Speed Reads

sully speaks out

'Sully' Sullenberger slams 'cowardly, complicit enablers' leading America

The "hero of the Hudson" is back, and this time he wants to be a hero of democracy.

Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger steered a 154-passenger flight to a safe emergency landing in the Hudson River back in 2009. But he wasn't about to let a Tom Hanks-led retelling of his story cap off his career, so he authored an op-ed in The Washington Post encouraging Americans to fight back against the "cowardly, complicit enablers" currently leading the country.

In the op-ed, published Monday, Sullenberger described the "efforts of many" who "rose to the occasion" to safely rescue everyone from the flight that went down. But "ultimately," Sullenberger says he was responsible for "projecting" calmness and courage while ensuring everyone survived.

Many of today's leaders, though, don't accept that same responsibility, Sullenberger wrote. Those in power are "acting against the interests of the United States, our allies, and democracy ... and threatening the livability of our planet," he said. And even though he was a Republican for "the first 85 percent of my adult life," Sullenberger says he's "always voted as an American" and will continue to do so this year "by voting for leaders committed to rebuilding our common values."

Sullenberger knows he gained "sudden fame" in 2009, and used his new platform to advocate for transportation safety. This year, he's using it to be "a defender of our democracy" — and he hopes all Americans will too. Read Sullivan's op-ed at The Washington Post.