Ask Chris Matthews

Will Rahn Senior Editor
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About the author: A former Democratic congressional staffer, Chris Matthews hosts “Hardball with Chris Matthews” weeknights on MSNBC. He is also a syndicated advice columnist published in over thirty newspapers nationwide. If you have a question for Chris Matthews, please email him at

Dear Chris Matthews,

I’ve recently reconnected with my estranged father, an alcoholic who walked out on our family nearly twenty years ago. I was only seven at the time, but I remember vividly the pain he caused my mother and sisters by abruptly abandoning us.

About seven moths ago he contacted me via Facebook, apologized profusely, and insisted he had turned over a new leaf. He’s been clean and sober for a few years now, and I feel he’s making a real effort to right all his old wrongs, however impossible that may be.

My fiancee and I are getting married this summer, and I want to invite him to our wedding. However, I feel like seeing him again could be deeply painful to the rest of my family, who have all (understandably) rebuffed his recent attempts to reach out to them. Is there a way to include my dad while sparing everyone else’s feelings?

Healing in Hartford

Dear Healing,

The shoeshine boy who used to set up outside Wayne Morse’s office always or when it rained but knew everyone and their secrets what they had for dinner probably the smartest guy there maybe ever not like this new crowd or maybe Tip O’Neill but wore purple suits and used purple prose like they say in the trades only once in a while gave him a PT-109 tie clip so he always called me tie clip probably never knew my name but such a sharp guy sharp like that pin you know just one of those guys with experience who well you know guys like that always with a story and a good one stabbed himself with the pin once I saw blood everywhere blood blood blood like the priests with the wine and crumpled bedsheets told me to stop worrying all the time good advice if you ask me Gene McCarthy said the same thing would’ve been good in a cabinet if you ask me Bobby K. could’ve used him if he’d been elected smart guy like that could’ve done more never wore jeans or maybe always wonder what happened to him always with a smile got to go Valerie Jarrett’s on the line and you know she’s like an animal but you know that type anyway what do you do?


Chris Matthews

Dear Chris Matthews,

I’m as liberal as they come, but my ten-year-old son has decided he’s actually a girl and I can’t help but feel compelled to convince him otherwise. Obviously I’d still love him as much as I do now if he turned out to be gay or transgendered, but I feel like ten is just too early for him to be making these decisions, and worry about the bullying he’ll face at school for what could be a passing phase. My reluctance to accept that he now says he’s a she has created quite a row in our house — my wife easily accepted his change, and insists I do the same. She even bought him a skirt the other day.

Is it ok for me to want my son to remain a boy for a few more years or am I acting like a neanderthal?

Heteronormative in Houston

Dear Heteronormative,

I watch the light get in their eyes the stand’s eyes the audience and hear that crack that quick snap and watch the baseball rise fast then slow and not to get all George Will but baseball I know is America’s sport a man’s sport our sport not to say the girls and women and gals can’t do it but oh man that’s a sport for fathers sons and I know girls can and don’t write letters but it’s ours I think ok let’s look at the Japanese during the occupation when you had Dougie Mac rewriting their constitution saying to Emperor Hirohito this is how it’s done now you vote and play baseball eat fish sure raw fish sure but play baseball man’s sport our sport hear that crack that snap and get excited it’s a ballgame alright hot in the stands sweaty sticking to the plastic seat feel it realize why we have eyebrows no raw fish in the stands it’s too hot and we lost a lot of guys our guys American guys real guys heroes uncommon unsung all I remember really the sun and the field and the Phillies in ’55 thinking that’s a man not a white man but an American man all eyes on him Jackie Robinson who else and I think is this life worth it should I be here spouting off informing educating American men mostly girls too but they’re smarter thinking would I do it all again put it all on the line go to work in politics talk politics live and breathe and eat politics eat it like raw fish yes yes yes yes yes yes yes

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