Alex Aichinger
Kirsten Andersen
Brent Barksdale
Jim Couture
Andrew Downey
Natalie Farr
Joe Giardiello
Bret Hrbek
Sang Mi Kim
Ramesh Ponnuru
Tom Scerbo
Dorothy Seese
Jason Soter

Senate Candidate Bob Franks of New Jersey

Myriam Marquez is a columnist for the Orlando Sentinel

A Letter To My Uncle

Dear Uncle,

After many years, I think that it is time we part company. What had sounded so wonderful at first is really beginning to suck the life out of me. You promised so much but gave so little. You've hurt me in countless ways and left such a trail of broken promises that I now find myself wondering how I
ever trusted you in the first place.

I'll never forget that when we first met you promised me the world, Uncle. "Don't worry about anything," you said. "Uncle Sam will take care of everything!" "When you're sick I will be there to nurse you." "Hungry? I shall feed you. For your children I shall provide life, liberty, happiness,
food, clothing, housing, and education." In short, you promised everything for nothing. "Trust in me and I will nurture you with my tender love," is what you said. I must admit, it was a seductive offer that took me down an awful path. At the time I couldn't help but think of how wonderful you were.
With my Uncle Sam's help, I am going to create a strong and loving family, I thought. I looked to the future with such bright-eyed optimism that I failed to miss the early warning signals. I trusted in you, Uncle, and your promise for a brighter tomorrow and now I find that my children cannot read, my
neighborhoods are in ruins, and the morality of my once vibrant society is now in shambles.

I used to wonder where you obtained all the resources to shower me with such affection. "Uncle Sam doesn't have a job but has trillions of dollars at his disposal." He sells nothing but has everything. I just reassured myself that my Uncle Sam was such a clever guy that I needn't worry. But as you began to fail me, Uncle, doubts started to creep into my consciousness. I began to notice the little things that I had previously rationalized away. Most importantly, that you were following me everywhere I went. I couldn't get away from your affection even when I tried. If I jumped in my car to air out my thoughts you were waiting for me at the gas station when I filled up. At work, I receive no peace of mind as you remind me of your presence on the first and fifteenth. Eating my problems away was of little help seeing that you were at the check-out counter making my already expensive taste more expensive. No matter what I do or where I go your love keeps draining me. Even if I die you will be right there chasing me into the afterlife. I give and give and give and you take and take and take but now I am tired. Your promises have failed to materialize and now I find that through our Faustian bargain your "love" and intoxicating promises have suffocated me and ripped
from my soul my self-confidence in the ability to care for myself and my family. You stole that from me, Uncle, with your hollow guarantees and bags full of empty promises. In return you have produced nothing but misery.

But I must admit, you are indeed a clever man, Uncle. You are clever, not because you caused me such pain and profited from it all the while, rather you succeeded in making me thank you for it all these years. I thanked you for digging your knee into my chest and begged for you to stick your heel in my throat. Yet, it seems that when I cry out "Uncle! Uncle!" in order for you to stop you proceed to dig in further. Well, enough is enough. I believe that it is time for you to take your boundless love, decrepit tenderness and go your own way and leave me the hell alone!

---Tired and Disgusted

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