So, say I’m
participating in a political debate today, and someone asks me “when
is the last time you cried?” People who’ve lived with me would say
this question is meaningless for someone who tears up watching
Hallmark commercials, but never-minding that, I’d have to say it was
while reading David Shribman’s column in this paper last Saturday,
about “The fall of the wall”, followed by two more articles about
liberated East Germans.
If you didn’t live through the Cold War, you can’t imagine how if
felt: after a childhood and youth spent fearing communists, waiting
for nuclear destruction -- to see the Berlin Wall destroyed, showing
the world that communism doesn’t work, that freedom will survive.
I didn’t have a lot of
time to dwell on it in November 1989, as Citizens for Limited
Taxation was busy finishing up a petition drive to repeal that
summer’s Dukakis tax hike, so maybe my tears are a delayed reaction.
Or, maybe they reflect the relief so many of us feel right now, that
the freedom which has been threatened again by liberals running our
government has been renewed by mid-term elections.
It seems clear to me what happened last week; I’d been expecting it
as inevitable. Republicans and other conservatives remained opposed
to the president’s plan to “transform” America. Liberals were
disheartened because he hadn’t done enough to “spread the wealth
around” as he’d promised, not to mention ending war and controlling
climate. Moderates who just wanted to prove they aren’t racist
learned that this is a dumb reason to elect a president with no
useful experience in the real world. Young idealists were
disillusioned. “Takers” who didn’t get free cellphones in the weeks
before the election had no reason to show up.
It’s been interesting watching the Obama supporters in denial. They
argue that the election wasn’t real because 2/3 of voters didn’t
vote (see disheartened/disillusioned/unbribed above), as if an
election has a quorum that if unattained makes the decision invalid.
They struggle to understand why more women didn’t buy the worn-out
“war on women” rhetoric this time.
I watch the Sunday morning talking heads every week, and was amazed
to see ABC’s George Stephanopoulos begin his show with the release
of two more foolish Americans from North Korea, where they’d
discovered that communist states are no fun to visit. Look, folks,
Obama got some prisoners released, and by the way, Republicans took
My son was nice enough to congratulate me on getting the governor
I’ve been wanting but expressed his concern in a text he says I may
reproduce here: “You can understand why, as a person concerned about
our effect on climate, appointment of deniers such as Inhofe and
Murkowski to chairmanships makes me opposed to Republican
leadership. Exactly the wrong direction to be heading in”.
I wasn’t nice enough to express my condolences that his senator,
Harry Reid, will no longer be Senate Majority Leader, but I did
point out that he, unlike his mother, has one Republican senator and
a Republican Congressman to lobby about his concerns (as well as a
You may wonder why I haven’t moved out there. Have to admit I was
considering it if Martha Coakley had won, if I could convince my
partner Chip that Lake Tahoe is just as good as the Atlantic Ocean
for sailing his little Catalina 22.
Anyhow, continuing with making this column balanced: my son then
responded that he “will be letting our representatives know. But the
money is flowing against me, and the environment as well. I will
vote for those who are willing to address the issue of climate
change, of whatever party”.
As his son pointed out during a family discussion when he was eight
years old, “global warming is better than global freezing”, which
made me check and sure enough, we were due for another ice age, and
now we aren’t. My grandson may have changed his mind now that skiing
is his favorite sport, and I can see why last year’s shortage of
snow in the Sierra Nevada may be influencing my son’s politics too.
I’ll be open to discussion as soon as power-hungry liberal
politicians aren’t running the Democrat side of this debate.
I do recall that when I was growing up in the Great Lakes regions,
winters were much colder and snowier than they are there now, but,
it seems summers were hotter too. This year summer seems to be
lasting forever – my Mother’s Day plant is still blooming under the
golden maple tree. I’m lucky to have such a wonderful son,
regardless of political differences.
However: he just sent me a column by Mark Sappenfield in the
Christian Science Monitor that validates my earlier point about
those who can’t comprehend the election results. Sappenfield writes
“today’s older voters are more conservative than those in the
generation before it. The New Deal Democrats who grew up during the
Depression and were part of the "Greatest Generation" are gradually
being replaced by the Silent Generation, who trend more
Whoa there! I and my friends are not and never have been silent. In
fact, the “Silent Generation” briefly replaced the Greatest, then
ended when the next generation came of age in the ‘60s singing “We
are the crown of creation” with the Jefferson Airplane at the top of
our young lungs.
We were the children who ducked under our desks practicing for a
nuclear explosion, then celebrated the fall of the Berlin Wall. Some
of us, for some incomprehensible reason, became liberals; but others
like me still sing of freedom and oppose all forms of socialism and
therefore, are celebrating now.