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This Too Shall Pass

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What does it do to my black grandchildren when they watch television and see mobs of threatening white people supporting a South Carolina congressman who shouted “You lie” at the biracial president of the United States in a Joint Session of Congress viewed all over the world? How does it affect them to see guns brought to speeches given by the president? How puzzling it must be for them to hear some white people say they want their country back – from whom? I know what to tell them. Hold steady and keep the faith is what I tell my grandchildren and I bring perspective to the current white hysteria. Things were much worse 50 years ago for black people in America. Fifty years ago a far larger percentage of white Americans expressed anti-black sentiments in far more direct and violent ways.

Fifty years ago there were only two black congressmen, no black senators, no black governors, and few blacks in local governments around the country. The highest black office-holder in a local government in the country was Hurland Jack, the Borough President of Manhattan, in New York City. It is, I tell them, a measure of African-American social progress that there is a black president to whom racist sentiments can be directed. It is also a measure of white Southern incivility that such an outburst can happen as it did.

I live in South Carolina where many whites are crazy with the reality that a black man is president of the United States. This is, for them, a situation that must be confronted by all means necessary. This translates into insulting behavior by South Carolina’s politicians. One of the state's two Republican senators want to “break” the president by making his health care plan his Waterloo. Rusty DePass, a South Carolina political small potato, said that an escaped zoo gorilla was one of Michelle Obama’s ancestors. The state’s embattled governor had to be made to take the president’s stimulus money. Then along came Joe Wilson’s vulgarity. White politicians in South Carolina can behave this way with impunity because its majority population is largely racist. Fortunately only two of my grandchildren live here and will grow up here in this place of lagging social indicators.

My grandchildren are 17, 13, 10, 8, 5, and 4. Each of my three sons has a boy and a girl. I try to turn this contemporary moment in history into a teachable moment for them. I tell the two oldest, who are boys and cousins, about an evening 50 years ago when I was a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina and got into all white drive-in movie, unnoticed, with white soldiers from my platoon with whom I had been out drinking. Halfway through the movie, we had to use the rest room. After using the rest room we decided to ring the bell for the concession attendant to make a purchase. When the man came from the back and saw black me he turned red and shouted, “What are you doing in here?”

“He’s with me,” my friend said, “and he’s a United States soldier – he’s entitled to be in here.”

“Look, I don’t make the rules, it’s the law of the land,” the attendant said. “You better get that nigger out of here and don’t let anyone see you leaving or he’s dead.”

My friend and I left insulted and demoralized, but I survived.

Fifty years ago was a time when the South waged its last bloody battles against full citizenship for black Americans. Dogs, water hoses, clubs, lynchings, bombs, and bullets were the weapons the white obstructionist wielded in those days. Many black people and some white people of good will died during the Southern white rage of the civil rights period. That could never happen today, I tell my grand children, there are far many more whites of good will in the South than there were in those days. I do warn my older two grandsons though, that it may have been easier for my generation to defeat raw racism then it will be for the current generation to defeat irrationality. It is going to be difficult to placate people who are so irrational that they argue against what is in their own interest. It’s like I used to tell people who I didn’t care for: “If you see me in a fight with a bear, you help the bear.” People who are shouting "I want my country back” are telling Obama, “If you see me in a fight with my health insurance company, you help the bear.”

At first I was puzzled by the spectacle of people rejecting public policy that would benefit them, and I didn’t know how to explain that to my grandsons. Then I remembered the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama that killed three contemporaries of ex-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and I realized that I had temporarily forgotten how blinding racial hatred is. A good many of the anti-Obama whites are going through a very difficult cultural change in American society. Power-sharing pluralism is an infant phenomenon in America and the least educated and a good many Southern born whites, for the most part, are having a bad time making the adjustment. They are, for the moment, lost in racial animosity. So there will be a decade or so of irrational behavior from this sub-set of American culture – but they will fit in after that. I also intend to send each of my grandchildren, when they are ready intellectually, a copy of Professor Harry G. Frankfurt’s book On Bullshit to guide them through the contemporary political dialogue of their times.

