Chesley Burnett “Sully” Sullenberger III is a retired American airline captain who on January 15, 2009, landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River off Manhattan after both engines were disabled by a bird strike. All 155 persons aboard survived. It was such a remarkable feat that eventually a movie starring Tom Hanks as “Sully” was made, depicting ‘the true grit’ of this man and his expertise on practicing airline safety.
Reading that Lawrence O’Donnell was to feature this remarkable man and his concern for the safety of others on a special Saturday Nov. 3 night show, I was eager to hear what his ‘take’ might be on today’s issues. Much to my surprise this former Republican spoke out against President Trump’s leadership — why he feels we must all speak out to keep America free for all Americans. He firmly believes leaders must lead and speak to our values. Engaging in fear mongering, Trump has has abandoned civility and compassion. The Captain said he has given up on Trump ever becoming a compassionate leader and instead appears content to be a cult leader. “Sully” concluded his remarks by reflecting that Trump appears remarkably incurious about the responsibilities entailed with effective leadership. And so it is up to us, Capt. Sullenberger concluded, to bring about the changes our country needs. The core belief of being American, he stressed, is respect for truth.
These last four days before election day is causing us to realize just how important it is for all Americans to vote and how cowardly it is of those who actively try to suppress certain Americans from voting. Perhaps the most ludicrous example is N. Dakota trying to keep the only Americans who have not emigrated here – our native Americans – from voting by requiring exact addresses when they know full well such do not exist by those living in reservations. Already more of us than ever have voted early. More than ever we realize it is our right to vote that truly makes America great!