21st Century
The Future
World Travel
Books & Film
Original Fiction
Opinion & Lifestyle
Politics & Living
Film Space
Movies in depth
Kid's Books
Reviews & stories

The International Writers Magazine: Reality Check: Plus Readers letters

An Open Apology to America
James Campion

Dearest United States (Most of),
I was wrong.
Despite my hard-line skepticism, serious doubts, and relentless cynicism born from over two centuries of recidivistic dementia, you did not elect a middle-aged Anglo-Saxon, Protestant white guy who pandered to your basest fears while treating you like a spastic ten year-old. You did the unthinkable, the historic; expunging the old-boy's network filled with tired retreads with lobby-addled dance cards and corporate lackeys, labor racketeers with Birch Society, Morality-Quack, Hollywood, Oil Baron, Wall Street golf enthusiasts.

You did it. You made history. You buried history. You literally put a new face on your presidency. You voted in overwhelming numbers from middle class white single moms to lunch pail beer swillers to college dinks and fist-pumping queers and radical outsiders to fed-up genuine conservatives and leftist pinkos to disgruntled retirees and proud minorities and even weary first-timers nourished on well-earned apathy.

You put a man into your White House who only 21 months ago was nowhere. No money. No name. No affiliations. No press. No groundswell or demo-marketing focus group pollers. No favor-handing, my-turn party craven resume. No silver-spoon nepotistic underachiever credentials. No misogynistic double-talking viper psychosis. A first-generation American with a black father from the jungles of Kenya and a single mother from the wheat fields of Kansas having to leap frog the entire Democratic Smear Machine and the Republican Madhouse.

You said you wanted change, and instead of whipping yourself into a senseless frenzy and then looking the other way, you did the unthinkable. You voted for change. You went out and enacted the concept of democracy; however distorted, manipulated and dysfunctionally imperfect it remains. You gave the democracy thing a whirl.

And as astounding as it feels to actually write this, you did not need ugly rhetoric or wild shenanigans, under-handed tactics or silly slogans or scorched earth backbiting and angry retorts from every corner of the antiquated two-party death knell to do so. The steady, bright, even-keeled, unwavering hope peddler put it to you and you actually voted for him.

And I am especially pleased with your youth, which had been pummeled with nonsense for four decades when Viet Nam and riots and thug-police and a corrupt FBI and unbridled CIA and a lunatic president battling the fire-breathing, march-happy underground radicals obliterated the middle-ground of your body politic setting up one bummer after another; Kent State, Watergate, Malaise, Savings & Loan, Iran/Contra, Desert Storm, Contract With America, Monica Lewinsky, Ken Starr, 9/11, Patriot Act, Mission Accomplished, to name just a very few.

I did not think you had it in you. I had heard forever how motivated and pissed off and fired-up you were going to be, and come Election Day, I was disappointed in you every time. Every time. But not this time.

Granted, it took the greatest economic meltdown in 80 years and one car wreck of a campaign to move you quickly in this direction, but move you did. And I am proud of you and I owe you a public and humbling apology.

Four years ago, in the wake of the inconceivable re-election of George W. Bush, I wrote this about you...
"Turns out Zell Miller's apoplectic lunacy at the convention three months ago was right on the money. He was goofy, but he spoke for the electorate. Miller represents the majority. It hasn't changed in 220-plus years of this republic. You want to change the hearts and minds of the hinterland? You want to jerk the South from its Bible Belt? You had better get the army together, like Lincoln did. Burn their cities and teach them a thing or two. These people are still fighting the damned Civil War. Those people who were power-hosing the black folk in Alabama and Mississippi and the Carolinas during the Civil Rights movement? They're still there, and they had children, and they're not trading the country in for any slick talking Yankee lawyer who ain't down with Jesus. Give them a smiling hick like Carter or Clinton or they're sending you back to the Ivy League."