I tell my 8- and 10-year-old granddaughters who are also cousins that they are in a generation who will grow into lives of total equality with their white contemporaries. I tell them that the disrespect they see some whites hurling at the first black president is because many of them feel insecure about the changes the country is going through. I tell them that this contempt for the presidency is an aberration that will lessen as the newness of the experience eases. I tell them that black people feel the euphoria of inclusion of one our own at the top leadership position in the country, but for many white people it’s hard to accept the end of their supremacy in governance. I tell them that the South has a heart that is two sizes too small, but in time as they grow accustomed to racial diversity and power-sharing, the South’s heart will grow to near normal size and civility will come for the first time to the modern South. I tell them that the congressman who shouted at the president is the weakest piglet in the litter, a rude cad and a throwback to the Jim Crow times and I explain to them what the Jim Crow times were.

I tell my middle grandchildren that these are momentous times in the United States and that although the atmosphere is tough, it is the birthplace of a just and more tolerant America. These tough, hateful times are America’s growing pains — what are the other possibilities? Will the mostly white Southern rejection of a black president lead to a race war in America? Even though Wal-Mart is out of ammo, I don’t think so.

Lastly, I tell my 5- and 4-year-olds that in 35 years, before they are in their 40s, they will live in a country where the white population is no longer the majority. That in 2045, the black, Hispanic, and Asian population combined will outnumber the white population. I tell them that during the years immediately preceding this shift and for years afterwards, there will be a monumental transfer in the power plates of American life that will reflect the reality of the new times. I tell them that when their day arrives they should do unto others as they would have others do unto to them.

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About Horace Mungin

  • Frances E. Fields

    Horace, as usual, this was very well written and on point. I am forwarding this to many of my friends (those who have computers). Frances

  • Doug Hunter

    I feel sorry that you have to view the entire world through a lens in black and white. White racism in the past has created a generation of black/democratic racists who view everything in terms of skin color and are quite fond of making generalizations, bashing, and generally disliking/hating whites. That is the very definition of racism. You have become what you claim to hate.

    The president was lying. Our whole immigration policy is a sorry lie. Either enforce the rules or remove them. I think open borders is the only workable solution.

    It would be nice to let people in in an orderly fashion, to have background checks, and to give priority to those that have skills and education. But, if you’re not going to enforce the laws you can’t make people do those things. I feel sorry now for the honest people who go through legal channels, wait years, and pay thousands of $$$ to become US citizens when others just jump to the line and waltz in.

    I say just open the statue of liberty for business again and welcome our new consumers. Maybe they’ll stimulate the economy and have those kids we need to pay for boomers Social Security.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    FYI, Doug, the president was not lying. The bill specifically states that no federal funds may be used to pay for care or treatment of undocumented aliens.

    And when it comes to immigration, you will find that as long as America is seen as rich and prosperous, then America will have an ‘immigration problem’…just like all – all! – the modern industrialized democracies of Western Europe, at least two of which have significantly worse immigration problems than we do.

    The only way to ‘solve’ our immigration problem would be to ruin our economy…and I must admit Reagonomics and the Bush 43 administration made significant strides in that direction.

  • Doug,

    Why are you making an illegal immigration an issue? I don’t believe that’s a major thrust of Horace’s argument, if at all.

    In addition, you accuse him of seeing the world through the white and black lens. Have you walked any distance in his shoes? What would you know about having grown up in the South, black man that he is, when racist was rampant and color discrimination was the order of the day. And after all the progress that the African-Americans have made, to see it being revived again in the likes of Joe Wilson, Sanford, and other Southern politicians.

    Horace is a uniter, not a divider. He envisages a better America, when differences of color and race and ethnic origin won’t matter. This yearning and unshakable hope is evident in every single piece he had contributed to the BC. And we should only be grateful that people like that decide to share their experiences with us, their innermost hopes and dreams. But all this, apparently, is lost on you, so ideological and self-centered you seem to be that you can’t fathom another perspective, another point of view, the kind of America you have never known or experienced.

