When the Titanic sent out its SOS, it was the Carpathia that responded. Those who survived the disaster owed their lives to Captain Arthur Rostron who risked his ship, along with his own life and the lives of his crew, dodging icebergs for four long hours in order to rescue 705 people, too late to save the other 1,523.
What puts me in mind of the gallant captain and his brave crew is that America is currently in icy and dangerous waters, thanks in good part to the man currently at America’s helm. But one shouldn’t give a pass to the millions of Americans who are only too happy to sit in the ship’s lounge, oblivious to the danger, noshing on the hors d’oeuvres and listening to the band play “Nearer My God to Thee” while the sea water laps at their knees.
Like the Titanic, America seemed unsinkable. Its architects were men like Madison, Jefferson and Washington. The foremen included the likes of Adams, Franklin and Monroe, and the construction crew included the greatest patriots in history, men who pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor, to the task of forming a nation as perfect as mere human beings were capable of creating.
But look at us now. In Ferguson, Missouri, as well as all over the country, you have black people, including ministers, insisting that if a white policeman isn’t indicted, convicted and sent to prison for shooting a black thug in what, increasingly, appears to be self-defense, it will constitute a whitewash and we can expect violence to break out wherever more than two blacks happen to be gathered.
It does strike me as ironic, and terribly sad, that the descendants of those who used to be lynched have developed a taste for it, so long as they’re the ones holding the rope.
In response to a piece I wrote recently, I heard from a California transplant now living in Florida. In the piece, I pointed out that politics is often a matter of geography, that Tea Party favorites like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John Cornyn and Mike Lee, as terrific as they might be, could not be elected to statewide offices in most of the 50 states, let alone win the presidency. I say that not merely as a Republican, but one of the most consistently conservative people I know.
I am not a lackey of Karl Rove. I am not on the payroll of the RNC. But I do believe, as William F. Buckley did, that Republicans should vote for the most conservative candidate on the ballot who can win. That means you vote for Mitt Romney or Scott Brown or Elizabeth Snowe or whoever else has an (R) after his or her name; what you don’t do is sit home on Election Day and sulk, allowing the Democrats to win, while you fantasize that you’re teaching the GOP a lesson.
If you see no difference between a candidate who will vote the way you like 50 or 60% or even 80% of the time and one who will vote with Obama 100% of the time, I’m afraid there’s no polite way to say this, but you’re an idiot.
The trouble with too many people in the Tea Party is that they really can’t tell the difference between their friends and their enemies, which explains why they often attack those they dismiss as RINOS far more vehemently than they attack liberals. In fact, they display the same contempt for moderate Republicans that Democrats display towards all Republicans.
In my heart, I am a Tea Partier. But unlike some conservative zealots, I don’t believe that when my personal convictions come face-to-face with political reality, it’s reality that’s supposed to step aside and tip its hat.
My friend Steve Maikoski, an Air Force veteran, recently let me know he takes strong exception to Hollywood making money off war films.
Specifically, he had “Fury,” which casts Brad Pitt as a tough American WWII tank commander, in mind. I share his distaste for movies made by the anti-military crowd that try to cash in on other people’s patriotism. It also bugs me that the enemy, 70 years after the fact, continues to be the damn krauts, but never the damn Muslims, who have been at war with us ever since 1979, when the Ayatollah took the reins in Iran.
But, then, the same Hollywood hypocrites who hate guns when they’re in the hands of law-abiding Americans trying to defend themselves and their families against the barbarians would never think of allowing someone like Matt Damon, Liam Neeson or Mark Wahlberg, to enter a scene unarmed.
A friend of mine has suggested that it’s high time that Republicans stopped referring to young people as Millennials and began calling them the Recession Generation, driving home the fact that, thanks to Obama’s contempt for capitalism, millions of them are living back home with their parents. And that’s their fate in spite of wasting several years and a potful of money getting a college degree that’s not worth the parchment it’s printed on.
Finally, after watching Governor Cuomo and Mayor De Blasio trying to calm the fears of New Yorkers after a local doctor brought Ebola back from West Africa, I sarcastically reviewed their performances, suggesting that after all the lies that have been told to us by Obama, Dr. Frieden and the medical staff at the Dallas hospital, I very much doubted that Dumb and Dumber could convince a small child that the sun rose in the east.
But then I caught myself. Why the heck wouldn’t most New Yorkers believe these two weasels? After all, most New Yorkers voted for them!
©2014 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.