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Works and Days

Our Battered American

February 20th, 2009 - 7:47 am

I am meeting a few battered Americans these days. There are not many left, but those that are seem to sound alike. Yes, I think I am beginning to understand Mr. Battered American, and he sounds tired and a bit like this.

“I’m sorry Mr. President, but we are just not dictatorial in the Middle East. You said the Saudis, not America, showed courage over there. But, Mr. President, the Saudis, they live under Sharia law! And my God!—they once engineered crippling oil boycotts against our nation. And wasn’t it they who produced 15 of the 19 killers on 9/11? So no, Mr. President, those Saudis—they simply are not courageous. Now Mr. Biden, there is no reason to set the reset button on foreign policy, as you promised all those Europeans. None at all. Tell that resetting stuff instead to Ahmadinejad, Chavez, that Korean nut, Putin, and all the other thugs who kill and cause misery, but not to our America that saves and feeds and helps. Mrs. Clinton, it’s now your turn. We are not impulsive as you told the world. So you can stop apologizing for America’s recent behavior—unless you think the world would be a better place with the Taliban, and Saddam and his two boys in power. Or maybe Europe should have Schroeder and Chirac back, or Libya with nuclear weapons, or Khalid Sheik Mohammed freed from Guantanamo. Or maybe America shouldn’t have given that $15 billion for AIDs relief in Africa, or helped with earthquakes in Pakistan and tsunamis in Indonesia. Now all that was sorta impulsive.”

As he thinks about this apology business, the battered American always gets a little angrier, “And another thing. Mr. Holder, I’ve never said or done a racist thing in my life, not one. Always supported equal opportunity, always will. So don’t call me a “coward” or my countrymen “cowards,” not when you’re my Attorney General. You are The Attorney General of the United States of America, so please, no more playing Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson, leveling the latest shake-down charge on television. That’s not really in your job description to call your own countrymen “cowards.” When I was in high school I was taught that name-calling like that might be what they said was “projection.” So maybe, just maybe, you have been cowardly—and arrogant too—but not those whom you accused of all that. At least if someone asked me to help pardon a fugitive on the FBI’s most wanted list, I would have said “no.” Always, no exceptions, period! Anything else? That would be cowardly.”

Our battered American I noticed gets even more riled up and would say to our new energy secretary, “And another thing Mr. Chu, California isn’t going anywhere. What’s this dry up and blow away nonsense? You’re our Energy Secretary, not Jimmy Carter in his cardigan sweater or Al Gore doing interviews on that private jet. So Americans aren’t going to “vanish” in rural California. We’re proud that we created, by blood, and hard work, and suffering, the richest agricultural valleys in the world. They won’t disappear soon—at least not if you allow us to have the water that our great-grandfathers tapped and brought down from the Sierra, instead of letting it run full blast into the sea so that Speaker Pelosi’s mice can live more nicely in the bay than we do on our farms.”

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