    It’s not Horace Mungin but people like Joe Wilson and the crowd that are planting the seeds of unrest and open hostility and are drawing us to a brink of a civil war. And over what? Certainly not healthcare, or the bailouts, not even the stimulus plan. All these are but excuses to them to rouse up the rubble, the unthinking masses, whether by way of tea parties or shameful townhall meeting – in the name of patriotism and small government, and ideas that, by their very practice, have become all defunct. And why? Only for the sake of their political ambitions. They are the traitors to this country and its people, not Horace Mungin. It is they who put their own personal interests before the public good and healing this nation wounds. It is they who represent the greatest obstacle to America’s recovery, not just economically but in terms of solidarity and common purpose, as one people.

    Again, I find it ironic that you thought nothing of finding fault with Mr. Mungin’s perspective, and he’d earned it, while all those who really deserve a lashing somehow escape your critical eye. But I suppose it’s the sign of the times when not only the mob but even some of the articulate and intelligent Americans, such as yourself, are swept by this current myopia and sense of irrationality.

    We’re really in a bad shape if it had come to that.

  • Horace, this was beautifully written. I wish that we lived in a world where it didn’t need to be.

  • That’s right, Christy. So do I.

  • I like your prose, Christy. It’s fresh, crisp and invigorating.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Horace –

    Good article, and completely true.

    Just to let you know, not all whites from the South are racist. There are even some who were racist but are not so any longer (such as myself)…but those Southern whites who aren’t surely seem to be in the minority.

    Just to give you some hope, I thought I’d give you links to two articles I wrote, one concerning my recent visit to my home in the MS Delta, and the other warning Republicans and conservatives of the dangers inherent in their reliance on the ‘Southern strategy’.

    Here’s one more article I think you’ll like describing the conservatives’ error in ignoring demographic trends.

    Having been raised in a racist community, I can see right through most of the conservatives’ pretensions that their beef with Obama has nothing to do with racism. Many of them aren’t racist…but in my opinion it is flatly impossible that racial prejudice doesn’t play a large role in the conservative community’s hatred of President Obama.

    They’ll deny it, of course – see, they even learned to keep from saying the ‘n-word’ in public – but they can’t hide it from me. I grew up as one of them…and I know them too well.

  • Doug Hunter

    “The bill specifically states that no federal funds may be used to pay for care or treatment of undocumented aliens.”

    Lots of things about illegals are ‘illegal’ but never get enforced. Politicians will tell some constituents that illegal immigrants will not be served to make them happy, then they’ll turn around and make sure those laws don’t get enforced and give a wink and a nod to other groups to make them happy. That’s the root of the lying that is going on.

    What you end up with is random and politicized enforcement and a weird second class status for illegals that WILL come back to bite us all in the ass in the future. Did we learn nothing from slavery? We should not purposely import second class citizens of a different race (or any race) into this country to use as cheap labor. And when they come for their reparations these laws will be like a millstone around your neck and the fact that you didn’t really enforce them will not matter a bit.

  • Doug Hunter,

    The Americans themselves, the Wall Street sharks and unscrupulous CEOs of the multinational, have already bitten us in the ass, a kind of bite from which we may never recover. And it wasn’t because of the vigilance of our politicians. They were part of the scheme.

    The same with illegal immigration. Everybody turned their blind eye for as long as it served our economic interests. This isn’t a problem we inherited today; it’s been long in coming.

    So why don’t you put the blame where the blame is – in pure and unadultarated greed and ideas that have become bankrupt? All we are experiencing right now is the consequences of past immoral behavior and action – the wages for sins past.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Oh, I see! It’s not the LAW that you have a beef with, it’s your ABSOLUTE KNOWLEDGE that the law will be ignored and not enforced!

    And it’s all just a VAST conspiracy because Obama was telling all the nation’s doctors (wink wink!) that they can go ahead and treat the illegal aliens (wink wink!) and we’ll pay for all of it (wink wink!) and the Republicans will never know (wink wink!)!

