Sunday, April 25, 2010

Today, I cried for America

Don Fredrick

April 25, 2010

I have been reading reports of the Tea Party Express as it traveled across America, finally reaching Washington, D.C. on tax day, April 15. I have watched the limited accounts of its coverage in the mainstream media, which generally have been of the “ambush” nature. (The reporter, already having persuaded himself that the Tea Party attendees are angry, white, racist males, selects someone in the crowd to ask, “Why do you hate Obama? Or “Why do you hate black people?”) Those “interviews” are revolting to watch, but you cannot defeat the enemy without knowing who he is.

It is a shame the media has become the enemy. It is a shame that Democrats have become socialists. (Where are the Sam Nunns and Scoop Jacksons of today’s Democrat Party?) It is a shame that so many Republicans have become Democrats. (We know where to find Lindsay Graham, Susan Collins, and Olympia Snowe.)

I grew up in the 50s and 60s. Had I not had a functioning brain I might have been a hippie or flower child. Instead, I studied hard, got good grades, worked while attending high school and college, and served in the U.S. Army. I was a typical American. I understood that if you worked hard you would prosper. I understood that some people occasionally had bad luck and needed to be helped by others, but I saw that as a function of private charity, not massive federal bureaucracies.

My paternal grandfather was a blacksmith. He and his neighbors, none of whom had much themselves, nevertheless chipped in to help a poor family with newborn twins who needed some assistance. They did it because it was the right thing to do, the neighborly thing to do. They also knew that their help was appreciated, and that even though the family might never be able to repay them with cash, they would be repaid with the knowledge that the family would do its best to get back on the path to self-sufficiency. It was temporary, voluntary assistance—not a lifetime of welfare and food stamps.

Our neighborhood was “mixed.” I attended elementary school with “colored” students. I was raised not to think of them as different or inferior. I did not think of them as members of a race that “needed to be taken care of,” but as individuals who, if treated with respect and given the same liberties as everyone else, would also prosper. Yes, I heard the “N-word,” but I always knew it was a “bad” word. And it was usually uttered only by someone much older than me.

All the black children I knew had a mother and a father, as did I and almost every other kid I knew. My family had little money, and the black families perhaps had even less, but I could never sense any envy or resentment. We had tough times, used powdered milk because it was cheaper than fresh milk, and ate a fair amount of macaroni and cheese and hot dogs. But we never went on “assistance.” We survived mostly because we had three generations living in one two-flat, owned by my paternal grandparents. We did not believe that others owed us a living. We did not blame others for our lot in life. We did not resent those who had more. We did not relish the thought of suing someone so that we could gain millions overnight.

When I saw a pregnant woman she was with her husband; she was not carrying textbooks on her way to high school. When I encountered a black kid on the street I was not fearful. Yes, when I saw 10 black kids together I was fearful and I crossed the street or turned around—but I did the same thing when I saw 10 white kids together.

I saw race relations getting better in the 50s and 60s, and assumed it was only a matter of time before racism would be extinguished. Those who used the “N-word” were the elderly, and after they were gone so would their attitude. I was wrong. It never occurred to me that politicians would see blacks not as Americans, but as a voting bloc. It never occurred to me that blacks would be ushered into public housing, given welfare and food stamps, and be told to “shut up and vote for the Democrats.”

I was raised to believe that a person’s race was irrelevant, and to judge individuals on their words and actions alone. When I started raising my own children I learned that was not an easy thing to do, because every time I emphasized that a person’s race was irrelevant, the television was blaring that so-and-so had become “the first African-American this” or “the first African American that.” (It is difficult to tell a child to judge a person on his behavior and that his race is unimportant when the media and their teachers are continually telling them that race is of prime importance.) I believe my children grew up with the right attitude, but it was despite the mainstream media and leftist teachers, not because of them.

Now, forty years later, we are supposed to cheer because Sonia Sotomayor became the first Hispanic woman on the Supreme Court. Why is that important? Her ancestry is irrelevant. She is either qualified for the position or not. If she turns out to be a good Justice, no other Hispanics should take the credit; if she turns out to be a terrible Justice. No other Hispanics should be blamed.

Between the 1950s and today I saw a steady decline in the concept of personal responsibility. It crept through society slowly at first, then picked up speed, and now is at an unsustainable level. Everything is someone else’s fault. File a lawsuit and put yourself on easy street.

After all, you weren’t fired because you were incompetent and late for work four days out of five; you were fired because you are fat, thin, black, Hispanic, female, young, old, gay, near-sighted, dyslexic, or have attention-deficit disorder—so file a lawsuit.

You didn’t lose your house because you unreasonably bought one you could not afford while foolishly thinking you could sell it one year later for $50,000 more, but because Wall Street bankers are evil.

You don’t lack health insurance because you instead spent your money on an expensive SUV and every electronic item at Best Buy or the Apple store, but because other Americans are too stingy too pay higher taxes to give it to you for free.

You are failing to save money for the college education of your children not because you are irresponsible but because you expect the federal government to foot the bill.

You’re not dumping your parents in a nursing home because you don’t want to be bothered caring for them but because “society” has an “obligation” to old people.

