“I am Suz the writer and I support Barack Obama”

2 Nov

We have talked before about writers feeling forced by readers’ reactions to keep their opinions on politics, religion and other sensitive topics to themselves.

As figures in the public eye to a degree, but not involved in political or public service positions, it only makes sense to be careful not to offend large segments of one’s potential readership, right?

However, we have also seen how many an author manages to express herself very definitely and clearly on a number of sensitive topics without coming across as offensive, overbearing, insulting, or batshit crazy. (Here I tend to point to Nora Roberts, Shiloh Walker and a few others–consider yourselves mentioned)

This time I’m reposting (with permission) a message from one of my top favorite must buy authors, Suzanne Brockmann. Originally posted on her scrolling board, here it is in its entirety:

I’m “Suz the Writer,” and I support Barack Obama

I’m “Suz the Writer,” and I support Barack Obama (or why, as a small business owner who WILL pay higher taxes, I’m endorsing and have voted (early!) for Obama)

I am “Suz the Writer,” the owner of several small businesses, employing two other Americans on an average day, more than that on a good day. I WILL pay higher taxes under Obama’s tax plan, and I’ll pay them with a smile on my face and a song in my heart.

See, I believe that paying taxes is patriotic. Some people see taxes as a burden, but I see it as a way to serve my country. I want my taxes to go for educational opportunities, for research into new green technology, for libraries, for equipment and supplies for our men and women serving in the military, for the education and medical care for servicemen past, present and future, and for the repair of the American infrastructure — our roads and bridges and schools and other important buildings.

I’m never going to enlist (too old), and I’m not going to help by teaching (I’d go mad), and I’m no kind of scientist (can’t add or subtract) or engineer (ditto). I don’t have a college degree, so the librarian thing wouldn’t fly. But I can dig a mean ditch when given written instructions. Yet paying taxes permits me to participate in ALL of those worthwhile American needs without getting blisters.

Frankly, I cannot believe that Americans who earn over $200,000/year complain about paying slightly higher taxes, KNOWING that our troops overseas are under-equipped and poorly outfitted. How much extra would you pay to ensure that the brave men and women who serve our country have body armor and the best possible equipment. Ten dollars? A hundred? Five hundred? How much is that worth? Can we really put a price tag on the life of another mother’s son or daughter?

And what is it worth to ensure that bridges don’t fall down? That roads are repaired? That our electrical grid doesn’t fail? That medical research can be done to find a cure for cancer?

Personally, I think it’s worth a lot, and I’m willing to help pay for it.

Don’t get me wrong — I’ve worked unbelievably hard to get where I am in my career. Early on, there were books that I wrote where I figured out that my salary was 49 cents an HOUR. But I worked twelve, fourteen, sixteen hour days because I was following the American dream. I worked while my friends and family were watching movies in my living room, without me. I worked and I worked and my hard work paid off, financially. I’m pretty proud of that.

I sweated and bled for every penny that I’ve ever earned, but I will be glad to invest more of it in America — because I know my investments will make this a better country for all of us.

I still remember what it was like to worry about how I was going to feed my kids. I remember living in a one-bathroom house with my family and two other adult friends, because we couldn’t afford the rent without them. I remember going without, for years on end. I remember deciding which bills to pay and which to put off for another month. I remember endless worry, frustration and fear. (In the early 1990s, we bought a house and within a month, recession hit. Ed lost his job, and our house was worth $50,000 less than we’d paid for it, all within one awful week. Sound familiar? It sucked. But I’m a writer today because of it. I needed a job that I could do as a stay at home mom!)

My tax investments in America will mean all the more to me if it means that someone who is struggling (the way we struggled) will catch a break.

I think of every dollar of the taxes that I pay as an INVESTMENT in an America where the infant mortality rate won’t rival that of a third world nation. Where our wounded veterans are cared for with love and respect in bright, clean facilities. Where the government doesn’t make up reasons why NOT to help servicemen and women with PTSD and mental health problems. Where all Americans can get the health care they need. Where bridges DON’T fall and kill someone’s mother or father or daughter or son as they drive to their second or third job. Where IMPORTANT jobs are created to help unemployed people feel pride in providing for their families AND making the world a better, cleaner, healthier place for our children. Where honesty and honor prevail over greed.

My name is Suzanne Brockmann and I approve this message of hope.

Please note that while don’t necessarily agree with everything Ms Brockmann has said here (I would much rather have Hillary Clinton as Democratic candidate) I admire her willingness to put her career, her reputation, and her money, where her beliefs are.

Hats off to you, Suz.

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