    And best of all, President Obama, all the non-blue-dog Democrats, all those who voted for Obama, and all the doctors know all of this on the QT!

    WOW, Doug! You figured all this out by yourself! Gotta hand it to you!

    Now…all the above sarcasm aside, if you cannot prove with black-and-white evidence that Obama lied, then you are assuming guilt before innocence.

    As I said in Dave Nalle’s ACORN thread, I will stand against any and all accusations against anyone (even Dick Cheney) when those accusations are not backed up with cold, hard, provable fact.

  • Clavos

    There is one good and sure cure to illegal immigration — don’t make it illegal.

    Anyone without a criminal record should be accepted here — anyone.

  • Ted

    Dude, criticizing a black person is not the same as anti-black sentiment.

  • It’s fine by me. We’re going to hell anyway.

  • Horcase Mungin ain’t just any “regular” black person. Have you looked at his writings? He encapsulates more experiences about America than you and me put together tenfold.

    Are you guys blind?

  • Doug Hunter

    “As I said in Dave Nalle’s ACORN thread, I will stand against any and all accusations against anyone (even Dick Cheney) when those accusations are not backed up with cold, hard, provable fact.”

    Funny thing, I’ve never heard you express that sentiment on an article attacking Republicans. Everyone requires a higher level of proof to indict their people than they do to convict their enemies. Nothing new there.

    As to how politicians say one thing and do another on immigration, the stretch is not to see how I came to that conclusion, it’s to see how you did not.

    Maybe you believe their words more than their actions. I don’t.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doug –

    Then you haven’t seen my defense of Ronald Reagan, whom I regard as one of America’s greatest presidents. Yes, Reaganomics is continuing to badly damage the economy, and yes, there’s millions of Americans who still think that ‘government IS the problem’…but I’ve argued more than once that Reagan deserves the credit for winning the final victory in the Cold War – a war that could have ended with a worldwide nuclear holocaust – and by having won the Cold War without entering into large-scale combat operations against the Soviet Union when the future of the human race was at stake, President Reagan has earned (in my opinion) his place as one of America’s greatest five presidents (after Washington, Lincoln and FDR, but ahead of Truman).

    Doug, I really do try to never make an idle boast, and I really do try to not make claims I can’t prove.

    So do you have any other assumptions you wish to make about me?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    and btw – my defense of Reagan was against my fellow liberals here on BC.

  • STM

    Clav: “Anyone without a criminal record should be accepted here — anyone.”

    Does that include Australian Miami golf-cart “borrowers” and an Australian who brought a big bag of Aussie one cent coins to use in US vending machines because they are the same size and weight as a certain US coin??

    Just wondering, because if so, a certain person I know really well qualifies.

    What is the statute of limitation on getting an almost-free free grape-soda??

    I just want to come for a visit, BTW.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    STM – LOL!

  • STM

    In my defence, Glenn, I was only 22 at the time. Others who’d been there before were awake to the one-cent coin caper.

    The border patrol incident in New Mexico was better, though. How was I to know that people were smuggling themselves in their hundreds across the Mexico/US border.

    Seriously, without going into details about what happened, I’ll just say that I look more like a Viking than a Mexican. If I’d been suspected of trying to sneak across the border from Sweden to Norway, I could understand.

    I DO realise I might find it difficult to make myself understood in America, though, despite once being told by a woman on a plane: “You speak really good English”.

    “Thanks,” I said, “So do you.”

    “Did you learn it in high school,” she asked.

    “Kind of,” I replied, “Although I spent too much time daydreaming and missed a lot.”

    Lol. I love America.

  • Horace, my father died when I was a kid; any chance you could adopt me?

    Great lucid article.

  • Baronius

    Horace has had a life I can’t imagine. It’s twisted his thinking. It would be foolish to believe that so many racist sins of the past wouldn’t create exactly this kind of damage; after all, that type of feedback loop is responsible for most of history’s atrocities. But however much pity we may feel for Horace, we can’t allow his racism to spread unnoticed. Ultimately, this article is a tribute to the perpetuation of racism into future generations.

