Limited Taxation
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Barbara's Column
April 2001 #2

A Grandmother's Appeal:
Save us from war, pollution and big government

by Barbara Anderson

Away out West, they call the wind Mariah.

This is what they call my granddaughter too. And my grandson is Aidan, whose name is Celtic for fire.

The twins were born out West last month, on the first day of spring. In my first photo, wind and fire are snuggled up together in the same bassinet like little spoons. They seem content.

I, however, am not. Now I have to save the world again.

Not that I saved it before. But that seemed to be the goal for most of my life: be a small part of the great save the world movement. Everyone get out there and do his or her part for freedom, world peace, the environment, the economy, or whatever small section of these categories one happens to encounter.

At first it was all about me.

I was born an Aquarian; freedom was my middle name. My first conscious thought was "don't tell me what to do."

Didn't do me a lot of good to protest, though, for a long time. Everyone was bigger than I was. But eventually I was big enough to do pretty much whatever I wanted.

I was in college at the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Jupiter aligned with Mars, the god of war, who entered Vietnam. It didn't do a lot of good to protest, though, for a long time; the government was bigger than the protesters. But eventually they prevailed.

Long before that happened, I had become part of it, a Navy wife who could only argue against the military draft with the professional military who were my spouse and friends. It was no longer about me, though. I had a son, and it was easy back then to imagine that the war would still be going on when he was draft age.

Vietnam wasn't the only problem. We were in the middle of the cold war with the Russians. When I was pregnant with Lance, the "Red Chinese" got the bomb. Doomsday was imminent.

Somehow, between his infancy and adulthood, I had to save the world.

Rather than start with the Soviet Union and China, which were awfully big, I got involved in local, then state politics. Government at all levels was bigger than I was, and had to be brought down to size, except for the part that might have to fight the Soviet Union and China.

President Ronald Reagan grew the U.S. defense budget enough to overwhelm at least one of them, ending the cold war with Russia. Lance grew up and entered law enforcement, doing his part to keep peace in his own little corner of the world out west. An environmentalist who somehow picked up a bizarre belief that Republicans live to pollute, he voted for Bill Clinton and Al Gore. I was just glad he was too old to be drafted if the Democrats got the country into another war and re-instituted involuntary servitude.

Guess I also figured that I would leave saving the world to him from now on if he was so smart. But then he and his wife made me a grandmother.

They are going to be wonderful parents. Mary plans to be a full-time mom. They aren't materialistic, don't have television, already have hiking gear for the kids. They will take care of keeping my grandchildren happy, healthy and well-read.

I will keep an eye on the world, starting with a letter to President Bush.

"Dear Mr. President: Thank you for winning the election. Please defend the American Dream for all our grandchildren.

"Thank you for fighting for your tax cuts. I can use my share of the income tax reduction for plane tickets to visit my grandkids. Don't have enough of an estate to qualify for your death tax cut, but I don't begrudge the savings for other grandparents who want to leave their hard-earned wealth to their loved ones.

"Keep my grandchildren free. Protect their constitutional rights, including freedom of speech and the right to bear arms. Their parents will teach them to tell the truth at all times but to avoid hurtful, prejudiced statements. Their parents will also be very safety-conscious, without making them afraid to live their lives.

"I want my grandchildren to be safe and protected; this includes protection from the documented horrors of too-powerful governments. Don't let ours grow out of our control; and keep our defenses strong so that neither the Red Chinese nor any other dictatorship can ever conquer us.

"My son and his wife are right about protecting the environment; I hope you will always help us sort out the difference between careless waste and pollution, and the natural results of human beings living on earth and possessing property rights.

"I'm also relieved that you seem to be the kind of President who sets a sound moral example and respects the office that you hold. Always tell the truth, for the country and for the children.

"Yours truly, Aidan and Mariah's Gram."

Barbara Anderson is executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation. Her syndicated columns appear weekly in the Salem Evening News and the Lowell Sun; bi-weekly in the Tinytown Gazette; and occasionally in other newspapers.

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