Early last Sunday morning the doorbell rang. I was in the shower- and had already run downstairs once (in the midst of shaving my haggard face) to quiet my ranting mother. I again wrapped myself in a towel and quickly trotted down from our fourth story to the ground floor entrance. (Guess that’s why they have brass poles in firehouses.)
As I opened the door, I immediately noticed the lone Ocean City police officer’s graying hair and sympathetic demeanor- which communicated the grace of a true veteran. My mother was now sleeping in her rocker, but I knew perfectly well why the officer was there. The quiet and respectful conversation went something like this:
“Just my mother screaming,” I said.
“She’s getting old?”
“Ninety-five and dementia.”
“One of the neighbors called. I just wanted to make sure everything was all right.”
A thin smile crossed my lips as I stood there dripping wet. “Thanks.”
I went back to my shower with renewed faith in present-day America. “Little Things (Do) Mean A Lot.” I had experienced a heartwarming glimpse of our distant past- or to quote another song title, “The Way We Were.”
I would hope that you all have a story like this- a touching vignette of recent vintage that reminds you of the way things once were in America.
Generally speaking, however, our law enforcement agencies at all levels (as well as our regulatory agencies and our entire judiciary) seem geared to keeping a lid on middleclass America- rather than protecting and improving our access to the American dream.
But here is my major concern. Most of us are so busy swatting the pesky mosquitoes in our everyday lives that we fail to notice those huge toothy alligators creeping up behind us.
Yes, we are treated like criminals by TSA. We are oft intimidated and bullied by our own local police departments. We take exception to what our children are being taught (or not being taught) in our public schools. We flinch at the rising costs of food and fuel. We’ve watched helplessly as our home values plummeted. On and on- but we are so preoccupied with these relatively petty annoyances (death by a thousand paper cuts?) that we fail to notice the steady advance of our determined and powerful enemies.
True, Americans in increasing number now ask, “Why Afghanistan? Why such mindless federal spending? Is there a real champion of the American people among all these egomaniacs running for President? How does Obama get away with his constant lies and deception?” Nevertheless, they neither discern the creeping tyranny of an insatiable shadow government that routinely feasts upon American liberty- nor comprehend the slow and steady advance of Hell’s innumerable hosts intent on devouring our way of life.
When I quote Thomas Jefferson’s warning about allowing private interests to control our money supply- or explain in detail why Obama’s latest birth certificate is so obviously a fraud- I’m often met with unbelief and ridicule. When I warn folks that our collective prosperity, Constitutional liberties and national security hang by the thinnest of threads, they seem more concerned with how much they just paid for a few gallons of gasoline or for their week’s groceries.
Even the GOP Presidential hopefuls seem conveniently detached from this deeper and more troubling reality. Herman Cain, for example, thinks it is perfectly fine that the Fed, for whom he once worked, controls our monetary policy and issues “our” currency. Even Michele Bachmann refuses to address Obama’s Constitutional ineligibility. I’ve heard Newt Gingrich chortle that Barry was born in Hawaii. Mitt Romney keeps telling us what we already know- that “Washington is broken.” Hence, I often ask myself if these holier-than-thou politicos are simply liars and thieves like Barry!
Yes, sure as shootin’ this last best hope for humanity has never been perfect, but forgive me if I look longingly back to the way we used to was…
Richard Allan Jenni