I am one of those who believe that you're the real deal. I see you as a genuine light-bearer who offers America a way up out of its present darkness.
And I just want to say that I hope you have what it takes to keep that light burning bright--despite all the forces gathering against you to bury that light in toxic sludge.
The forces of darkness are not going to give up easily, and the American body politic is permeated with their poisons.
And this week we saw also how the media --embodied on this occasion by the ABC journalists in charge of the candidates' debate-- joined in the effort to make the terms of darkness and not of light the language of our political discourse, how they tried to drag you down into that realm where nothing can be large enough to rise up out of the pit of ignorance and hatred and despair.
Some have said that these people have been doing the work of the right wing for them, and in a sense they have. But that's not the most illuminating way of seeing this. It's not so much that any of these are serving the right, or in cahoots with the famous slime machine. Rather, they're all contaminated with the same dark spirit.
I hope, Barack, that your health can ultimately prove more powerful --more contagious-- than this disease that afflicts our nation. I hope that they cannot first weaken you with their sickness.
I saw that gesture of yours yesterday, brushing off from the shoulder of your suit, the imaginary residue of those dirty attacks that you've been enduring. I liked the lightness and the smile that accompanied your gesture, as they seemed to show that indeed you're not being dragged down into their pit.
I hope that's true. I hope you're not getting worn out. I hope that your having to contend continually with these toxic encounters will not ultimately bring your own spirit down.
Many of us out here are working to defend you against this relentless effort to extinguish your light, or at least to prevent its burning brightly enough for the American people to see it. But those forces are strong, and you've not yet even faced the full-brunt of that part of the American body politic that brought this spiritual botulism into the can of American politics. And, if your torch is to be able to continue to light our way, you're going to need more on your side than just what we can provide.
So most of all, Barack, I hope that your contact with whatever it is from which you've received that light in the first place is strong enough that you can walk among the denizens of darkness for the whole campaign --indeed, for the next eight years-- without your spirit losing that illumination that gives so many of us hope.
Andrew Bard Schmookler