, Salem, MA


March 9, 2013

Letter: Obama's missed opportunity

To the editor:

I have been looking back at a couple of letters that I wrote and I found one from four years ago, wishing our newly elected president, Barack Obama, well in guiding us during his new administration. It is as follows:

It’s time to be Americans again

Last Thursday marked the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln, an American president who put country before party. He was proud of his accomplishments of freeing the slaves and keeping America strong and whole, while winning the Civil War. He was a man of true conviction and principle ... a great American!

Today, Feb. 17, 2009, marks the 100th birthday of my father, Cmdr. J. Alex Michaud, an admirer of President Lincoln. My dad was a great patriot, teacher, business leader, philanthropist, husband and father. He was part of the “Greatest Generation” and was in charge of the largest group of PT boat squadrons in the world during World War II, commanding 14,000 brave men and women. Like all Americans of his day, he fought to protect the very principles of freedom that Lincoln worked so hard to preserve 100 years earlier. I miss my Dad since his death six years ago. He loved his family, business and community and used his success to contribute unselfishly to the benefit of those less fortunate than him, while doing so without fanfare. Anyone who knew him knows what I mean.

Over the past several years, the country has been wound up in partisan politics with labels like liberal Democrat, conservative Republican, religious right, far left, etc. We seem to have lost our direction. Greed by some seems to be the rule today with one scandal after another.

Over my lifetime, we have lost some really great politicians. Men who worked together for the good of the people they served. Men like Congressmen William Bates and Nicholas Mavroules, Reps. Frank Hatch and J. Michael Ruane, and Sens. Kevin B. Harrington and William Saltonstall, to name a few. They were men of principle and courage.

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