Well, Virginia and North Carolina kicked my ass but good this time. Those states, along with Colorado and New Mexico out west, where the new economic centers are, beat the hell out of convention. The blaze of true change engulfed weirdly entrenched places like Missouri, Indiana and Iowa, and put old Democratic politico junctions in Ohio and Pennsylvania in their place. Barack Obama, the next president, didn't even need them or the almost entirety of the south; like he didn't need them to defeat Madam Hillary and put to shame the sad excuses offered up by losers like Al Gore and John Kerry. He did not need them to beat the white, military veteran who yelled "Socialism" and "Radical" from sea to shiny sea.

You kicked tradition in the balls. You stomped the terra and made history, and while you were at it, you did not ignore your darkest corners of it. You faced it, as the candidate faced it with you.

On the eve of the most unlikely victory in your rich and bizarrely brilliant ledger, Mr. Obama stood before a cheering mob in Manassas, Virginia, the site of the bloody battles of Bull Run, mere miles from the capital of the doomed Confederacy, and within shouting distance of the home of your father, George Washington and your most endearing author, Thomas Jefferson, who had both dreamed of and fought for liberty while inexplicably owning human beings. Then, after carrying that state in his improbable ride to the most powerful post on the planet, standing before a million weeping revelers in a park where 40 years before in the wake of Martin Luther King's assassination the Democratic Party went up in flames as thousands of protesters were beaten bloody by crazed cops on national television, in the home state of your greatest president, the emancipator of the slaves, Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama, 47 year-old junior senator, a black man, embodied your greatest promise; all men are indeed created equal.

It is a story of achievement so starkly inconceivable it does it no service to encapsulate it in the words bound by political commentary. Only poetry. Only song. Only someone not yet born will be able to immortalize it properly.
But until then I offer this humble request for forgiveness.

Now excuse me while I take a few weeks off and then get back to irrationally deconstructing everything you hold dear and reducing it to badly humored fodder.
Your proud son,

© James Campion Nov 7th 2008


I have been enjoying ALL of your election related rantings since this whole messy race began back in the primaries!! You sum everything up so much better than these stupid pundits on TV...and I'm surrounded by them!!!
    Great job.
    Can't wait to read your review on the election!!
    I particularly liked this line: "He makes inroads to rise above Rovian ugliness and then unleashes a dimwitted harpy from the great north to rile up the Timothy McVeigh set."
    I laughed out loud at the use of the word "harpy" in there, I was immediately remembering the Greek mythological beast from high school English and thought it was the perfect way to describe Palin...and the whole Timothy McVeigh thing? Genius. It paints the perfect picture...
Good stuff
~Rob Miceli

All I can see is wow!!  And I hope Jesus watches over us!!!
Take care,
Joey The Saxman

The last line was as scary as an unexpected roll of thunder: "Coolness is in and wild abandon is looking like a losing strategy. Liberalism and inexperience are no longer factors in this contest. With three weeks to go only the race of his opponent can save John McCain now." And, alas, no doubt accurate. But I didn't think McCain won the first debate ... I thought he was good at hurling lots of lies that had Obama constantly exposing as such, but I wasn't impressed.
Vincent Czyz

I watched the three debates on Fox News, and was amazed at the responses by the commentators after the final debate. It really made me wonder if I was watching the same debate that they were, or if the commentators were watching a bizzaro world version.  Hearing what Senator McCain had said made me all the more convinced that I would like a President in the oval office seat that actually shows that he is alive and awake. What John McCain showed in his final debate was something called passion. Please look that word up in the dictionary and think again about what you saw with regards to Senator McCain. Senator Obama, on the other hand, showed a passive nature. What some view as cool and calm, to me is dull and lack-luster. With the state of affairs that the country is currently in, let alone the world, my vote will go to the person who will show strong feeling; who is a fighter for what is right for the American people; someone who will show rage and anger at injustice; and love and enthusiasm for his country and the good people that live in it.
L. Geller