  • Horace has had a life I [refuse to] imagine.

    That’s the problem, as far as I can tell.

  • Baronius: have you finally gone completely bonkers or just lost the ability to understand English?

    If there is any twisted thinking going on here, it certainly isn’t his…

  • zingzing

    jesus christ, baronius… just look at what you wrote.

  • Baronius

    “That’s the problem, as far as I [Cindy takes another cheap shot, this time in brackets] can tell.”

    Cindy, if I could imagine his life accurately, it wouldn’t change the fact that he’s become infected by the disease he’s spent his life fighting.

  • I did see something on ThinkProgress yesterday which was a series of links to photos of ‘hostile, racist’ anti-Obama protestors. I clicked on each of them. Most assuredly they were hostile; vicious, even. Some were demented. But – with the exception of the ‘Joker’ poster/T-shirt – I couldn’t see how by any stretch of the imagination the signs they were holding could be construed as racist. Perhaps they’re alluding to some subtlety of civil rights history that I’m unaware of. IMO the left isn’t doing its credibility any favours by playing the race card in that way.

    But neither are you, Baronius, if you sincerely expect us to believe, as you apparently do, that none – absolutely none – of the conservative opposition to the President is racially motivated.

    C’m on. Meet me in the middle here.

  • Clavos

    C’m on. Meet me in the middle here.

    Isn’t that where the quagmire is?

  • Baronius

    Dread, I’m going by this rule: if something focuses inordinately on race, it’s racist; if it doesn’t, it’s not. I’ve heard Glenn Beck or Michael Savage (I always get those two confused) say things that I consider racist. That’s why I don’t listen to whichever one it is.

    Yes, I recognize that racism exists. As I’ve said before, it’s no longer respectable, so I don’t see it as a signficant force. The one occasion in which racism is respectable is in comments like Horace’s, which is why I react to it so negatively. Horace’s racism originates from his decency.

    I’ll add this. If you want to reinvigorate white anti-black racism, you’ll have to take away the shame that’s associated with it. One way of doing that is by tossing around the accusation so much that it loses all meaning. I personally don’t care if I’m called a racist. Fortunately, I’m not a racist. We’re creating a situation in which the guy who opposes UHC, wants lower taxes, and hates blacks doesn’t care if he’s called a racist. That’s dangerous.

  • Dread, I’m going by this rule: if something focuses inordinately on race, it’s racist; if it doesn’t, it’s not.

    Baronius, if Horace were a 20-year-old college student your rule of thumb might have some validity.

    But you haven’t adequately explained how the evidence before you – an optimistic article which draws a favourable comparison between the racial landscape the author’s grandchildren see today and the one he experienced in his pre-civil-rights-revolution youth – enables you to diagnose Horace as a racist.

  • Horace,

    I was looking for the appropriate comment to this very well written article. First of all, those who criticize you for seeing things through eyes of race have not walked through the hatred you have, and have not suffered the bigotry and ingratitude you have. I wish I could be as restrained in my writing as you are.

    Your article reflects the grace and intelligence of a man who knows how to write, and has a reason to. And in all truth, I’m sincerely glad that Americans could see past melanin to elect a man of mixed race whom most perceive as a black man. I sincerely regret (for your sakes, not mine) that Barak Obama was that man. Your nation will suffer for its choice – though it can be argued that it didn’t really have a choice in 2008.

    Having said that, I ask you to look at the other side of the issues, and read the article of a woman who has gone from one side of the ideological spectrum to the other, and like you, writes with grace, intelligence and maturity. The article covers a very large demonstration in DC that the mass media tried to down-play and this woman’s experience at it.

  • zingzing

    ruvy: “The article covers a very large demonstration in DC that the mass media tried to down-play and this woman’s experience at it.”

    it was front page news everywhere, ruvy. mark williams was on cnn yesterday (or maybe the day before).

