The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘It Brought Tears to My Eyes’

Posted on | September 28, 2011 | 6 Comments

Ali Akbar and Doug Hoffman

Ali Akbar’s open letter to Morgan Freeman is now a Memeorandum thread, linked by Big Hollywood, Pundette, Ed Driscoll, Underground Conservative and Kat McKinley at the Houston Chronicle. As the story goes viral, Americans are sending Ali e-mails like this:

I don’t write many letters but after reading your letter to Mr. Freeman, it brought tears to my eyes.
I grew up in New Orleans. I appreciate that you recognize we do live in a different time.
The Democrat party wants to divide the nation, and you are the glue that puts it together.
Thank you for your wonderful, wonderful letter. You hit it right on the spot. I’m 63, white, born poor, and this a great nation, keep working.

And like this:

Hello brother (said this white man).
I read your letter to Morgan and it brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart.
God bless you (says this agnostic).
You give me hope my man, you give me hope. …
Double blessings on you.

As I told Ali in an e-mail of my own, there may have been more wildly improbable narratives in political history, but none that come to mind right off the bat. Longtime readers who saw Ali’s message may be thinking to themselves, “Hey, that name rings a bell” — as well it should:

“OK, while Eric [Odom] was on the phone with his source, I got a call from my source, officially confirming Dede’s withdrawal. While Eric and Steve Foley went west to Watertown, Ali Akbar took the 100 mph thrill-ride with me on State Route 86 to Plattsburgh.
“Ali changed his plans, and will now be hanging in through Wednesday. [Dave] Weigel is flying into NY23 on Sunday, and will hook up with our posse. Because we rock.”

Robert Stacy McCain, Oct. 31, 2009

Yeah, NY-23, a story I recall at The American Spectator:

Whenever I introduce Ali Akbar to friends, I usually feel compelled to add the explanation that he’s a Southern Baptist from Texas, which leaves him to relate the backstory: His African-American mother was a college student in Texas when she met and married an Arab exchange student, who subsequently abandoned his wife and son to return to his native country. Given the events of recent years, it is perhaps somewhat ironic that Ali grew up to become a Republican campaign strategist.
Ali’s specialty is New Media, which explains how I met him in October 2009 during Doug Hoffman’s historic third-party congressional campaign in New York’s 23rd District. It was my second trip to the district, and I arrived in the wee hours of Oct. 30 at a rental house in Lake Placid, N.Y., where I had been granted sofa-crashing privileges. The crew in the house were Eric Odom, Steve Foley and Ali — who were working on the Tea Party news site 73Wire — and Yates Walker, who had been brought in by Dan Tripp to run the Hoffman campaign’s Plattsburgh office. . . .

Read the whole thing. And remember that it was you — the readers who hit the tip jar — who sent me to upstate New York to cover that wild-and-crazy campaign where I met Ali. Thinking back on it now, I guess we owe some thanks to Charles Johnson for our introduction. But that’s another story too long to tell here.

UPDATE: Did I tell you Ali is a New Media genius?
“For every $5 you donate, we will send
a Gadsden flag to Morgan Freeman.”

Which is to say $25 for five Gadsden flags, $50 for 10 Gadsden flags, $100 for 20 Gadsden flags — I’m thinking they’re gonna need a pretty big truck to deliver all those Gadsden flags.


6 Responses to “‘It Brought Tears to My Eyes’”

  1. Joe
    September 28th, 2011 @ 6:52 pm

    Ali Akbar is my hero.  Morgan Freeman would be a fool not to meet with him. 

  2. Joe
    September 28th, 2011 @ 7:07 pm

    Cain is within 5 of Obama.  And Cain is not that widely known yet.  Me thinks this is huge.

    It brought tears to my eyes. 

  3. Leslie Eastman
    September 28th, 2011 @ 8:13 pm

    The following from Ali Akbar is my site’s “Quote of the Week”: “Bravery is like breathing. It’s just something you do.”

  4. Adjoran
    September 28th, 2011 @ 8:16 pm

    Or, for $10, you can send him the South Park flag for kicks.

  5. Anonymous
    September 28th, 2011 @ 8:53 pm

    The flags? Call ’em “wedding presents”.

    For him and his lovely step-granddaughter bride.

  6. TR
    September 28th, 2011 @ 9:07 pm

    RSM, You and Ali did something very good!
    And you took some pages from your forthcoming book (I hope) on how the tea party changed American Politics…. (nudge, nudge)