it means to protect one's country. Please be willing to admit that a country can be destroyed from within just as surely as a country can be destroyed from without. And it can be done without firing a shot if we let it. Please, Dad, don't let it happen here.

Your Loving Daughter


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