Dear Gov. DeSantis,
You’re a gentleman. We share many of the same values: respect for family, love for our children, faithfulness to our wives and other core values we hold sacred, such as loyalty to those who look to us for leadership. And we respect The Flag.
Neither of us was born wealthy or elite. We both rose from modest beginnings. Your dad worked for Nielsen, the TV ratings company. I once worked for one of the networks he probably rated, NBC. My dad was a violinist who did magic tricks on the side. He was always too worried about injuring his fingers to play catch with me with a baseball or football like other dads did with their sons.
You worked your way through an Ivy League college (Yale) and so did I (Penn). We both served our country in the U.S. Military, but I was nowhere near a candidate for a bronze star for meritorious service as you received.
And we’re both Republicans, at least for me most of the time as I tend to look more at a candidate’s qualities than his or her party affiliation or pedigree. I was a fan of JFK, but I doubt I would vote for this current Kennedy.
Where we part company are the words you use. You seem to want to strike a belittling, strident chord with words you use to describe groups of people who want to, who dream to and who strive to become Americans.
My dear governor, you say the throngs of illegals crossing rivers laced with steel barbed wire and dangerous currents are “waltzing across our border while the door is held open for them.”
WALTZING, Governor? You say they’re waltzing across the border? Hardly!
Sir, that’s such a mean, inappropriate, absurd word to “waltz” from your stern, angry lips.
How can you describe hordes of poor, suffering migrants as waltzing across our border when they’re trudging hundreds of miles through thick, disease-infested jungles, harshest terrains . . . mothers and fathers carrying children in their arms, striving to reach freedom from their oppressors, enemies and the unimaginable hardships and fear driving them from their homelands.
They’re far from waltzing, dear Governor. They plod, sleep on sidewalks dreaming of a promised land. Seeing our Lady Liberty beckoning them to safety and a better life, they come at great risk and many of them die along the way.
Yes, our border needs more control, but let’s be careful of the words we choose. I would urge your chief rival Trump also to refrain from referring to all migrants as “terrorists.” They’re not Hamas. Sure, they’re a weighty problem, and there are bad apples, but they’re not “all poisoning the blood of our country.” And Mr. Biden, put up this wall Trump started.
Governor, I’ve written a book about words, using the right ones for certain occasions. The title is WORDSHINE MAN, and I’ll be happy to send you a copy so you can chose more apt, less insulting, instigating and demeaning words as waltzing across our border.
I’d rather hear kinder, more apt words waltz from your lips for poor desperate migrants and others whom you deplore, whom you can’t stand because they’re different, because they think and act differently.
If you want to waltz, I’d rather see you waltz with differences and inclusiveness, with critical race theory in schools and more leniency and understanding of the plight of the LGBTQ+ community.
Do that and you’ll waltz into a ballroom of wider respect and maybe then you’ll have a much better chance for higher office, maybe waltzing into the ultimate ballroom, The White House.
Tom Madden is an author whose latest book WORDSHINE MAN describes what he does a great deal of at his public relations firm, TransMedia Group, polishing press releases so they strike a resonant chord with media on behalf of his PR clients.