September 16, 2014
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Times have changed...so, quit complaining

To the Editor:

I am white. I am male. I am also 68 and a Vietnam Era veteran. And I am angry.
And I know many people my age who are also angry. They see gays and lesbians demanding the right to get married. They see a black man in the White House with a strange sounding name, changing our health care system and suggesting that we as a nation might have something to do with the sorry state of affairs in the world.
To my fellow seniors who are upset and alarmed at this, I have a message: Stop feeling sorry for yourself! Enough of your whining! The world is changing, and it's about time you got off your mental easy chair and did the same! Your stubborn resistance to change is maddening!
Upset about gay lifestyle? I am married more than 40 years ... to a woman ... and I do not in any way feel threatened by gays and lesbians who wish to be wed. Here's some advice – one senior to another – try minding your own business.
When I see you no longer eating pork or working on Sunday, then I'll take your Bible-based opposition to gay marriage seriously.
And while you are at it, stop complaining about this so-called “socialist” president as you sit in your easy chairs collecting both Medicare and Social Security. And don't swallow the hogwash about a Republican saving Medicare and a Democrat “robbing” it. Please, don't make seniors look senile by swallowing that lie. ( I'll deal with that lie in my next letter.)
You constantly lament how things have gotten worse. Yes, they have.
Ours was a noble generation that fought for Medicare, for equal rights for women and blacks, clean air and water and decent wages for all. Now too many of us fight for tax breaks for the wealthiest few and more power and money for corporations. How noble is that?
We admired and respected broadcasters like Walter Cronkite and Paul Harvey. Men of integrity. Now we are taken in by any right-wing blowhard with a microphone, the biggest being a four-times married, self-admitted drug abuser. Another so insane, even Fox News dropped him.
And, yes, there is a black man in the White House. It's a sign of the changing face of America. I fully understand for many this is an uncomfortable sign; your old world is gone. For most, what you feel is not bigotry; it's fear. Deep down fear.
Please! It's 2012. Stop fearing change! Embrace it! Welcome it as we did so many years ago because change is here and will continue with or without our help.

Charlie Lawrence
Johnston


Comments
18 comments on this item

I love this guy. 60, straight, white, male.

Great article. Anger is usually the direct response to fear. As a 63 year old woman (married for 45 years to the same man) I work against those who would take away the rights of others, especially women, but am not angry - just determined.

Excellent letter. I'm with you, Charlie Lawrence. If Ryan and Romney get elected, wave goodbye to guaranteed Social Security and Medicare. We'll be back to the 30s when seniors were the poorest segment of the population.

Silvio Levy (white, male, 53)

It's people like you all (including the letter's writer) who make me truly proud to be a Rhode Islander. Of all ages, people in RI know how to live and let live, love and let love. It's no wonder we were the first state to honor religious freedom!

Michelle

I am 64, straight, white, male, Vietnam Era Vet, married 31 years and I only hope he is a relative.

Warner W. Johnston

What an incredible post! I am a 68 year old retired white guy who spends a major part of my time in Alabama and the rest in Louisiana. This post expresses my thoughts exactly!. Most old white men in Alabama are xenophobic, homophobic, Republican WASPS, but there are a few of us old white men who are not.(Well I am of Anglo descent)

What an incredible post! I am a 68 year old retired white guy who spends a major part of my time in Alabama and the rest in Louisiana. This post expresses my thoughts exactly!. Most old white men in Alabama are xenophobic, homophobic, Republican WASPS, but there are a few of us old white men who are not.(Well I am of Anglo descent)

65, straight (married 32 years), white, female. Can't figure out how ANYONE else getting married has ANYTHING to do with my marriage. My GLBT friends should have the same legal rights that I do; it's a simple matter. My extended family includes people of every "race" (to the extent that means anything) and many ethnicities; I would love to live to see them all represented in the White House! And I just started to collect Medicare; if the Republicans privatize it, I am--to use an expression you old vets will recognize--SOL.

Carol Kennedy

I am and will always be a Republican, I mean, a TRUE Republican. Not a Tea Bagger variety or one who seeks ideological purity, sees compromise as weakness, one who will deny science or is unmoved by facts, intolerant of dissent, or one who has a pathological hatred of the US government. No, that's not me. Idon't know what political party Mr. Johnson stands with, but I stand with Charlie Johnson. I too am a war veteran, 66 yrs old, and I am not terrified of change and progress. I am spiritual, attend church regularity, but do not have a fundamental belief in scriptural literalism. I am open to change because we cannot stop it. When I see people of my generation with this faux tribal mentality and severe xenophobia, I say to myself, "What did we all fight for in the 1960's?" We baby boomers are the 2nd greatest generation after our parents, having seen monumental change take place in our lifetimes, and we will be seeing more. I welcome it.

EXCELLENT,Charlie! It's time ALL the seniors and those on disability realized that they, too, are "socialists" ! The worst thing about us old farts is our INABILITY to accept change!

To make AND BELIEVE an insane statement like " gay marriage destroys traditional marriage" shows ignorance of human history AND the Bible! POLYGAMY was traditional marriage of the Bible.

Obama is NOT the angry man spreading hate, devisiveness and class warfare! The "others" are.

I shared this on my facebook page because it expresses my feelings. One of my conservative friends posted this as a comment:

question: Is Mr. Johnson a paid political spokesperson? He has received uniformly favorable posts recorded by a Democratic sponsored site: http://​www.democraticunderground.c​om/10021253622. Therefore, I ask not to discredit Mr. Johnson but simply to better appreciate his intellectual honesty. take care

Mr. Johnson, I don't care whether you are a paid spokesperson or not. I share your feelings and would be glad if I were to get paid for sharing them. But I would appreciate it if you would answer my friend's question. Thanks very much. Nawlins Dave

Nawlins Dave:

I checked out the link you posted. The Democratic Underground just reposted this letter on the site because they agreed with it. Charlie has no connection with them. Anyone can repost this letter because it's public, so it's probably going to show up lots of places. It's a great letter and expresses REAL AMERICAN VALUES.

Have a great day-

Frank Norberg

Obama is not the angry man!? Really?? Please read his book, Dreams from my Father and then watch the movie Obama 2016. Best documentary, whether you love him or hats him! Obama IS the angry one....

Brain washed by the bias liberal Media, Keep reading and listening to the crap they are eating you.. You at what change as given you 10% unemployment Own by Democratic control hacks who tell you one thing and do something totally different.. Unless Rhode Island and this country gets away from the radical Democratic Party.. We are done.. And by the way stop trying to tell us change is better and we need to go along with it.. I can think the way I want, pray for whom ever I like, Give and spend my money on you ever want. I'm not going to be policially correct .. Being in the Military myself I'll tell you something that you'll understand... GO POUND SAND!!

Frank Noeberg, thanks for your response. I will share it with my friend. I agree with you, it expresses true American values and I hope that it becomes widely circulated.

Frank Noeberg, thanks for your response. I will share it with my friend. I agree with you, it expresses true American values and I hope that it becomes widely circulated.

Great letter!! Wish I had written it! Thank you Mr Lawrence!

I don't mind change. What I mind is worth being taken from one group to give to another group. I don't care if is going rich to poor or poor to rich, it has to stop. Stop corporate welfare and entitlement programs. No one likes being robbed if you can't see that's what government is doing you're blind with all these programs you're blind.

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