For a few special moments recently I was back in the America I used to know.
Saturday I indulged in an overpriced but warm bag of popcorn, slathered in a chemical liquid that is probably carcinogenic but the movie theater staff call it “butter,” along with a half-gallon diet drink only a movie theater would size as “medium” and charge $5.50.
I enjoyed the popcorn while watching the film titled “America.” This film recounted the grievances of anti-American critics within our country, some who are university professors teaching our kids to despise America, and then the film presented the many blessings America has brought to our people and to the world.
For two reasons I would guess the people who really need to see the film, like Democrat voters, were not there, first because the subject matter was pro-America and second because at the end of the film patrons broke into spontaneous applause. I felt the warm comfort of camaraderie with countrymen.
Sunday a patriotic friend sent me a link to the Youtube story of a 400-foot high flagpole erected with heavy-duty engineering by the Acuity Insurance Company in Sheboygan, Wis., flying an American flag 60 feet high and 120 feet long.
Company President and CEO Ben Salzman said some were concerned the huge flag would dwarf the new company building, but he said that was precisely what he hoped to do. Salzman said, “We proudly fly this flag because we are blessed to live and work in the United States of America.”
At the flag dedication, with over 1,000 people in attendance, company employees who are military veterans carried the 90-pound flag to the pole. An Army Reserve rifle team fired a 21-gun salute and a flight of Wisconsin National Guard F-16s flew over low enough to make things shake a little. Now, every day 50,000 people traveling Interstate 43 marvel at the flag that can be seen from miles away.
I’m not ashamed to tell you I had a patriotic lump in my throat from these displays of love for our country. And then I was slapped right back into the liberal Twilight Zone we live in when I turned on TV news.
Remember the Obama Administration resisting tough action on Iran while negotiating limits on their nuclear program? The American State Department and White House seem to be the only ones left on the planet who actually believe the Iranians are acting in good faith. The rest of us realize they continue to hurry along their surreptitious nuclear weapon development program while engaging in delays and pretending to negotiate.
Sunday, July 20, was the agreement deadline, not met of course, but in a spineless fit of concession the liberal Obama Administration is now granting the Iranians a four-month extension to negotiate while we are releasing $2.8 billion of their frozen assets, I suppose out of gratitude that they will continue to talk to us. Do we drive a hard bargain or what?
Meanwhile, President Obama gave Russia’s Putin another impotent tongue-lashing for blowing nearly 300 civilians out of the Ukrainian sky, but cautioned we must not get out ahead of the facts, an excuse for inaction he has already worn out.
Historically, the public words of presidents have been taken seriously as signals of actions to come, but President Obama has proven to the world repeatedly that consequences from America will merely be more empty words from him, the foundation of his weakness.
President Obama observed that we need a cease-fire in Ukraine, with no effect of course because his empty words have the clout of Pee-Wee asking pretty-please to the schoolyard bully.
He also made things worse by referring to the Ukrainians, Russian-supported separatists and Russians as morally equivalent parties, which of course they are not, as anyone can see by the stolen Crimea sticking out of the smugly satisfied Putin’s back pocket.
But then Obama has always had his own notion of equivalence, like his declining to wear an American flag lapel pin because, “I don’t want to take sides.” As for consequences to Putin, Obama isn’t even tough enough to impose the diplomatic price of cutting off communications with him and the Russian Secretary of State counterpart. We must keep talking, mustn’t we?
If that isn’t enough to fail your laugh test, consider the flood of illegal immigrant kids pouring across our southern border. Democrats are blaming the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, known as the TVPRA, designed to fast-track deportation of Mexican illegals while kids from non-contiguous countries get scheduled for a hearing.
That means the Democrats set up Obama to blame George W. Bush, but it’s another Democrat lie, folks. Did you notice the flood didn’t start following that 2008 law?
The flood of illegal kids started after Obama’s 2012 violation of U.S. immigration law when he ruled that illegal kids who came here with their parents can stay. He gave them amnesty with a stroke of his royal pen with powers his office does not have, and after that is when the flood started, even though his illegal action does not even apply to these kids at our borders now.
Funny how Obama is doing nothing about the border problem but relishing the political issue, which the media, having taken his bait, will blame on Republicans for obstructing comprehensive immigration reform, aka even bigger amnesty. If your head spins like mine, just hold onto something to catch your balance.
