Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger made an international name for himself in 2009 when he safely landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River, saving all 155 people aboard. The former Air Force pilot and airline captain earned the nickname "Hero of the Hudson" for his cool head and expert execution of the near-impossible feat, and a feature film with Tom Hanks playing him told the story of that fateful flight.
In 2009, the GOP approached Sully, a registered Republican, about running for office in his home state of California, but he said he had no interest in public office. In 2018, he wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that although he'd been a Republican for most of his adult life, he had "always voted as American."
Now, Sully is putting country above party again in an ad created with The Lincoln Project and VoteVets. In it, Sully details what leadership entails. "Leadership is not just about sitting in the pilot's seat. It's about knowing what you're doing, and taking responsibility for it. Being prepared, ready, and able to handle anything that might come your way."
He points out that he's been flying over this country for 53 years, and all but one of those flights, no one ever heard about. He explains how he learned about "the awesome responsibility of command" and leadership from his father, who was a Naval officer in WWII. "I know that serving a cause greater than oneself is the highest calling. And it's in that highest calling of leadership that Donald Trump has failed us so miserably."
Sully Sullenberger stepped up in a critical moment and now he asks that we do the same. That we do what’s needed an… https://t.co/yxAfViYTWM— VoteVets (@VoteVets)1601376203.0
Sully says "it's up to us to overcome his attacks on our very democracy."
"Eleven years ago I was called to my moment. Now, we are all called to this moment," he says. "When you look down at this beautiful, boundless country, you don't see political divisions. It reminds us of who we are and what we can be. That we are in control of this nation's destiny."
"All we have to do," he adds, "is vote him out."
Sully is one of many Republicans who have risen above party loyalties to vote their conscience. Earlier this month, in a series of tweets following news reports that Trump had badmouthed the military on multiple occasions, Sully wrote, "While I am not surprised, I am disgusted by the current occupant of the Oval Office. He has repeatedly and consistently shown himself to be completely unfit for and to have no respect for the office he holds."
The Republicans who see Donald Trump as a threat to the nation and want to see a return to decency, dignity, and competency in the nation's highest office are making their voices heard and calling on all Americans to do the right thing. In a mere handful of weeks, we'll see how many are listening and heeding that call.
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