“A Sense of Duty”

We all remember “Sully” Sullenberger. The pilot who handled the “miracle on the Hudson”. He saved the lives of 155 people and did so with humble grace and leadership of the highest order. Sullenberger doesn’t engage much in the political realm. He shuns the partisan back and forth. But Donald Trump changed that this year for him. Sully does not hide the fact that he is a life long Republican. And he would leave it at that if not for his “sense of duty” to speak out this year. In an Op-ed for the Washington Post on October 29th, he bared his soul:

This is not the America I know and love. We’re better than this. Our ideals, shared facts and common humanity are what bind us together as a nation and a people. Not one of these values is a political issue, but the lack of them is.

This current absence of civic virtues is not normal, and we must not allow it to become normal. We must rededicate ourselves to the ideals, values and norms that unite us and upon which our democracy depends. We must be engaged and informed voters, and we must get our information from credible, reputable sources.

For the first 85 percent of my adult life, I was a registered Republican. But I have always voted as an American. And this critical Election Day, I will do so by voting for leaders committed to rebuilding our common values and not pandering to our basest impulses.

After Flight 1549, I realized that because of the sudden worldwide fame, I had been given a greater voice. I knew I could not walk away but had an obligation to use this bully pulpit for good and as an advocate for the safety of the traveling public. I feel that I now have yet another mission, as a defender of our democracy.

We cannot wait for someone to save us. We must do it ourselves. This Election Day is a crucial opportunity to again demonstrate the best in each of us by doing our duty and voting for leaders who are committed to the values that will unite and protect us. Years from now, when our grandchildren learn about this critical time in our nation’s history, they may ask if we got involved, if we made our voices heard. I know what my answer will be. I hope yours will be “yes.”

Yes, Sullenberger decided he MUST use that voice for good. And to him, right now, the good is to speak out against this President. He feels an urgent need to right the ship. And on November 6, we have that opportunity. Voting for Democrats will not fix everything right away, but it will give those who disagree with our current climate of fear and loathing, a proper voice.

“We must not allow this to become normal.” No, indeed. It is time for this democracy to use the tools it allows for checks and balances.

The people must speak.