15 NOVEMBER 2008
A letter has been circulating via the Internet, recently attrtibuted to David Letterman and earlier to Jay Leno. In
fact, neither of the two popular show hosts claimed it. Several sources indicated that it was originally sent by
Conservative Craig R. Smith in response to a growing negative atmosphere. Anyway, its popular circulation reflects a
particular viewpoint, and we reproduce it as received:
'As most of you know I am not a President Bush fan, nor have I ever been, but this is not about
Bush, it is about us, as Americans, and it seems to hit the mark.
'The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some Poll data I found rather hard to
believe. It must be true given the source, right?
'The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is
headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the President. In essence 2/3 of the
citizenry just ain't happy and want a change. So being the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, 'What are we
so unhappy about?'
A. Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
B. Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter?
C. Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job?
D. Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than
Darfur has seen in the last year?
E. Maybe it is the ability to drive our cars and trucks from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean
without having to present identification papers as we move through each state.
F.Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide
G.I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not
H.Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to
help all involved. Whether you are rich or poor they treat your wounds and even, if necessary, send a helicopter to
take you to the hospital.
I.Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home.
J.You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of having a fire, a group of trained
firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames thus saving you, your
family and your belongings.
K.Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes; an
officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss.
L.This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the
residents. Neighborhoods where 90 percent of teenagers own cell phones and computers.
M.How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of
everyone in the world?
Maybe that is what has 67 percent of you folks unhappy.
Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world
loves the U.S. yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in
the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have and what we hate about the country instead of thanking
the good Lord we live here.
I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who
has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11?
The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called
every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled brats safe from terrorist attacks? The commander in
chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me?
Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases have
died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go. They are able to
refuse to go and end up with either a ''general'' discharge, an ''other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case
scenario, a ''dishonorable'' discharge after a few days in the brig.
So why then the flat out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans? Say what you want but I blame
it on the media. If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood
and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are
for-profit corporations. They offer what sells. Just ask why they are going to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson
to write a book and do a TV special about how he didn't kill his wife but if he did...Insane!
Stop buying the negative venom you are fed everyday by the media. Shut off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the
New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as a country. There is
exponentially more good than bad. We are among the most blessed people on Earth and should thank God several times
a day, or at least be thankful and appreciative. With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mudslides, flooding,
severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist
attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?
I close with one of my favorite quotes from B.C. Forbes in 1953:
"What have Americans to be thankful for? More than any other people on the earth, we enjoy complete religious
freedom, political freedom, social freedom. Our liberties are sacredly safeguarded by the Constitution of the United
States, 'the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.' Yes, we Americans
of today have been bequeathed a noble heritage. Let us pray that we may hand it down unsullied to our children and
I suggest this Thanksgiving we sit back and count our blessings for all we have. If we don't, what we have will
be taken away. Then we will have to explain to future generations why we squandered such blessing and abundance. If we
are not careful this generation will be known as the "greediest and most ungrateful generation." A far cry from the
proud Americans of the '"greatest generation" who left us an untarnished legacy.'