Dear Mr. President:
I’ve been a fan of yours, a big fan. Before the election, I bought two lifesize cutouts of you, one for me and one for my mother, who’s an even prouder Obamaniac. Both of us have on our refrigerators a picture of her taken standing next to your cutout. I had my cutout in the front window the day of the election, and I took it to work with me the day you won (we’ve got a Democratic majority), and many of us, most dressed in red, white, and blue, gathered around ‘you’ and talked about our hopes for this country. I bought all of the special election and inaugural editions of the news magazines, and saved the New Yorker cover showing you approaching the White House, for framing. Some friends and I rushed to a TV in the middle of our work day, so that we could watch you be inaugurated, and we cried to see Yo Yo Ma and the others playing for you, and were proud and jealous at the same time. We’re symphony musicians, and would have loved to play for you, too, and that day, in our hearts, we were playing for you. There was an excitement in the air that day, in our concert hall.
Since you’ve been in office, I admit I’ve been disappointed that we haven’t seen the great things from you that you seem capable of. Still, I haven’t lost hope in you, and I’ve focused on what you have accomplished, rather than what you have yet to do.
But recently you’ve made such an error in judgment that I feel my faith in you wavering. I think it would have been much better if you’d kept yourself right out of the Michael Vick situation.
It’s a nice thing to say, that everyone should be given a second chance. But that’s only in theory, really. Think about child molesters. If we’re lucky, they get arrested, they go to jail, and after what we hope is a long, long time, they come out. Do we say, “Mr. Child Molester has served his time and paid his dues, and he deserves a second chance”? No, not really. There are people who might feel that, in theory (although nothing in research and factual evidence would support them), but do you think even they would be willing to let Mr. Child Molester have his second chance with their own kids around? Would you? You know you wouldn’t, and you know they wouldn’t.
And this is how it is with Michael Vick. It’s not just what he did; it’s what he is that allowed him to do what he did, and that will not change. There are no dues he can pay that will change his essential self. It just doesn’t work that way.
I have a feeling that you probably know that Michael Vick’s repentance isn’t sincere, that it can’t be sincere, because he’s most likely a sociopath, a man without a conscience. No one with a conscience could have done what he did, and that’s why those of us with consciences are at such a disadvantage with someone like him. We can’t understand what motivates such people, and that’s what makes them dangerous. We find it hard to believe that such people exist, share our air, walk next to us.
I do hope very much that, in your private heart, you know that Michael Vick isn’t a healthy human being. If you do, you realize that there can be no true talk of, ‘dues paid’, and, ‘second chances earned’.
So, why did you say what you did? The word on the internet ‘street’ is that it’s about money, that you sold out for the almighty dollar of pro football, and I suppose that must be it. But I can’t quite believe you would do that, or, I don’t want to believe it. What you’ve stood for, to me and to those whose opinions I respect, is so much more than that. Will you please reconsider?
The people who monitor your popularity must be aware that your statement about Michael Vick is causing more and more ripples each day. This morning already I’ve read about several votes you’ve lost because of it. People who didn’t vote for you last time are bragging about it now. If, by voicing your support of a convicted criminal, not a man convicted of insider trading, but of cruel torture and bloody killings, you lose the support of many of your staunchest fans and give your opponents the equivalent of a nuclear bomb as a weapon to use against you, will it have been worth it?
Please, Mr. President, think again. This isn’t worthy of you. Please climb back up on your pedestal; many of us want and need you there.
P.S. I know that Best Friends in Utah is expecting a call from you. The number I have for them is (435) 644-2001.
I sent this letter to President Obama today. Here’s the link, if you want to see how it appears on, “Letters to Leaders”, and learn how easy it is to send your own: http://www.capwiz.com/politicsol/bio/userletter/?letter_id=6289991346
And here’s a link to a blog entry by Francis Battista from Best Friends, which gives a lot of information on how Michael Vick’s dogs are progressing in rehab: http://blogs.bestfriends.org/index.php/2010/12/29/when-the-president-calls-about-the-vick-dogs/