Hello again, all. Over a few sleepless nights I have lain awake, as we all do from time to time, wondering what about the true meaning of life; “Who is John Galt?”; why, if there was enough gravity to hold Buzz Aldrin’s feet on the moon the flag stands straight out; and whose lamebrain idea was it for Michael Dukakis to get in that tank and put on that helmet? We’ve all had these thoughts slam around in our heads like pin balls at 3:30 AM. If we’d just stop hitting the flipper buttons the game would be over and we’d go to sleep.
But here’s what troubled me the most. I spent a good portion of Friday/ Saturday choking back tears while watching the Edward M. Kennedy funeral service, wake and burial. I didn’t like Ted Kennedy. I didn’t like his family. Not even the children: the chubby boys with their Prince Valiant haircuts all dressed in shorts and flip-flops with a blazer forced onto them by Aunt Kennedy; the girls simply dressed but with the blank expressions of total lack of interest in the goings on. In fairness, I guess they’re like all teens. Death means nothing to them. I don’t know why I kept watching, but I did. And it slowly dawned on me that the Kennedys are, after all, just regular people. Rich, flawed, star-crossed, and largely annoying, but regular. Boy, if you want too see a Catholic funeral or an Irish wake it’s the Kennedys pulling away. These poor souls must have whole rooms set aside for the mourning clothes, decorations, and procedures needed for these occasions. They put on a pageant, Don’t they? But I don’t think they mean to. I think they are simply regular folks who, with the blood and sacrifice of their members, have earned a good send-off. And we are all attracted to a good drama, a good story. I think that’s why we watch.
But, why was I tearing up? Somewhere near the fourth hour of sleeplessness on Sunday morning it came to me. Ted Kennedy stood for something. I didn’t like much of it, but it was real. This flawed fellow who had every reason to drink heavily in the 6 years and 1 year after John and Bobby had bullets shot into their heads, who had grown up drinking and carousing, not growing up at all, really, was forced by tragedy to face his demons. He did not succeed. He drank and caroused and drove off the bridge and panicked. The next 15 minutes must have been lived in chapters. 1) Christ what happened, I’m alive, I have to get her out. 2) I tried, she’s stuck, I’m too drunk to go down there. 3) I have to get help; well, wait. She’s gone—too late for help, I have to report this. But I’m drunk. Okay, I’ll go report this, but the last thing we need is another scandal, so I’ll sleep it off and report it in the morning. It can’t hurt Mary Jo. Looking back Teddy should have tried his best to save her. Then failing that, he should have reported the accident and taken his chances. He lived with the fallout for the rest of his life in the Senate, a friendly confine of comrades, carousers, and drinkers. He would be happy to take the liberal fight to the opposition. His mistreatment of Robert Bork was disgraceful. His demagoguery was legendary and shameless. His life had meaning. And I, who new all of this, nonetheless supported the views he espoused.
It was I, after all, who stood for nothing. As a voter I was (and am) a register independent. I refused to call myself a liberal (though I thought I was one). I voted for every democrat from McGovern to Gore. I was anti-war (but never anti-soldier), pro-choice without ever once acknowledging that abortion is the taking of a human life, not a piece of protoplasm, or that it is genocide against African- Americans, eugenic-like in the way it keeps the ranks of the poor from growing. I like government give-away programs because they did what I could not do as a poor young fellow. Give charitably. I was wrong, of course.
In truth, though I believed I was thoughtful, I really was not. I just followed the liberal line, but never claimed to be a liberal. Ted Kennedy was a card carryin’, full fledged, rootin-tootin six-gun shootin’ icon of a liberal. He was a Patriot. And he was wrong. God rest his troubled soul. He is one of the last of his breed. Nowadays, people in congress and senate care less and less about the People, The Constitution, or Right or Wrong. There is capitulation, there is favor-trading, there is cronyism, and there is corruption.
And that’s where Cal’s Crazy Movie Metaphors enters. I’ll make this quick. Remember in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” when Richard Dreyfus decides to take off his gas mask because he no longer believes the Governments claim the anthrax scare is real? When he does, of course, he can breathe. The air is fine.
That’s kind of what I experience on 9/12 and the days/years since. I have “Question(ed) boldly” as Jefferson counseled. Not just what Senator Kennedy believed, but what I believed. And I have arrived at this one true thing. I love my country like I never have before. This is no vice. If you believe it, say it. I can see too many politicians who care about nothing, who think about nothing but their next election, and who have set in motion all of the economic nightmare we are now living through. This must change, starting with term limits. Congress must be subjected to any law of program is foists on the American People. I am angry, but I am also frightened for the possible loss of the soul of this country. A Trojan Horse filled with radicals, communists, eugenicists, and other social engineers has cantered right into the White House on the coattails of politicians who were, as young men and women, so close to the trees they couldn’t see the forest. They cannot tell the wolves from the sheep. Or, if I am wrong, they are all wolves. I pray not.
I am an independent. I will vote for the right person. I re-visited the assumptions I made 45 years ago. I will now call a spade a spade. I will assign blame. I will vote to kick the bums out. I am going to the Tea Party on 9/12. If you can’t attend, then watch. There will be no more crazy people there than there are on any public green on any given day. You all know, feel really, that something is wrong in this country. All this spending. All the debt. All the deficits on the backs of our kids. All the indebtedness to China. It’s Bush, its, Obama,--it doesn’t matter. It’s the Trojan Horse.
We are the pod people. Please attend or watch. Question boldly.