I decided to write a letter to John McCain for not showing up at last night's debate on African American issues. Here it is:
Dear Senator McCain,
My name is Dennis Sanders. I am an African American who lives in Minnesota. I have joked that my New Deal Democrat parents gave birth to an "Eisenhower Republican."
I am writing because I am very dismayed that you did not show up at the recent debate focusing on African American issues. I do not understand why you chose not to attend this forum which would have given you an opportunity to introduce yourself to the African American community.
I have always respected you for standing up for your values, even when they weren't popular. You were willing to support the President's immigration plan, when other Republicans were trying to be as anti-immigrant as possible.
As a survivor of torture, you have stood against our nation allow "coercive techniques." As a gay man, I don't agree with you on some issues, but I have respected you because of your service to this country and because of your bravery.
So with all that, I can't understand why you chose not to at least listen to African Americans. Yes, the vast majority vote Democrat, but we are interested in what ALL the candidates for the nation's highest office have to say. You missed an opportunity to hear what are the pressing concerns an important American constituency. I do not believe that you are bigoted, but your choosing to miss this important debate does not bode well for you or the other candidates who chose to miss the event. You are giving the impression that you don't care about 12 percent of the population. That, Senator, is wrong and no "scheduling conflict" can excuse it.
These are not good times for the GOP. We are losing people left and right because the party has stopped seeing the need of expanding the base. The party needs to expand, not contact. The America of the 21st century is one that is multi-cultural and Republicans and conservatives have to stop pretending that this is not the case.
Senator McCain, I do hope that you will consider meeting with African Americans and present your case to why you should be President. You are NOT running for the head of the Republican party, but as the head of a nation of 300 million people who are of every color and hue.
Thank you for your time.