I just want ONE meeting.
I want to sit across from him at a table with loads of secret-service agents around, in a well-lighted room with many exits, so he feels safe. Then I want to talk, on behalf of essentially the working poor, and I want him to listen. That’s all I want.
I won’t yell. I won’t call him names. For the first time in my life, I’ll even call him “Mr. President” and/or “sir.” But he has to LISTEN. He can’t interrupt me. He can’t counter my points. I just want him to hear, in PLAIN words from one of the people he probably wouldn’t otherwise acknowledge, what some of us think of him. I’ll even go the extra mile and tell him that I know I don’t speak for all of America, and that there are obviously a LOT of people out there who support and respect him far more deeply than I ever will–and I’ll admit to him that if we avoided talking politics, I could probably even call him “friend” in another life. But I want him to hear it.
He doesn’t have to agree. He doesn’t have to make changes. I just want him to know how tightly stretched my approx $25-grand a year is in his economy. I just want him to hear the first and last name of my friend who came home from Iraq without use of his leg. I want him to know how afraid people I know are that the economy is going to collapse and they won’t be able to live. I want him to know how hard it is for some of us to afford simple antibiotics in this country, while Iraq enjoys universal health-care. I want him to hear about a friend of mine who is gay that is regularly called “faggot” and has been beaten up for his “lifestyle,” and who isn’t allowed a simple TAX BREAK from being married. I want him to hear about my friend who regularly shaves his beard and head, hoping people will mistake him for “black” instead of recognizing him as “Arab” (even though he was born in Illinois).
I want him to know how badly the past eight years have hurt.
Then he can leave. I can leave. And I’ll forgive him.
…but I really should leave the science fiction writing to people like Kurt Vonnegut, I guess…he was better at it… On the other hand, though, he died last year, and someone has to dream, right?