Bleeding hearts and TV talking heads announce their compassion by calling this border issue a humanitarian crisis, saying our priority must be caring for the children.
Well, pardon my lack of compassion, but care for the children and determining the real cause for the crisis is a secondary concern.
The primary and immediate issue is that U.S. sovereignty and national security is threatened by porous borders and a flood of illegals that are overwhelming our immigration system and draining American resources, all while the White House dishonorably giggles in glee over the politics.
How can it be a Democrat vs. Republican issue to observe that a country cannot keep its sovereignty and security without controlling its borders and making rational decisions about limits on the immigrants granted entry?
I will make many of my Republican colleagues nervous with my view that our compassion should be reserved first for our country. If I had the power, I would do things some would call radical, like mobilize state National Guard units to the southern border to secure the borders with lethal force, like sending illegals caught violating our border to work camps for a few years where their labor would be applied to building and repairing border fencing, thereby killing their incentive to return once finally released.
What about the children, you ask? Send them back immediately on a flight tomorrow, let Honduras or Guatemala where they came from handle them. What if that country is not safe for the children, you ask? Let them solve their own problems, we can’t solve everything for the world.
But the children are suffering, you say. Blame the scumbags in Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico who are inflicting this on the kids to use them as a weapon against the U.S. The abuse is on them. We cannot let this happen to America, we must be tough and put a stop to it, or else invite further border games.
Mexico has been complicit on U.S. border violations for decades. They are complicit in this crisis and should pay a price. Maybe we should round up and send back a million illegals a month until they release our Marine citizen, then negotiate from strength instead of weakness for a change.
Of course using lethal weapons to secure the border and work camps for illegals are just my crazy ideas.
But we better do something fast because liberals running America are setting up a national suicide.
If you are one of those liberals you probably want to shake me (or worse) and persuade me to call them undocumented instead of illegal just for starters. You surely consider me to be wrong-headed about these issues and that Obama is doing just fine if only evil Republicans would stop impeding his initiatives.
And therein lies the fundamental problem. We need to stop pretending to be fellow Americans on the same team because our values are diametrically opposed and too far apart to be reconciled.
I’m sorry, but I don’t love you any more. We can be friends, but first we need a divorce. We need to go our separate ways, you and I, liberals in one direction, conservatives in another.
As things are, we are perpetually divided against each other and cannot get anything useful done as each side obstructs the other.
If Republicans win the next election, I am confident our country will not reverse course, but will only slow down a little bit the speed at which our country is racing pell-mell over the cliff. I would argue we have already gone over the edge but have not yet experienced impact at the bottom.
How about you take the entire west coast, and from Maryland northward on the East coast. We’ll take the middle states and northern Florida; you better take south Florida.
Please leave Fox News but take the rest of the news media because we have to rebuild that from scratch. Will you also please take the liberal third of elected Republicans with you because they are Democrat Lite and more closely aligned with you?
You can have the school system, it is too far gone for us to salvage. We’ll start over with basics and a focus on American history taught with a love of liberty and capitalism. We’ll give teachers disciplinary authority and require parents to help maintain discipline.
Please take the EPA, Dept. of Labor, Commerce, IRS and the rest of the bloated Executive branch. We’ll start over lean and mean and will require significant regulations to be blessed by Congress. Good luck with all those deeply entrenched federal union employees.
No need to talk about who gets the guns; they will naturally end up on our side.
An immediate split is best, I think. Without conservatives like me to slow you down, you can gorge yourself on government. Without the interference of you liberals, we conservatives could start over with the original Constitution and actually follow its design to keep the fed small and states strong. I would suggest we call ourselves “Old America” and you could use “New America.”
You and I could remain friends and the distance might be really good for our relationship. You could visit us here in Old America, and I’d love to update you on how the Constitution is working for us, but please be sure to obey all the border rules since our guards will be armed and trained to kill to secure our border.
When you come here or we go there to visit, we can keep the conversation cordial by avoiding religion or politics.
New beginnings. For now it’s only a dream. For now.
(Full disclosure – some years ago a law student named John J. Wall wrote a column titled “America Needs a Divorce,” and that column was widely circulated. He gets the credit for the wonderful idea.)
[Terry Garlock of Peachtree City occasionally contributes a column to The Citizen. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.]