I watched your address to the nation last night and I was thinking about how you said we need to find a cure for cancer. I have a few thoughts on that and they lead specifically to the FDA, because I believe all of the chemicals we’ve put into our homes and our environment are the real cause of cancers. I’m not a doctor or anything, though, or a scientist, I’m just a writer and a student and a housewife.
I don’t usually watch these things, but my father-in-law was in town and he does.
Let me back up and say you’re my most favorite president that we’ve ever had. When you were elected I thought I might run through the streets naked playing drums. (Okay, not naked because I’m actually a very shy, private person in-person, but I wished I had bought fireworks or run out into the streets banging pans or something.) When you were elected, some of my faith in the American political system was restored.
The reason I think you’re my most favorite president is because I’ve always thought the other guys were lying through their teeth. President Bush Jr., every time he talked I thought, He’s ten pounds of crap in a five pound bag. And then I took a journalism class where we studied propaganda, and we studied one of his addresses to the nation about that very thing. I always thought that war in Iraq was about oil, but I’m speaking above my pay grade. I know it’s probably a bit more complicated.
You, on the other hand, I always believed.
I read your books Dreams of My Father and The Audacity of Hope. So when people start talking smack about you around me, that’s the passive-aggressive question I always ask. Like this:
THEM: He’s a Terrorist.
ME: Did you read his books?
THEM: He isn’t an American citizen.
ME: Did you read his books?
THEM: He wants to turn this country into a _________.
ME: Did you read his books?
And you know the rest of the awful stuff that people say, the race stuff. I’m working on that, but lots of people fear the unknown, as far as I can tell.
As far as politics go, I feel like you’ve got it.
I liked what you said about us having to work together as Americans if we want to get anything done. Paul Ryan even clapped at that one. Hey, off the topic, how long do you think Ryan had to practice that arrogant, condescending look he had on his face for most of your speech? Did he have to take a class on how to look like an a-hole on TV? John Boehner did that too, a while back. Where do they learn that? Is there a seminar republican house speakers are required to attend before your talks where they practice eye-rolling and squinchy faces?
I also liked how you reminded us that welfare folks didn’t put the country in a financial crisis, but that the Wall Street folks did. I’m still kind of pissed that those CEO’s got huge bonuses and took big trips but that’s not what this is about.
Collectively, on behalf of the American people, I’m sorry for all of those gray hairs.
I wonder if you were able to quit smoking; that’s a tough one. I’ve got one of these E-cigarettes but I read recently that they’re not great for you either, go figure.
Which brings me back to the chemicals cause cancer thing. My dad died of lung cancer after smoking for fifty years. My mom told me that their generation didn’t know that cigarettes were bad for you. But he was already hooked, right, when the tobacco companies finally admitted that they knew that you would die from them; they’d been pumping cancer-causing chemicals in them for years.
So that got me thinking: what else causes cancer that we don’t know about? Based on science, it turns out, a lot of stuff we’re used to. The problem is, and this is my fault because I get tired of saying it and feeling like nobody believes me—I bet you get that—the problem is, people don’t know that the can lining in Campbell’s soup, for instance, is made of BPA, which causes cancer.
So effectively, when you crack open a can of tomato and heat it up on the stove, you’re possibly and potentially poisoning your children and your family. And not just soup. Lots of other stuff that we use every day because we think it’s safe. I’m from the Midwest; we put cream of mushroom in everything.
Anyway, since you and old Biden are going to start working on this cure for cancer business, I’m going to make a proposal: why don’t we make it illegal for corporations to put chemicals known to cause cancer in our food, drinks, water, cleaning products and environment? Like GMO’s…not labeling them? Thanks, Congress. Take a vacation now. Why don’t we look to the cause instead of the effect, you know, like Climate Change?
This December when it was sixty-five degrees in Ohio, I asked a lady at a retail counter what she thought of the weather and if she thought it was due to climate change. She sounded a little snarky when she said, “No, it’s just Ohio,” which I thought was crazy because it wasn’t like she just didn’t believe in it, but she was denying it as a personal and political statement. My friends in California are like, is it ever going to rain? The springs have dried up and we’re thirsty.
I run into the same kind of doubt about the soup cans.
According to Dr. Phillip J. Landrigan, who happens to be a Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Children’s Environmental Health Center at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, “Children are exposed to toxic and carcinogenic [cancer-causing] chemicals through many routes—the air they breathe, the water they drink, the foods they eat, the medications they consume, and the environments they inhabit, including their homes, day care center, schools and motor vehicles.”
It occurs to me as I’m reading this article from Dr. Landrigan, that you probably already know this stuff, that you just can’t do it all on your own and you’re waiting for we average Americans to catch up and read the paper. After all, this particular pdf is called “Childhood Cancer and the Environment, Testimony Before the President’s Cancer Panel” (2008). It must be tough being the leader of the free world. I don’t mean any disrespect, but better you than me. Would you let me know who I need to talk to in the FDA to support Dr. Landrigan’s research? I watched my dad go through chemo, and I’m not sure that using a cocktail of chemicals to treat an ailment caused by chemicals is a great idea.
While we’re talking, could we insist that sexual abusers of children get more than two to three years in prison? I’m a peaceful person, but I think castration is a reasonable consideration.
Well, I’d like to have a beer with you and Michelle sometime if you’re ever in Dayton. There are a few new breweries in town, probably thanks to your policies on small businesses, but I don’t know much about economics; I’m just a writer, a student, and a housewife. Maybe my husband could come? He’s nice. You’ll like him. Then we could all go dancing or something. Have your people call us.
I absolutely love your talks at the White House Correspondents’ Dinners. OMG, that bit about your bucket list almost made me pee my pants, and made my heart all warm and fuzzy.
I’m very proud of the work you’re doing in service of our country. Some of us don’t even know we should be grateful for you, but they’ll know in a few years as your work begins to bloom. And a wonderful job you’re doing. So, thank you.
Let me know if there’s anything I can do to make your job any easier. Otherwise, keep up the good work!
A high-five from Ohio,