November, 2005

Tuesday, November 1st, 2005

November, 2005

November 9: **PEN USA 15th Annual Literary Awards Festival in LA at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel**
I’ve been a member of PEN for years (info about PEN is on my Links Page). I attended the Literary Awards Festival with my longtime friend and business partner, Carole Wells Doheny. Gore Vidal was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. It was an honor to meet and talk with him. He’s one of my heroes. Other honorees and their categories were: screenwriter, Charlie Kaufman; poet, Martha Ronk; fiction, Micheline Aharonian Marcom; drama, Sarah Ruhl; journalism, Meredith May; translation, Robert Alter; teleplay, Sally Robinson & Eugenia Bostwick Singer & Raymond Singer; creative nonfiction, Andrew Todhunter; research nonfiction, Evan Wright; and children’s literature, Ursula K. Le Guin. Also honored: Award of Honor, HBO; First Amendment Award, Sam Hamill; Freedom to Write International Award, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury; and Courageous Advocacy Award, Bill Moyers.

The evening was phenomenal. Being surrounded by writers speaking from the heart about the current political situation in this country was nothing short of breathtaking. It was not a Bush bash — it was better than that. It was writers expressing the fact that President Bush made a deadly wrong turn after 9-11 and missed one of the greatest opportunities available to an American President in generations. Instead of pulling the countries of the world together he chose instead to isolate America in a venomous, selfish war that has killed over 2000 of our troops, countless innocent Iraqis, and maimed an unimaginable number, all in the span of two and a half years. He has birthed terrorists where none existed before 9-11 and alienated countries who would have worked with us and for us after 9-11. On top of that, he has created an atmosphere of hate in this country that in my 50 years I’ve never witnessed and from my elders I hear that they have never witnessed. He encourages hate and there is no weapon he won’t use in his “crusade”, all the while calling himself a Christian. And why? I’m not certain, to be honest. I do not understand this man. He represents the worst America has to offer — he followed through on his plan to invade Iraq despite and in disregard of the events of 9-11. It will take generations to recover from his bloodbath, if ever we do.

Bush has instigated a second war, at home, against citizens of our country who dare to disagree with him. It seems he’ll stop at nothing. He spews hate, Cheney spews hate, Rove designs hate. I fear for America. I fear for my friends — writers and artists and philosophers and poets. I fear for me. Sitting here tonight writing this, I admit to a thread of fear running through my fingers. Is this what America has become? When war heroes are called cowards on the House floor? When careers are decimated because the Bush weaponry has you in its sights?


Here’s a letter I wrote to my local paper about our upcoming mayoral election. Donna Frye will be the best thing to happen to San Diego, politically, since I moved here in 1995. She is running for Mayor, she is behind in the polls, but a victory can be had if all you San Diegans get out and vote and if everyone sends her money ASAP.

Dear Editor,

For all your readers out there who plan to vote for Jerry Sanders next Tuesday, just remember one thing. He’s a Republican. And Republicans do not change their stripes, no matter what they say. Governor Arnold is proving that in California and George “passionate conservative” W. is proving it today, once again, with his nomination of Judge Alito to the Supreme Court. Rest assured, my friends, your vote does matter. It’s very convenient for Sanders to say he doesn’t support gay marriage but will defend our rights otherwise. Give me a break. And when he takes office, San Diego will be yet another pawn in the Republican’s plan. (Ask yourself, who has the most money in this campaign and where did it come from?) Does anyone out there believe that Donna Frye will not solve our financial problems as easily and as quickly as Jerry Sanders?

If Sanders wins, we’ll be left with another Republican mayor from San Diego and the fundraising will begin and the Republicans will have one more edge in their goal to win the Presidential race in 2008 in California, with Arnold’s help, of course. We as a city and we as a nation are going to be ruled by the decisions we make next Tuesday. Generations of Americans will be under the thumb of a Right Wing Supreme Court. Just read Judge Alito’s rulings. And if you decide to vote for Sanders, just keep in mind what I’ve written in this letter. Your vote will come back to haunt you. Sanders will ride the magic carpet to higher office, financed by the Republicans.

Donna Frye is on our side. She supports our issues. She will solve the financial mess in San Diego, which was created by Republicans. And she will never betray the gay community.


David Harrington Campbell.