Still the Land of the Free?

There seem to be two kinds of Americans. There are those who wish this nation could once again be what it used to be, a beacon for those who cherished freedom and liberty. Then there are those who look at America and wish it could be more like Cuba, of all places. Or if not Cuba, perhaps Spain or Mexico or Venezuela, with maybe just a smidgen of Iran or Egypt or the West Bank tossed in, and a dash of the Occupy Wall Street movement. In short, they prefer a swamp to a melting pot.

Republican In Name Only

I can’t pretend to understand those on the Left. I don’t know why they think the way they do. Once I was being interviewed on a radio show and the host asked me if I was proud to be an American. I shocked him, and even myself a little, when I said I wasn’t. I told him that I was proud of my various grandparents, proud that they had the gumption to make their way across a continent and an ocean to get here. But what did I have to be proud of? I was simply handed a gift. I was just lucky. I won the big lottery. I got to be born an American. What I can’t fathom is why all those liberals, progressives and run-of-the-mill Democrats, don’t seem to share my sense of gratitude, harboring only resentment.

I also have no idea why they continue to ballyhoo Barack Obama. He’s a hypocrite, a liar and he’s supremely arrogant. If he were only your neighbor, he’d be so obnoxious, you’d consider moving. But here he is the commander-in-chief, and these louts carry on as if the sun shines out of his backside.

His view of America is a place where the dumbest, the laziest and the least grateful, are entitled to everything that the smartest, most decent, hardest-working individuals have. Redistribution of wealth has a nice, uplifting tone to it, but when you cut through the slag, it comes down to taking by force what taxpaying, law-abiding people have and handing it over to those who want it.

It strikes me as pretty obvious that when you pander to those whose most over-riding emotion is envy, you destroy a nation. It is Obama’s game plan now, just as it was in 2008 . Unlike any other president, Obama hopes to conquer by dividing blacks and whites, rich and poor, union members and the rest of us. It’s atypical in America, but it is business as usual in every communist country that has ever existed.

If Obama were to be re-elected, it would be the death knell for this country. Not because of any specific thing he would accomplish over the next four years, although he would very likely have the opportunity to re-create the Supreme Court in his own distorted image, but because of what his re-election would say about us.

Were he to win in November, it would prove that less than 250 years after the creation of this republic by such giants as Washington, Madison, Adams, Franklin and Jefferson, the majority of Americans are prepared to hand the country over to moral and intellectual pygmies. It would mean that most Americans now subscribe to a life consisting of cradle-to-grave government-provided entitlements, even though anyone who has paid the slightest attention to what is happening in Greece knows the inevitable result of such insane policies.

Speaking of so-called entitlements, it is high time that pensions be re-examined. If I had my way, salaries would be raised across the board and pensions would disappear. Although nobody holds cops, firemen and members of the military — particularly those who have risked life and limb in combat — in higher esteem than I do, it simply makes no sense that these men and women should be able to put in their 20 years and then, starting as young as 38 or 39, begin collecting monthly checks for the next 40 or 50 years. Even alimony doesn’t last that long!

Finally, I’d like to address those Republicans who get on my case whenever I say something nice about a candidate they don’t regard as a hard core conservative. Invariably, the candidate and I get slimed as RINOs. No matter how often I contend that while I would prefer a conservative, most Republicans clearly don’t. That is why it’s people like Dole, McCain and the Bushes, who keep winning GOP primaries.

When I insist that, imperfect as they were, the Republican candidates over the past two decades were better than Dukakis, Clinton, Gore, Kerry and Obama, were or would have been, they remain unconvinced. What they like to say is that the only difference between a RINO and a liberal is that a RINO will destroy America at a slower rate.

Although I don’t happen to agree with them, what I say in rebuttal is that even if they’re right, that is a hell of a big difference. After all, we all know that nobody lives forever, but would they prefer to die sooner or later? Or would they, like dumb mules, stubbornly stick to their guns and insist it really doesn’t matter?

©2011 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write!

