I have a very dear third cousin whose name is Jess. We actually met via the Internet because various mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law (actually my grandmother and great-grandmother) managed to stop spending much cooperative time together and separated parts of our family.
When my mother, who lives in Bartlesville, Oklahoma became ill some time ago, I started to do some family research with her to learn more about our pioneering family that had helped settle Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Wisconsin, Missouri, Kentucky and other rough places, when they were still rough.
I met Jess and a huge network of relatives through the internet and have become close, in spirit more than phone calls, to them.
This special cousin and I haven’t communicated much lately. Totally my fault. I have Bolton on the brain and a lot of other foreign policy work — and tough to make the family time one would like when trying to keep this person from undermining American interests.
Jess is pretty conservative I think, but very reasonable. She loves George Bush, or did. My mom has made a bit of a migration — being quite the George Wallace type conservative when I was young and then talking publicly in Bartlesville about voting for a Democrat for President.
My great-grandmother who had a prized letter from then New York-governor Franklin Roosevelt saved in a tin to thank her for her work organizing the Democratic Party in her territory just north of Tulsa would be elated that someone had gone back to her party. Just about everyone else in my family was Republican, including myself — until I got disgusted with some of the Republican shenanigans in Orange County and West Los Angeles — signed up as a Democrat, until Tom Bradley and a lot of Democratic Los Angeles City Hall Council Members voted to give Armand Hammer and Occidental Petroleum drilling rights off the coast of Pacific Palisades and Malibu in Southern California. Hammer didn’t need to pay much to these Dems to get them to shift — and that is when I officially became an Independent.
I’m now out to hijack either one of the parties along with some other people who believe that Americans deserve better than they are getting from government. My personal motto is to “embarrass the bad decisions of government and then put a better idea on the table.” Some times it is easier to do that than others — but many of my colleagues and I try.
Back to my third cousin, who lives in Texas — but who also spent a lot of time in Tulsa and Bartlesville. She is a good conservative, one with a conscience — and she minces no words and doesn’t EVER offer me falsehoods about what she feels.
Well, Jess is one person — so this is more anecdote than trend, but she wrote this today:
Hi, Steve, I don’t pretend to understand all that is going on in our government, but it seems to me that you are doing some very clear thinking.
This John Bolton needs to be stopped before the whole world is against us. Hope you are well and happy. Think about you often.
Really enjoyed, but was alarmed by todays reading of your blog. This Bolton thing is SCARY! Love, Jess
The point I’m trying to get across in this vignette is that people from a wide political spectrum — conservative, centrist, progressive — see this Bolton stuff and realize that something isn’t quite right about this appointment.
Even the biggest backers of George W. Bush realize that he has to make some tough calls and even if in their eyes, he has called a lot of things right — they can see that this appointment of John Bolton is WRONG. . .and very harmful for our interests.
I need to call my Texan cousin and encourage her to have her rather huge internet network take a look at the Bolton stuff. I don’t want Jess to sway them one way or another. Some may think Bolton’s comments are just what America needs, but others will not.
This is good news from Texas. Just get people to read, consider, and comment.
I hope all of you reading this — no matter what side of the aisle you are on, no matter whether you think John Bolton is a swell guy or someone we ought to find some other kind of desk job than serving as our nation’s Ambassador to the U.N. — have a Happy Easter Sunday.
Best regards, and more later,
— Steve Clemons