Photo credit: Foter.com
“What we need is a leader who won’t get us involved in wars halfway across the world without a clear exit strategy. We need to get our military out of the Middle East and we need to do it yesterday.”
“That was Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama with his-”
Derrick slammed his laptop shut.
“Is there some reason you’re watching old campaign videos?”
“I dunno,” Derrick mumbled into his hand.
“Does it make you feel better or worse knowing things aren’t all that different from what they were eight years ago?”
“At least eight years ago they were talking about the issues. Now all they care about are sex scandals and emails.”
Laura placed the tray with Derrick’s lunch on the table in front of him and pushed the computer to one side. “I’m sure there are plenty of people who know we’re still fighting in the Middle East.”
“Really? Who? I don’t even think our new Commander in Chief knows.”
“Well, OK, yeah, he probably doesn’t. But it sounds like he actually did something right for a change when he hired the new head of defense. You said yourself that guy knows what he’s doing and he’ll get us out of there, even if he has to do it without the president knowing about it.”
Derrick just shook his head. “Don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of Obama, especially after this shitshow, but the main reason I voted for him was because he said he’d get us out of there. He had eight years and he didn’t do it.”
“I’m sure he tried his best. You know better than anyone how complicated the situation is over there.”
“I know. I just hate that no one is even talking about it anymore.”
Laura stroked his hair. “You think the world has forgotten about you.”
Derrick sighed heavily. “Is that selfish?”
“Of course not. No one likes to feel forgotten, especially after everything you’ve sacrificed for your country.” She gestured to the wheelchair the doctors said he would probably be stuck in for the rest of his life – as if he needed to be reminded. “But when you get right down to it, I think that’s what this election was really about: the hillbillies feel forgotten and they’re retaliating.”
Derrick gave her his best blank stare. “So now I’m a redneck?”
Laura laughed and said, “No.” Then she turned serious and said, “It just makes me sad. It makes me sad that no one talks about the war anymore, that our election got hijacked by a bunch of white guys who blame the rest of us for the fact that their jobs went to countries where children will be paid pennies to make cheaper stuff. I’m as frustrated as you babe, so I’m sorry, but I don’t have any words of comfort right now.”
Derrick wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her close so she was leaning over one armrest of his wheelchair. He rested his head on her stomach and they held each other.
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