Friday, October 17, 2008


Going through the trash this morning I have come across some random thoughts about the attitudes of the seaboard pundits and governmental Washington elites. First, there was the sound and the fury over the naming of a moose-hunting, hockey mom with five kids who had the audacity to believe she was qualified to be a mayor, state commission chair, governor and then candidate for vice-president. They agonized over the thought of a “trailer-trash” ex-beauty queen taking up residence at the Naval Observatory in D.C. In response, they marshaled an army of sleazeball "legal" types and sent them on a mission to “dumpster dive” in Alaska in search of dirt on the candidate. They returned from their assignment cold, dirty, and disappointed with the knowledge that unlike their fellow critics, she enjoyed huge (80%) endorsement by her parka clad neighbors and was, God forbid, real!

She further stoked their fires of rage by using highly understandable vocabulary to relate to and outline a vision for her fellow citizens. She flummoxed the press and the “lifers” in D.C. by being well advanced in her knowledge and her ability to communicate with every one past the arugula and latte circuit. She assumed the role of “everyman” for those Americans who quietly enter voting booths and exercise their common sense and conscience. The coastal elites went nuts. After all, they went to Harvard or some other weed covered hall of leftist indoctrination, where they were educated to believe that nuance superseded common sense. She revealed she had a mom and dad and neither one was named “government.”

If that were not insult enough, “The One” entertained a question from some “guy” who actually had a job and wanted to make the transition from employee to management and improve his opportunities. This person, now known almost universally as “Joe, the plumber,” demonstrated a simplistic grasp of economics, capitalism, and planning for the future well past the understanding of his betters in congress. He resisted the idea that he should “share the wealth” with others who had not paid the price he had paid. Worse, he has also expressed his belief in his native country, his confidence in the military and the goals of their use, and faith in his fellow citizens. His sturdy appearance combined with his fundamental attitudes scare these people to death.

These two are not all that different from the ones who hang out in your local barber shop, Wal-Mart parking lot, church dinners and PTA meetings who discuss the real problems America faces. They sit on town boards and councils, often unpaid, and exercise their civic responsibilities and participate in decisions which affect their neighbors. They are not all of the same opinion but manage to work together to come up with the solutions which best reflect the attitudes of the governed to the best of their ability. Since they drive the same roads, shop in the same stores, go to the same schools and, generally, worship the same God, they have the necessary information to make informed judgments. They constitute the basic cadre which directs the efforts to improve America and provide for the common good.

The elites attribute this to some kind of “overnight” success which to them is unfathomable. They fail to see that each of them prepared for lives of accomplishment by hard work, caring for others, exercising high moral standards, and actually working their way up the ladder. In close examination of most all-stars, whether they be in sports, entertainment, business, the arts, or what have you, they will modestly assure you their “overnight” success was preceded by ten or twenty years of difficult preparation.. They “made their bones” the hard way. The first time I saw Tiger Woods with a golf club in his hand was at the age of three (his age, not mine!) on the “Tonight Show.” Many US presidents started their lives as paper boys and Boy Scouts, learning the “real” basics of life. Most NFL star quarterbacks have a tale in their repertoire of endlessly throwing footballs through a hanging tire behind the barn in youthful exuberance to hone their skills. How many industry CEO’s have related tales of selling lemonade or peddling vegetables as a kid? Perhaps the most telling story is Bill Gates who dropped out of college to form what is now Microsoft and become the world’s richest man. These people did not come from inherited wealth but did come from an ingrained work ethic. It was not the luck of the draw or a one in a billion lottery ticket that put them where they are today. In their success we award our admiration; the folly lies in not appreciating what they went through to achieve it.

Yes, we are commanded as Christians to give our neighbor a helping hand. Many have done so as individuals and as a nation we have reacted to the downtrodden and oppressed in record amounts. When our nation senses tragedy abroad we immediately dispatch relief even in advance of the event. Our navy does not wait for the aftermath of a cyclone or tsunami to put our hospital ships and carrier borne helicopters rushing to the scene. We send our resources and monies promptly without expectation of praise to help our brothers’ world wide. This national attitude is born in the hearts of the people who form the nation and not from political expediency.

Those who seek to disparage the “common” characteristics and essential goodness of the folks mentioned in the lead paragraphs need to take another look. That look should not be at Sarah Palin or “Joe, the plumber” but rather, in the mirror. Have they done as much? Is paying the price for success so alien they can only carp about their lack of polish and credentials? Personally, I will only find validity in their criticisms when they can demonstrate a lack of agenda in their self-serving attacks. My prayer is that the “average” citizen seeks leadership from those who have “been there and done that.” To have studied, theorized, read about, and mulled over is not the ideal background for leadership if it is not accompanied by some actual work.

Give this some thought and share those thoughts with your neighbors. We live in a perilous world and we require common sense leadership. A world in flames and economic crisis does not require yet another symposium. It requires an individual who understands courage, stewardship, fairness, common sense and sweat!

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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