Andy Martin on the Republican National Convention: Part One
God Bless the USA and Teen Pregnancy: A Labor Day Doubleheader
Andy Martin begins his coverage of the Republican National Convention with an overview of the candidates on Labor Day; and a few comments on teen pregnancy, shotgun weddings and the Second Amendment.
Republican National Convention doings: Part One
A Labor Day Doubleheader: God Bless the USA and Teen Pregnancy
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A LABOR DAY DOUBLEHEADER (TWO COLUMNS)
PART ONE: GOD BLESS THE USA
PART TWO: TEEN PREGNANCY, SHOTGUN WEDDINGS AND THE SECOND AMENDMENT
(NEW YORK, NY)(REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION)[September 1, 2008]
PART ONE: GOD BLESS THE USA
Labor Day is the last weekend of summer. Schools in the north begin later this week. Beach houses are closed. Summer clothes are laundered and saved for next year. It is a quiet holiday, named in honor of American’s labor movement and “working class.”
But there is something about the USA that defies comprehension. Few people consider themselves “laborers.” A few do, and they do labor. But most people do not consider themselves “working class” or similar terms used in Europe. Despite his madcap campaign for the presidency in 1992, Ross Perot spoke one unassailable truth: in America, we all consider ourselves “owners.” We all have an ownership stake in our financial future. Large or small, we are owners, not servants to royalty. In the words of the poet Robert Frost, “it has made all the difference.” The American Dream endures.
While we do indeed have a small aristocracy, families who have maintained decades of inherited wealth and can place some claim to an enduring social presence, in reality they are no different than the rest of us. The last redoubt of “aristocracy” is Newport, Rhode Island, and it can be a boring place. I have met some of our aristocrats. Thanks but no thanks.
Miracle of miracles, the American experiment, of the people, by the people continues to define us.
Our presidential campaign is being waged among four ordinary Americans from four ordinary families. Barack Obama is not my cup of tea, but you cannot help but salute and admire the way he has parlayed his mediocre legal career into a mansion and millions of dollars, as well as undreamed of political prominence, with more cash on the way.
Barack Obama’s attacks on John McCain’s homes fell flat. Why? In America everyone aspires to be wealthy. Why knock a guy who was lucky enough to succeed?
Joe Biden. Some columnists have suggested Joe is not as working class as he enjoys endlessly reminding us, but whatever the truth (and it appears he was middle class in origins; Joe just loves to fib) he is also no one who inherited wealth or social prominence. Two ordinary men who by the dint of hard work, self-confidence and self-promotion have come to lead one of our two great political parties.
On the Republican side, more ordinary people. One of the more goofy remarks I have seen recently is one by Rich Lowry in the New York Post, claiming McCain is part of an “elite—removed from middle class life—in McCain’s case the aristocracy of the Navy.” http://www.nypost.com/seven/08302008/postopinion/opedcolumnists/the_real_thing_126711.htmWhat?
Military people have never been well-paid or considered “aristocrats.” They may have enjoyed a comfortable duty station (Panama, where McCain was born, or Hawaii) but Navy people are ordinary people. Dare I say “salt of the earth?” Where Lowry gets his misconception that McCain is part of an aristocracy or elite beats me. Did Lowry not see the movie “Top Gun?” No aristocrats, they. McCain was a public servant that lived off his paycheck; his father and grandfather were the same. Public servants, not aristocrats.
Sarah Palin? It’s hard to be more ordinary. And yet, she and her husband made their way in life, paying the bills and, through her talents, advancing to national office? God bless the USA.
Not only are the four candidates ordinary, despite what their detractors say about them, we will sleep easily on November 5th. Congress is also made up of pretty ordinary people. Few aristocrats there either.
Look at poor Russia, by comparison. Run by a crazed secret policeman who has unleashed a reign of terror in Russia, with murders, invasions and, ultimately, a Hitleresque self-destruction some time in the future. Who dreamed him up? I feel sorry for the Russians.
