First, I thank Vincent N. Shonka (letter of June 17, "A Bad President") for his service as a veteran. But I remind him that Joe McCarthy died in 1957. "Un-american" is an old slur and it's time to stop slinging that mud.
Our president could have made a fortune on Wall Street with his Harvard law degree but he chose public service. He rose from modest means through education and public service, not through family connections and private wealth. Barack and Michelle Obama are an American success story, student loans and all!
I am not infatuated with Mr. Obama; in fact I'm annoyed that he is not including a single-payer plan in the discussion of health-care reform and hasn't eliminated the "don't ask / don't tell" policy in the military by executive order the way that President Truman racially integrated our troops in 1948. However, I am very proud to have a well-educated, articulate, intelligent human being representing us on the world stage, for once.
I would like to remind Mr. Ray Dively (whose letter, "Apology Tour," also was published that day) that there is no such thing as "the Muslims" just as there is no such thing as "the Christians," "the Jews," "the atheists," etc. There are fanatics, conservatives and liberals in all spiritual traditions. It's not our labels that matter but how we behave and how we treat each other.
What Mr. Shonka and Mr. Dively view as derogatory, apologetic talk by our president is viewed by many of us other equally American Americans as honest adult talk about global issues and politics.
We've got one planet to live on, all 6.7 billion of us. Name-calling, labeling, posturing and framing things in terms of "us" vs. "them" is not going to work in the 21st century, not here at home and not elsewhere in the world. We finally have a president who understands this.