I've received nothing but shit emails about Obama and I'm glad! I don't like him or his wife. And I could care less that he's black! Didn't he have a white MAMA!!
    I'm sorry if you're voting for Obama. You may not like this. But the man is a WIMP, who gives a SHIT what change he is going to make. He has neither concern nor respect for this country or your freedom. He will be the JERK hiding under his desk with his IDIOT wife and kids while other buildings are falling from terrorism. And do you really think he'll be singing, "I'd like to teach the world to sing"!
    I'm voting for Joe the Plumber.
   What is Obama's first items on the agenda when he wins? Taking down the AMERICAN flag off all government offices, because he says it a sign of oppression. Or changing the National anthem, he doesn't like some of the lines... bombs bursting in air, he'd like something softer.
     How can such an un-American asshole run for President!
Mama Bear

As always, great insights this week on the final debate...yes Obama trounced him in my conservative opinion...McCain is a worse debater than Bush...But there is "one plausible reason to vote for him"...and the ONLY reason I will be voting for McCain and any future President for the rest of my entire life...that is of NATIONAL SECURITY...No one is talking about it (except Biden...what un unbelievable gaff by him!)...although he is dead on...The DNC has done a great job by making this election TOTALLY about the economy...the only trouble is that the President has next to no influence on the ways of the economy...should we give Bush credit for Wall Street's growth from '01 through '07
??...Obviously the answer is NO...also oil just hit a 16 month low closing under $57 a barrel today...Does President Bush get credit for this???...No...but of course Michael Moore convinced everyone that Bush drove the price up of gasoline up to pat his oil buddies on the can't have it both ways...anyhow, I've got Obama winning by
over 300 electoral votes...congrats...
Donald Brown

Gimmee a break. (GOP R.I.P) The GOP won the Presidency in 1980, 1984, 1988, 2000 and 2004. During this same time, the GOP in 1994 took both Houses of Congress and held on for 12 years. Did any enlightened pundits like yourself say it was the end of the Liberal movement in America? No, you didn't and I should know...I shared a newspage with you debunking all of your lib silliness.
    I am not even sure Obama pulls this out. People can say all they want now but in the silence of the voting booth and a decision needs to be made people are going to think and think hard.
    Obama has done a good job masking his Liberalism and getting columnists and pundits to drool all over him and ignore his socialist message.
    Obama's ascendancy has been a marvel of advertising and image culturing.
There is no "there" there. He is an inexperienced empty suit and if elected we will be the one's worse for it.
   As for the GOP, the GOP is going to have a revolution after this election and will be just fine. The McCain's, the Snowe's and the rest of the RINO's will be shown the door. The Conservative wing of the party....the Conservative wing that won in 1980, 1984, 1988. 2000 and 2004 will once again rise up; bare it's teeth and take the party back from a bunch of interloping Libs.
Bill Roberts

This is as good as JC gets. This is why this is the best political writing I read all week and I read EVERYTHING. As a card-carrying, hard-line fiscal conservative and staunch adversary to all restructuring of the world and the bloating of the federal deficit that this ultra-Liberal president Bush has constructed right under our noses, I can feel your words of truth and put them in my back pocket for future reference to see if this barely breathing political party which has been hijacked by religious wackos and geo-political Nazis will return to Goldwater and a Libertarian slant that provided its strength in the time of Reagan into the Revolution of '94.
   The Grand Old Party is truly dead, and you and David Brooks and Bill Krystal and George Will have been warning about this for over a year and I thank you for your service as an American and a true patriot of the other dying craft, journalism.
    I will vote for Obama, who could well turn out to be more conservative than either Bush who gutted the Republican Party to death and McCain, who wishes to continue this madness at home and abroad.
Fight on,
Thomas Graffe

More Comment


© Hackwriters 1999-2008 all rights reserved - all comments are the writers' own responsibility - no liability accepted by or affiliates.