We don’t have an unsustainable national debt because politicians don’t know how to limit spending, but because those selfish rich people have the audacity to want to keep 40 percent of what they earn.

The reporters stick their microphones into the faces of Tea Party protesters and ask, “Why didn’t you protest when George W. Bush was President?”—to imply that it is Obama’s racial make-up that brought people to their senses. No, millions of Americans came to their senses with the TARP bailouts in 2008. They did not want Wall Street to be handed $700 billion to save it from its foolishness—even if that foolishness was promoted and induced by irresponsible federal policies and an unaccountable Federal Reserve. Yes, Americans were angry with Obama for supporting TARP. But they were also angry with John McCain for supporting it.

Americans became angrier with the $787 billion (and counting) “stimulus bill” that did almost nothing to stimulate job creation in the private sector but did a lot to save irresponsible state governments from having to face the massive deficits they engineered.

Americans became even angrier when the federal government took over General Motors and Chrysler, rather than allow them to follow normal bankruptcy proceedings.

Americans felt their blood pressure rise when legislators at town hall meetings across the country ignored their concerns about rising deficits, federal spending run amok, and health care legislation that will create more problems than it will solve.

Americans are enraged that the government is doing little to police their southern border, despite increasing violence from Mexican gangs and drug smugglers that enter the United States illegally.

Americans are desperate for millions of jobs for the unemployed and underemployed, and see the federal government throwing obstacles in the way of the businesses that could be creating those jobs.

Americans are worried that their best days are behind them, and that they will forever be in debt to China and other nations.

Americans are at their breaking point with their combined income taxes, Social Security taxes, Medicare taxes, state taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, estate taxes, capital gains taxes, dividend taxes, gasoline taxes, and utility taxes consuming more than half of their incomes.

Fifty-three percent of Americans are overwhelmed by the burden of income taxes to support the 47 percent who pay none.

And none of that has anything to do with the fact that Obama’s father was black.

Today I read “Blacks, Media and the Tea Parties” by Lloyd Marcus. (Find it at Marcus is a singer, composer, entertainer, author, and a conservative. And he happens to be black. Marcus traveled with the Tea Party Express, performing at 42 cities. He wrote:

“The liberal mainstream media is relentless in their quest to portray the tea party patriots as racist. And yet, I have performed my song, ‘American Tea Party Anthem’ at over 150 tea parties, been treated like a rock star and have even seen signs which read, ‘Lloyd Marcus for President!’ Not one tea party attendee has ever called me the N-word.”

“After my performance at a tea party in Traverse City, Michigan, a white reporter approached me for an interview. The mostly white upbeat audience loved me and my patriotic performance. Smiles were everywhere. With a stone face, the snooty female reporter asked me a series of annoying questions straight out of the liberal play book.”

“But, what really got my blood boiling was when she asked me the following question with the trademark liberal condescending edge, ‘Mr. Marcus don’t you think by calling yourself an unhyphenated American you are encouraging white people to feel comfortable with their racism?’”

“I wanted to say, ‘Lady, what the heck are you talking about? You are obviously one miserable, bitter and unhappy human being. Get away from me.’ Instead, I replied, ‘With all due respect, I strongly disagree.’ I turned and walked away from her, abruptly ending the interview.”

Marcus relates that in Washington, D.C. a reporter from Ebony magazine asked him, “So, why do you hate Barack Obama?” and “Are these rallies racist?”

That was the treatment Marcus received from the media. But from Tea Party activists he was treated much differently.

In Traverse City, Michigan a white woman in a wheelchair approached Marcus. “Extremely excited she said, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s Lloyd Marcus. May I have a picture with you? Thank you so much for all you are doing for our country. I love you!’ After a picture and hugs, I chatted with other fans. Later with tears in his eyes, Don, a Tea Party Express staff member told me more about the woman in the wheelchair. The woman’s daughter told Don her mom was dying. The daughter said her mom told her, ‘All she wanted to do before dying was to meet Lloyd Marcus.’”

In St. Augustine, Florida an elderly veteran thanked Marcus. They “broke down in tears for our country.”

And then I cried for America. I cried because, like Lloyd Marcus, I see the evil in the leftists who are dividing America in order to conquer it, and the evil in the mainstream media which is their willing and eager accomplice. I cried because I once lived in a time when we all thought America’s best days were ahead of us. I cried because I know they may now be behind us.

But while I have tears of sadness for what has gone wrong with America, those tears contain hope because it is clear that millions now understand. The leftist reporters cannot comprehend why anyone earning far less than $250,000 would attend a demonstration to protest higher taxes on those who do earn that much. For those reporters it is a game, pitting one group against the other.

The media leftists know that for socialism to succeed, its perpetrators need a divided America. They need the poor to hate the rich. They need the parasites to envy the producers and the producers to resent the parasites.

They need the whites to hate the blacks and the blacks to hate the whites. They need the Catholics to hate the Protestants and everybody to hate the Jews. They need the non-thinkers to vote for the liberals no matter how much their policies end up harming them.

They need Americans to be ignorant of the schemes the leftists have in store for them.

But millions of Americans are no longer ignorant. They are waking up. And after they shed tears over what they have lost, they will join in the battle to regain America.

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