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Author Bio:

Burt Prelutsky, a very nice person once you get to know him, has been a humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine. As a freelancer, he has written for the New York Times, Washington Times, TV Guide, Modern Maturity, Emmy, Holiday, American Film, and Sports Illustrated. For television, he has written for Dragnet, McMillan & Wife, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Bob Newhart, Family Ties, Dr. Quinn and Diagnosis Murder. In addition, he has written a batch of terrific TV movies. View Burt’s IMDB profile. Talk about being well-rounded, he plays tennis and poker... and rarely cheats at either. He lives in the San Fernando Valley, where he takes his marching orders from a wife named Yvonne and a dog named Angel.
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  • Gena

    I will probably be defriended by the majority of my Facebook and Twitter followers or “friends” for what I’m going to say, but I’m coming out of the closet with this – my three favorite senators are Lynsey Graham, John McCain and Senator Liberman, the three men who are the most concerned with helping the country as a whole than they are with following the party lines of their respective parties. Liberman, in fact, leaving the democratic party to run as an independent cause he wasn’t willing to go against his principles. To me, these are the guys with the real principles, the ones who take seriously the purpose of their office – to get things done for the entire country. Call the two republicans Republican in Name Only, or whatever, I call them damn good Senators, damn good Americans. All three of them. The best in the United States Senate. And I think we would have been in such really better shape if people have not stayed home instead of vote for McCain cause they didn’t feel he was conservative enough. Yeah, you purists, look at what YOU did to this country.

  • Burt Prelutsky

    Thank you, Anna, for your vote of confidence.

    Best wishes, Burt

  • anna zachariah

    One of your best columns! Enjoy your truthfulness. Am with you all the way.

  • Burt Prelutsky

    cma: I agree with you. But until Romney gets the nomination locked up, the GOP can’t really wage a campaign against Obama and the economy. It doesn’t help that Gingrich, Perry and Santorum, are wasting their time and money waging their own form of class warfare by railing against Bain. Apparently, Santorum is so desperate, he’s even counting on Iowa’s final tally next week to convince us he’s got the wind at his back. As if it actually matters if he won or lost by eight votes.

    Regards, Burt

    • cmacrider

      Burt .. Point well taken. It’s incomprehensible why they would attack Bain when they could have taken umbrage with his record as Governor of Mass. Maybe Bernie was correct when he argued that if Romney is the nominee then Obama and his record will be the issue whereas if Newt becomes the nominee … Newt will be the issue.

  • cmacrider

    Burt: Although I agree with the general sentiments expressed in your nicely articulated commentary, let me make a couple of points simply because as a Canadian I cannot be accused of American jingoism.

    First, although I understand your point that you were lucky that your forefathers immigrated to America, this belies the fact that millions of descendants of American immigrants absorbed the American ethos and through their hard work (not luck) made America a truly great nation. I am fully cognizant that it became the “American hegemony” but I think history will prove that as a superpower they have, overall, been a very benign hegemony which on balance have done much to improve the world.
    Secondly, I respectfully suggest, that conservative/republican pundits are making a grave mistake. You are allowing Obama to frame the election debate as one of class warfare. Republicans should be framing the campaign as a one issue campaign … namely jobs and the economy and how disastrous Obama’s socialism has been in that regard. There is only one issue … how to restore the economy so that the average American can have a job and give personal expression to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” If Obama wants to market socialism against that idea … he will lose big time.

  • Burt Prelutsky

    Thanks for the kind words. Sorry I was MIA. Every once in a while, my wife insists we go out of town. I think it’s just her way of getting me away from the computer.

    It’s good to be back.

    Best, Burt

  • Steve Angers

    A very nice column, Burt. It was filled with interesting ideas, a coherent and well-argued perspective, and some very evocative language. I was particularly amused by the bit about the President “lighting” the way for his faithful. I’m certain there must be a rational explanation for the phenomenon. Perhaps he ate Diogenes.

    In a weird way, that image reminded me of a myth I read about in my youth; I think it was Havelock the Dane. Heir to a kingdom, but disinherited by a greedy and evil warlord, young Havelock’s people first became aware of his true identity because of a light that shone from his mouth while he was sleeping. I wonder how the people would have reacted if Havelock had a taillight instead of a headlight. I’m sure there’s some sort of moral significance buried in that thought if you dig deep enough.

    Somehow or other, I guess I must be starting to over-think this whole concept, it also puts me in mind of the lyrics and surreal video for a 1994 Soundgarden hit. I’m not going to take that thought any further, for fear of offending people, but if you know the video you’ll probably make some more interesting connections to your observations.

    Apparently, I’m going to have a very weird day. And all thanks to you, if I can’t get that picture out of my head. Thanks for a very thought provoking column. I got a lot more out of it than the single image, although that one has definitely left a mark.

  • DOOM161

    If you take away pensions, you won’t need to gut the defense budget. You’ll have plenty of people leaving voluntarily.

  • Bruce A.

    Speaking of grandparents all mine came here from various Eastern European countries. All four went through the depression & wars etc. managing to work, survive & raise families. I clearly remember all four saying “we have the best country here”. Of course that was before the US was turned into a version of Europe.

  • G. Daylan

    One of your very best.

    • Nancye