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Ruvy –

    To back up what zing pointed out, the demonstration was front-page news on the NYT, too (never mind that years ago, a FAR larger anti-war demonstration was relegated to page 8 underneath a ‘Viagra’ ad).

    The oh-so-far-left MSM meme…is simply that: a meme. All you have to do is to look at all the brouhaha by ALL the networks about Obama and ‘Reverend’ Wright during the election…and how little attention McCain and ‘Reverends’ Hagee and Parsley got, even though their preaching was every bit as (and perhaps more) ridiculous as Wright’s.

    The left-wing MSM is a strawman, Ruvy – and the Republicans and conservatives have done a masterful job of making it seem that way.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    You don’t think racism has a great deal to do with the Rabid Right?

    Then tell me: can you envision this level of hatred and blatantly false accusations against, say, a President Gore? Or a President Kerry?

  • Baronius

    Dread, I don’t see this article as optimistic at all. It assigns racial motives to those who disagree with the president. It jumps from comparisons with monkeys to disagreements about stimulus spending, as if each is an equally racist proposition. It smears the contemporary South for its parents’ sins. Its utopian vision is of a world without racism – but the good races will have the numbers, just in case.

  • Doug Hunter

    “Then tell me: can you envision this level of hatred and blatantly false accusations against, say, a President Gore? Or a President Kerry?”

    Yes, against president Bush by your kind. Obviously, you’re blind to that fact though for reasons we’ve covered before. When those lies were being tossed around and the hatred palpable you would certainly think it justified, just like those folks at the tea parties and republican members of government do now.

  • Dread, I don’t see this article as optimistic at all.

    Really? It’s entitled ‘This Too Shall Pass’. It contains, among others, the following statements:

    “Many black people and some white people of good will died during the Southern white rage of the civil rights period. That could never happen today, I tell my grand children, there are far many more whites of good will in the South than there were in those days.”
    “I tell my 8- and 10-year-old granddaughters who are also cousins that they are in a generation who will grow into lives of total equality with their white contemporaries.”
    “Will the mostly white Southern rejection of a black president lead to a race war in America? Even though Wal-Mart is out of ammo, I don’t think so.”

    It assigns racial motives to those who disagree with the president.

    The article is from the perspective of a South Carolinian and reflects Horace’s observations as regards his white Southern neighbours. Are you seriously going to tell me that they have completely cast off the shackles of history and are, to a voter, absolutely happy with the notion of a black president?

    I’ve already said that while I think a lot of the anti-Obama protestors are totally tonto – and so were the most virulent of the anti-Bush ones, BTW – I don’t see racism in most of their placards. A few, but not most.

    That doesn’t make Horace implausible.

  • Clavos

    can you envision this level of hatred…against, say, a President Gore? Or a President Kerry?

    At least as much from me. If not more — particularly for that slimebag asshole, Kerry.

  • Glenn,

    I don’t buy the garbage that the media is far left – or right. They are far corporate, and what has happened in the last few months in the States is the virtual merging of the government with the corporations – fascism in other words.

    The main stream media are now mere ministries of propaganda for whatever clown sits in the White House. And the little guy gets screwed royally – and has a royal pain in the ass as a result.

  • “I’ve argued more than once that Reagan deserves the credit for winning the final victory in the Cold War”

    Doesn’t matter how many times you argue, Reagan doesn’t deserve the credit alone

  • Horace Mungin

    Gentlemen, gentlemen, please lower your voices, else truth shall take flight. All I wish is that one day we shall All arrive upon the wings of a same spirit.

    Baronius, I’d love to have lunch with you one day so you could see for yourself that I’m a loving and compassionate person. I’m traveling the rest of this month – where are you – I hope near somewhere I’ll be this month. You can email me your location and if I’m near there during any of my travels I’ll buy you lunch.

