Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Chaos, Crises & Catastrophes

One can easily distinguish the difference between conservatives and liberals when you consider the difference between the rollout of Republican and Democrat contenders for the 2016 nomination. The real difference isn’t merely in terms of numbers, with over a dozen Republicans tossing their hats in the ring and less than half that number of Democrats, but in the way the voters are responding.

Even though, Jim Webb, Martin McNally and even Bernie Sanders, have more accomplishments on their resumes and far fewer scandals, most Democrats can’t wait to elect Hillary Clinton to a position that she is totally unsuited, by experience, character or temperament, to hold.

Most Republicans, on the other hand, and I include myself, are willing to give people like Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Rick Santorum and Jeb Bush, the old heave-ho for far fewer and lesser sins. The notion that Republicans would rally around someone as corrupt and contemptible as Mrs. Clinton is laughable.

Republicans tend to respect their political leaders, but only those few who deserve it. For the most part, we see politicians as necessary evils. We do not blindly adore them, recognizing that they come to us with warts intact and having the usual flaws and foibles that go with being mortals. If one of ours appeared, as Obama did in 2008, standing in front of Greek columns and claiming to be The One, we would surely laugh him off stage. At the same time, we would sincerely hope he sought professional help in order to deal with his messiah complex.

Democrats believe their presidents are gods, possibly because they don’t believe in God, but feel the need to believe in something bigger than themselves. But, then, we should keep in mind that these pinheads are only too ready to believe that Bruce Jenner is a real woman and that same-sex marriages are real marriages.

You can say what you will about Republicans like Bob Dole, John McCain, George Bush and Mitt Romney, but I can’t imagine anyone, including their political opponents, seriously questioning their basic humanity.

Clearly, the Democrats aren’t nearly as fastidious when it comes to their candidates. They even give iconic status to someone like Bill Clinton, who, had he pursued a career in any other field, would have been dismissed as white trash, just as Barack Obama should be regarded, like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, as black trash.

I mean, would anyone, even 30 short years ago, have ever imagined that of their own free will a majority of Americans would elect and then re-elect a president who kowtows to the likes of Iran, Cuba and Islam, while displaying open contempt for the United States, Israel and Christianity?

Would anyone ever dream that a president who gives shout-outs to Muslims, homosexuals and Bruce Jenner, but expresses very little enthusiasm for our allies -- including those fighting our wars for us in Iraq, Syria and Ukraine -- and has, for good measure, destroyed the finest healthcare service in the world, could be applauded by tens of millions of Americans?

Would you ever imagine a President bathing the White House in colored lights to celebrate the Supreme Court’s absurd decision to give legal status to a notion as asinine as same-sex marriages?

The upshot is that the man who claimed there was no blue America or red America has single-handedly divided a nation between black and white, male and female, young and old, rich and poor, normal and perverted, to such an extent that it dwarfs the divide that existed after the Civil War.

I was watching a so-so movie on TV the other night. It was called “Begin Again.” Mainly, I tuned it in because I generally like the stars, Keira Knightly and Mark Ruffalo. The set-up was that Knightly was the girlfriend of a singer. They had been together for five years, but he has a gig that separates them for a few weeks, and upon his return, she realizes he has slept with another woman.

When she confronts him, he admits his guilt, but explains, “It just happened.”

Whereas Ms. Knightly’s character is shocked and hurt, I laughed. As I see it, spring showers just happen. Tidal waves and earthquakes just happen. But sexual intercourse requires some amount of planning. After all, it involves two people deciding to take off all their clothes and hopping into bed together. I admit I’m getting pretty old, but I still remember that much.

As a result, I didn’t have much sympathy for her, and not just because I didn’t like the songs she wrote very much. If a couple goes together for five years without getting married, I don’t believe you have to be as cynical as I am to suspect one or both of them is lying about being faithful.

Recently, I saw that Chicago’s teachers were once again striking, even though they are probably the highest paid bunch of incompetent oafs this side of Congress. It occurred to me that it’s high time that strikers improved their game. I like tradition as much as the next guy, but picket lines have looked and sounded the same for a hundred years. They consist of glassy-eyed people holding badly written signs, doing the zombie walk and chanting inanities that would bore a small child after five seconds.

Would it kill them to sing and dance for higher wages, fewer hours and perhaps paternity and maternity leave for the trans-genders in their ranks?

For many years, I have resented Hollywood types who pretend, as all liberals do, that they cry themselves to sleep over the travails of the poor. I keep waiting to hear that one of them has decided that he or she doesn’t really need 10 or 15 million dollars for a movie, and has decided to divide one or two million among the supporting cast, the stuntmen, the makeup people, the gaffers and the grips. I’m still waiting.

It has also struck me how unnecessary it is to pay people like Antonio Banderas, Cameron Diaz, Tom Hanks, Eddie Murphy, Tim Allen, Billy Crystal, Mike Myers and Kristen Bell, millions of dollars to provide the voices of cats, toys and ogres, in animated movies. After all, Disney managed to make “Snow White,” “Bambi,” “Pinocchio” and “Cinderella,” without requiring name actors.

But, as I recently discovered, things aren’t any better when it comes to TV. Although I tend to record everything I watch so that I can fast-forward through the commercials, I managed to spot Andie MacDowell, Julianne Moore, Jeff Goldblum and Matthew McConaughey, hawking something or other last week. Although I can’t recall what they were peddling, one could at least argue that celebrities in ads are more likely to get products noticed, whereas nobody goes to see an animated feature because of whose voices are on the soundtrack.

Even if they don’t give a second thought to their fellow SAG members, most of whom would be on welfare if they didn’t moonlight selling real estate or waiting tables, is all this extracurricular activity really necessary? Is there simply no such thing in our society as having enough money even if you’re a millionaire?

I have no doubt that if I tied a twenty dollar bill to my rear bumper, Warren Buffet and George Soros would chase me around the block. But, because you’re always hearing actors go on and on about the grand fellowship of thespians, especially when they’re accepting awards, you somehow expect more of them. Perhaps it’s the natural result of confusing them with the often admirable characters they get to portray.

Still, where liberals are concerned, one should never give them the benefit of the doubt. After all, these are the same people who, when they can afford it, don’t think twice about forking over $35,000 to attend an Obama fund raiser, but balk at paying their personal assistants $10-an-hour.

©2015 Burt Prelutsky. Comments?