(Editor’s note: Doug Patton passed away on February 27, 2014. He will be greatly missed.)RIP Doug Patton – beloved husband, father and columnist[i]Doug Patton is a freelance columnist who has served as a political speechwriter and policy advisor to conservative candidates, elected officials and public policy organizations. His weekly columns are published in newspapers across the country and on selected Internet web sites, including Human Events Online and GOPUSA.com, where he is a senior writer and state editor. Readers may e-mail him at [[email protected][email protected]][email protected][/email].[/i]
Note: A version of this column was originally published shortly after 9/11. Since then, from time to time, it has seemed appropriate to submit it again as a way of expressing the frustration of a populace whose leaders simply will not listen to their will. I offer it again in that spirit.
Imagine you are a child growing up in a small town. You have always felt safe there. The crimes of big cities seem distant from your serene world, where no one ever locks the door.
Dystopian science fiction has many works to recommend it. Huxley’s “Brave New World,” Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451,” Vonnegut’s “Cat’s Cradle,” and, more recently, Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” are prime examples.
As Michelle Obama treated herself to an additional week in paradise as a 50th birthday present at taxpayer expense, her husband returned from their multi-million dollar, 17-day vacation in Hawaii to badger Republicans in Congress over whether to continue to pay people not to work.
Despite the fact that he has more academic alphabet soup behind his name than anyone else I know, including a doctorate in education, my baby brother often surprises me with the breadth of his common sense and the depth of his wisdom. A few years ago, I gave him a plaque bearing a quote from Mark Twain. It read: “I have never allowed my schooling to interfere with my education.” He hung it on the wall of his office.
Paul Ryan is now polling first in Iowa for the next presidential election. If Ryan is encouraged by this news, he is not much of a student of recent political history. Polling first in Iowa more than two years prior to the state’s over-hyped, first-in-the-nation caucuses is a bit like being told by the guy at the convenience store that the lottery ticket he just sold you is the winner. Take it with a huge grain of salt.
Once upon a time, there was an expectation that the President of the United States — “the leader of the free world,” as we used to call him — would exhibit certain reasonable behaviors in public. After all, the liberating Constitution this man represented was viewed as a symbol of hope by the world’s freedom-yearning masses.
“Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.” — Matthew 15:11 (NKJV)
The truth in Christ’s words was never more evident than when MSNBC’s Martin Bashir made his recent disgusting remarks about former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Of course, the carefully prepared comments were not vile enough to censor before Bashir uttered them; only after the fact were they deemed “inappropriate,” a term he used in his subsequent, obviously forced, mea culpa.
In “The Godfather, Part II,” mafia boss Michael Corleone tells a corrupt politician, “We are both part of the same hypocrisy, senator.” Similarly, the same may now be said of Democrats and Republicans in Congress. Let me qualify that opinion by stating that while there still remain a few Republicans whom I would support, there are no Democrats for whom I would ever again cast a vote.
A decade ago, my son, a talented writer in his own right, with a dry, self-deprecating sense of humor, published as his senior university thesis a series of original short stories, which he dubbed with the tongue-in-cheek title, “All the Things in the World.” Similarly, I occasionally feel there is so much on which to comment that I am left with the dilemma of opining on everything or nothing. And since illness sidelined me from this column last week, I have chosen the former.
In the 1980s, the media seemed amazed at how the public never seemed to turn on Ronald Reagan. They even coined a phrase for it: the Teflon Presidency. More amazing by far is the continued support Barack Obama receives from the adoring segment of the voting public that refuses to give up on his unworkable socialist schemes.
A friend recently called and asked, “So when do you think Obama will declare martial law?” Until last week, I would have dismissed such speculation as conspiratorial. Now I’m not so sure.
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