Email to a Cousin
Dear Cousin C.:
I am aware of the existence of a deep misunderstanding between us which I am compelled to acknowledge. I have only come to realize its depth in the wake of your visit Sunday. Based upon a couple of conversational gambits which you attempted yesterday, to which I pointedly made no response, I think you are basically clueless of this division.
In retrospect, I only now see that a deep and unbridgible chasm opened between us the moment, during your last visit two years ago, when you admitted to having voted for George Bush a second time. For someone of your lifelong experience in government service at the national and international level to have done this, was a stunning blow to me. Of course, millions of American did the same thing. But I do not know them. Sunday, I realized I do not know you.
George Bush is the worst president in American History. Having authored the worst-ever U.S. foreign policy catastrophe by invading and occupying Iraq, Bush has certainly joined the ranks of the contemporary world's greatest unindicted war criminals. In my mind, that makes most of those who voted for him in 2004 willing, if unknowing, accomplices. But you knew. And, it was my mistaken confidence in you that you knew better.
I am certainly not interested in any explanations or excuses from you. And neither do you owe me any apology. The only apology you owe is to the American people.
In fact, the very next communication I would ever wish to receive from you is a copy of your letter-to-the-editor published in your local paper apologizing for your 2004 vote. The very next.
Until then, I will miss you. Have a good life.
Never sent: delivered in person. No fists or tears, just a satisfying handshake and newspapers lowered at surrounding tables.