Ed’s note: Today, Blago was indicted on 16 felony charges for allegedly scheming “to deprive the people of Illinois of honest government,” better known as conspiring to sell the Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama.
Dear Mr. Rod Blagojevich:
As crazy as it sounds, I respect some of what you’ve said in recent months.
There aren’t many people who would go on a whirlwind media tour where national personalities bash them to their faces (David Letterman and Joy Behar did numbers on you). But you did just that, made some valid points, cracked a few jokes and kept a straight face through it all.
Other public figures have some PR guru-wannabe put out an impersonal statement that no one buys. But not you. You defended your rights through your words through every major media outlet that would give you air time. You’re right, you should be innocent until proven guilty. But the court of public opinion rules America.
That said, I don’t have a major problem with your removal from the Illinois governorship. The feds don’t knock on your door at 6 a.m. without cause. Don’t agree? Two words: Michael Vick. And they’re throwing roughly 20 books at you like they threw it at Ron Mexico.
Besides, men lie. Women lie. But wiretaps don’t.
It matters not, though. Dude, you just inked a six-figure book deal because of your gangsta-like prowess. You were like the kingpin of Illinois. But all kings lose their crowns at some point, right?
None of this is why I’m writing you, though.
I’m writing you because of your choice of words a few months back in attempting to defend yourself after your initial arrest. You chose to take a stand with the words from Rudyard Kipling’s renown poem “If.” It’s my favorite poem. It signifies the idea of your world crumbling around you while you remain steadfast and true to yourself and your beliefs.
It describes your situation, and that scares the hell outta me. Why did you choose it?
You see, it takes me back to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh’s last words before he met with his last breath. Remember, he recited William Ernst Henley’s “Invictus” — another favorite of mine — for his final words.
He declared his head to be “bloodied but unbowed.” He said he was the “the master of his fate, the captain of his soul.”
You have to wonder how such a tortured soul finds such conviction. How could he potentially misconstrue beautiful words strung together so well a century or two ago? Or maybe he had made some peace with his Maker? Maybe that’s what you’ve done with yourself as well. Who knows? You both have made me question why I and so many others love these two poems so much.
But I guess I understand why you quoted “If.” I’ve been in countless situations where I’ve had to apply the verses to my life. I’m curious to see which stanza is your favorite. Here’s mine:
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much
I pray that one day I’m able to talk with the giants of the world, but still have my head about myself so that I can still converse with the common man. I try my best not to let close friends, people or enemies get under my skin. And I value even a 5-year-old’s opinion, but none wholeheartedly.
That’s why I’m waiting out your trial to see what the justice system does with you. Until then, I’ll leave you alone. Although, as I said, the feds don’t charge you with 16 felony counts unless they mean business.
Praying for your kids,