With all of our flaws and foibles, Americans have managed to continue to run ourselves, and to allow ourselves to be run by ordinary people. Hillary Clinton, good midwestern stock. She stayed in the “bubble” a little too long, and flew too close to the sun. She was punished for it. Obama’s new “grande bubble?” He will pay the price too. George Bush did. McCain resisted a Secret Service bubble. No aristocrat he. A common man. In a Navy uniform.
I have just been to a barbecue. After this column, time for a nap. Hey, it’s Labor Day. God Bless the USA. Still the home of the common man, and woman.
PART TWO: TEEN PREGNANCY, SHOTGUN WEDDINGS AND THE SECOND AMENDMENT
My respect and admiration for John McCain just goes up and up. He is truly growing into an even wiser leader than I thought possible. I have been critical of some of his peccadilloes in the past. No one is perfect. I happen to know of McCain pretty well. But he continues to surprise me with his common sense, maturity and sound judgment.
His handling of the hurricane has been understated, and masterful. And now, teen pregnancy? What’s next? Locusts? What liberal Cyclops or Circe lie ahead?
I have been saying for the past few weeks that in order to win, McCain needed a woman on the ticket. No, I did not think of Governor Palin; but any woman would do in my opinion. McCain chose Palin. On reflection, she seems to be an excellent choice. She has the left-wing cable TV bobbleheads in a tizzy, and probably the rightists too.
Today we learned Palin’s young daughter has been “messing around,” and made a mess. McCain, we are told, knew this when he nominated Palin. Good for him. He knew what he wanted and needed, and he went for it, probably with no concern for any remarks by blue-nosed critics.
One of the things that I always find amusing about the ultra-moralists in the Republican Party is—surprise—they end up with the same challenges as any other families. Unwanted pregnancies, gays, divorce and (unspeakably more).
First we had a Democratic candidate who was the product of a mindless liaison between a troubled teenager, Obama’s mother, and The Lion King Obama of Africa. Barack Obama is with us today because his mother was a pro-lifer who had the baby and took the consequences. Good for her.
Now we have a Republican candidate’s daughter heading for a shotgun wedding. My guess, here is how the Palin family handled what happened. Mom (Sarah): This is a job for you, First Dude. FD, you know what to do. Dad (Todd): Ok, I’ll call the other family and work it out. We’ll deal with it.
Actually, the Palins handled this unfortunate incident the old fashioned way. And the old-fashioned way worked well. Parents took responsibility for their hormonally challenged children, and no one thought of running to the welfare office for food stamps, free medical care or public housing, the way many people do today. What would happen if we closed the welfare offices in minority neighborhoods and made parents responsible? Life would soon return to “middle class” normal, the way it was before welfare. People would take responsibility for their children.
If we again made families responsible, we would have fewer “accidents,” and society would not have to worry about footing the bill for the accidents that took place. Three cheers for the Palins.
And a great cheer for John McCain, who took it all in stride. As long as John McCain is our First Dude in the White House, and keeps this nation safe “from all enemies foreign and domestic,” I will be happy to let parents be responsible for their wayward teenagers. Shotguns, anyone? On second thought, I better be careful. Some liberal wacko like Rachel Maddow might claim that shotgun weddings are not protected by the Second Amendment.
Happy Labor Day, everyone.
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Andy Martin is a legendary Chicago muckraker, author, Internet columnist, radio talk show host, broadcaster and media critic. He is currently based in New York selling his new book, Obama: The Man Behind The Mask. Andy is the Executive Editor and publisher of http://www.ContrarianCommentary.com. © Copyright by Andy Martin 2008. Martin comments on regional, national and world events with over forty years of experience. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law.
His columns are also posted at ContrarianCommentary.blogspot.com; contrariancommentary.wordpress.com. Andy is the author of Obama: The Man Behind The Mask, published in July 2008, see http://www.OrangeStatePress.com.
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