Yo, Sully! Stick To Aviation Safety—Being A Political Pawn Is Demeaning

Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger attended the U.S. Air Force Academy (Class of ’73) because “serving the cause greater than oneself is the highest calling.” He went on to fly F-4D fighters, then left the Air Force with his multimillion-dollar, taxpayer-funded flight training and experience as soon as his seven-year mandatory tour was up. Well, so much for his total commitment to the cause greater than self.

His next cause was making the big bucks flying airliners, which by happenstance resulted in a world-class and truly phenomenal piece of dead-stick flying involving a forced water landing, now called “The Miracle on the Hudson.” He saved 155 lives! Honest-to-God, well done! 

Alas, Sully now has a new cause, shilling for the NeverTrump “Republicans” of the Lincoln Project in a television commercial, while simultaneously aviating his ego-driven, spit-shined Swearingen Merlin IIIC flying hotrod.

The Lincoln Project was formed last year by what might be fairly described as a group of seething, vindictive McCainiacs and Romneyites, who are reacting in unison like Samson after a buzzcut. 

These Republican vigilantes include John Weaver, Rick Wilson, Jennifer Horn, Ron Steslow, Reed Galen, Mike Madrid, and just plain old hateful George Conway (loudmouth husband of Kellyanne).

One might wonder, though, exactly how does flying for 53 years and perfect water landings qualify Sully, retired pilot and author of two semi-ghostwritten books, to swim around with these political pariah piranhas? 

Well, it doesn’t.

He is merely being used. 

In the worst way. 

The Lincoln Project effort with Sully is analogous to the shameless manner in which Hollywood’s Harvey Weinstein used starlets for big box office: “T&A.” 

Yup. The Lincoln Project, bent on NeverTrumping, has managed to reduce a genuine, stellar American hero to a piece of last minute, political eye candy.

What sullies Sully’s legacy even more is that the words he uses in the ad apparently aren’t his own. Compare his manner and speech pattern in 2009 in his very first TV interview with his strident-voiced, dramatically lighted 15 seconds on camera: Listen to that artificial reverb! It’s Charlton Freaking Heston in “The Ten Commandments”

Somehow, one senses that Sully did not write the script; it seems that the Hero-of-the-Hudson has simply devolved into the White-Haired-Sock-Puppet-of-the-Never-Trumpers.

And the final rub. 

Humans remember in images. If the sound is down, Sully’s denouncement looks just like a Trump commercial. Thus, he may be unable to get all 155 of his former passengers to vote for Biden. Well, 154 anyway. 

P.S. Check six.

Editor’s note: Like Sullenberger, Chuck de Caro was also a member of the Air Force Academy Class of ’73. He, too, has been a pilot for 53 years, aviates his own ego-driven, spit-shined Super Navion flying hotrod, has authored and co-authored four books on information warfare, and is the progenitor of the world’s first military virtual unit, the 1st Joint SOFTWAR Unit (Virtual). He even directed a war game of his brainchild 1st JSU(V) from his hospital bed, 10 days after being shot three times.

It seems that de Caro, too, understood the highest calling and stuck to it for decades, many times pro bono patria.

About Chuck de Caro

Chuck de Caro is a contributor to American Greatness. He was CNN's very first Special Assignments Correspondent. Educated at Marion Military Institute and the U.S. Air Force Academy, he later served with the 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne). He has taught information warfare (SOFTWAR) at the National Defense University and the National Intelligence University. He was an outside consultant for the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment for 25 years. A pilot since he was 17, he is currently working on a book about the World War I efforts of Fiorello La Guardia, Giulio Douhet, and Gianni Caproni, which led directly to today’s U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command.

Photo: Stefania D'Alessandro/Getty Images

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11 responses to “Yo, Sully! Stick To Aviation Safety—Being A Political Pawn Is Demeaning”

  1. If Captain Sullenberger had been piloting a Boeing 757, the computer would not have retarded his engines to idle power and the crew would have returned to the airport to land.

  2. Sully’s collaboration with establishment Republicans is disappointing. His reputation is forever tarnished with the taint of deep state treachery.

  3. Feet of clay, giant shoulders, head in clouds. The Colossus of the East River ‘roads’.

  4. Once again one is forced into speculation about what Kellyanne sees in the loathsome, parasitic toad George Conway.

  5. How sad! Another hero let’s us down. He was the greatest aviation hero since Lindburgh. But, then again we know that “Lucky Lindy” would never have done something like this. He tried to keep us out of another bloody war and followed his conscience rather than dubious political correctness.

  6. Captain Sullenberger exhibits a breathtaking dearth of discernment and judgement.

    It is truly regrettable that he is allowing himself to be cynically exploited by the odious principles of the Lincoln Project.

  7. Heroes can say and do very dumb things, too. We’re usually better off when we consider the argument rather than who makes it.

  8. It was so sad to see this man debase himself.
    I really do not care for him to begin with –he tried to be tooooo humble when the plane incident happened. Now he thinks that he knows best? He knows how to fly a plane and save people but of policy for the US–DO NOT THINK SO. So I am voting against him.

  9. just embarrassed that such a flawed person can be the author of so many leaps forward for conservatives. More than all of you have in all of your lifetimes.