For those of you who believe that I'm smiling down on America, you need to look again! (And it would help to turn up the volume just a bit.) I am not smiling. In fact, I'm laughing, mostly at the stupidity of which my human creations are capable. (Actually, I fudged just a bit. My laughing is certainly mixed with disappointment and lamentation.) If you really want to know—yes, sometimes, I even cry.
Really, kids, when I told the founding fathers what to do—how to kick the English king's butt and embark on a noble democratic experiment—I just never suspected that things could go so amok. Sure, other places—the ones that Donald referred to as "shit-hole" countries—have always had more than their share of famine, pestilence, hopelessness, corruption and war, and many of those simply can't get their act together. I guess every father has a few kids that struggle, but I had really expected something better from, what I sometimes refer to as, my "pet project."
You certainly can't ever blame America's problems on me. After all, I was there when George and the army crossed the Delaware in their leaky fleet. It took scores of angels sticking their fingers into the holes to pull that one off. I personally drugged Revere's horse to run like the wind so he could bring the warning to every little township. I had my hand on the quill when the Constitution was drafted and, more than a few times, I've used my Harbor Freight torch to braze the cracks in the Liberty Bell.
My children, your country was supposed to be a modern utopia, and yet its flaws are deep and serious. Sometimes I can't help but think that America's flaws are running a close second to its boasts. Let's face it; I didn't plan it that way. I really believed that democracy was a better use of man's inalienable right to free choice, but you kids keep making bad choices, taking your rich inheritance and, essentially, tossing it into the burning-barrel.
Now we're all seeing the result of my miscalculation—runaway greed and a government, not by the people or for the people, but existing only to feather the nests of the rich and to supply solid gold toilets to a privileged few. (Personally, I don't like 14 carat gold commodes. I found a few at Donald's supplier, but they sent cold shivers up my spine each time I needed to go...and that's really frequently, because I have to drink so much coffee to keep from dozing off.)
Humankind sometimes seems like a big mistake, because I spend most of my waking hours trying to clean up the damage you kids insist on doing. I am so f---ing tired. You're simply wearing me out.
I know—you believe that I can fix everything, but that's a tall order even for me. That task is totally overwhelming because my resources aren't actually unlimited. When you call and can only connect with my Radio Shack answering machine, please don't be offended. Sure, you might be dying—maybe even chased by a Colorado legislator with a gun—but my insane schedule doesn't allow me to get to everything. They call me omnipotent, but I can only start so many cars with dead batteries, and the number of "please find my keys" missions has become utterly ridiculous.
I know—I'm getting a bit off the subject, probably because I didn't take my Adderall today. (Yes, it's official. I'm definitely ADHD. Dr. Luke prescribed it—you know, he's my personal physician and has been for the past 2,000 years.) The point I wanted to make—and, yes, you can consider it scripture—is that Americans are failing to cherish their republic: you've allowed the wolves to lead you astray; you've placed traitors in the highest halls of your government; you've rolled out the red carpet for crazies like Boebert, Gaetz, and Greene; and you've totally failed in the sacred concept of "government for and by the people." Sometimes I don't even know why I even waste my breath on America. You're allowing the selfish interests of a few to steal the legacy I helped you create.
Don't get me wrong; I will try to help, but you're going to have to do the work. Here's a little laundry list to help you get it right: Purge the mammon of unrighteousness from Congress; have respect for the votes of everybody—not just the most privileged and favored of your people; restore the separation between the branches of government; honor the media in its commitment to provide truth; use care not to entrust monsters with your fate; and give reverence to the equality of all human beings.
And one last thing: Don't ever use "religion" as the reason for hurting others—it has nothing to do with me and I have no patience for those who wear my image on their sleeves.
Well there you have it, kids. I helped to get it all started, but it's up to you to love America enough to do the right thing. I don't want to see one of my favorite countries on the trash heap of failed civilizations, so you'll have to take this seriously—and do a lot better. (And, you know me—I'm not very good at keeping up on correspondence, but I'll try to remember to send you a card during the holidays.) Good luck: I really do want you to succeed.
Yours truly, Daddy.
The author is a retired businessman, novelist, columnist, and former Vietnam-era Army assistant public information officer. He resides in Riverton with his wife, Carol, and the beloved ashes of their mongrel dog.