  • zingzing

    “the virtual merging of the government with the corporations – fascism in other words.”

    that’s more communism than it is fascism (although fascism, for all its hatred of communism*, does follow a similar economic path), and there are a lot of things about fascism that aren’t in your definition. besides, that’s not what is going on here. the gov’t has little to no power over those corporations that it lent money to. and what does “virtual” mean in your sentence?

    “The main stream media are now mere ministries of propaganda for whatever clown sits in the White House.”

    i’m pretty sure that you were saying that obama had the msm in his pocket (but not all of the msm) looooong before this little theory of a propaganda ministry popped into your brain. a good portion of the msm liked obama long before he took office (and you complained about THAT then,) and have not only discussed his short-comings, but also give voice to his competition.

    long after obama is out of office (be that in 3 and 1/2 or 7 and 1/2 years… or assassination…), the media will still either like or dislike the current administration. they aren’t propoganda. that’s just silly talk.

    really, if the msm was a propaganda ministry, would it look like this? would fox be allowed to exist? would papers around the nation be able to have their own editorial pages without government control? would you be able to write on a u.s. website from israel? would i be able to say “fuck obama,” no matter how i mean it, without fear of repercussion? (i have no fear of repercussion. and neither do you when you say such things.)

    *hey! something conservatives and fascists can agree on!

  • Bar,

    I apologize. You’ve told me that before and yet I managed to disregard it again.

    (Hopefully, it’ll sink in soon.)

    A reiteration of what I see as the problem.

    If I come from a different place in the world, with different experiences. In order to see what someone else is saying I would have to do the work of putting myself in his place. And it would take work–be a real struggle. It would mean an embarkation into another person’s reality. An immersion in it. Until I could see anything close to the world they see.

    So, it’s not that you can’t.

  • Baronius

    Horace, I suspect that you’re the nicest guy in the world.

  • Right on, Cindy. I don’t want to offend my friend Baronius, but I don’t think there’s a racist bone in Horace’s body. It’s not pity that he inspires but precisely the opposite – a kind of envy (at least insofar as I’m concerned) about the richness of his experience. It’s that kind of background that, given talent and hard work, can make one into a great American writer. Which he is.

  • Cindy: that was in response to your #25.

  • “Horace’s racism originates from his decency.”

    That’s the darnedest statement that I’ve ever heard. Would someone other than Baronius explain it to me!

  • (Hey there Roger. 🙂 hope class is going well.)

  • Jordan Richardson

    Baronius continues to raise the “point” that racism is no longer respectable (I think in another location he used the word “legitimate”) as though that somehow diminishes its effect on those who feel it. That is, honestly, some of the strangest thinking I’ve ever witnessed.

  • I’ll make it, but I feel as deficient, defective and stupid like . . . Brand new language, brand new terminology, totally different way of thinking from the way I’m used to. I’m quite facile at processing and dealing with abstract ideas – that’s what my training has been all about – but when it comes to “engineering,” I’m a total incompetent. But I shall overcome.

  • Exactly. Like “no longer being respectable” is supposed to work as though it countermanded reality.

    Strange thinking indeed.

  • zingzing

    baronius: “Horace’s racism originates from his decency.”

    that reminds me of the time that my pseudo-girlfriend caught me sleeping with another woman and, during the ensuing argument, i yelled out “DON’T JUDGE ME FOR THE THINGS I DO!”

    to this day, i have no fucking clue what that was supposed to mean.

  • Yet you said it.

    So are we dealing here with a strange case of Baronius’s blurt?

  • Akil


    First of all I enjoyed your article.

    I usually listen to public radio whenever I pick my oldest son up from daycare. While no banter about the economy, or public options, or Kanye did what, will break his focus on kicking the back of my chair; whenever the broadcaster mentions “The President…” like clockwork my two year old fills in the blank with “OOOBAMAA!”

    My earliest political memories where of President Reagan. Both of my boys will grow up in an America where having a black man as president is just the way things have always been.

    The Congressman’s outbursts create an opportunity to reflect on what the office of president should mean. Many Americans thought is was just the funniest thing that an Iraqi journalist hurled his shoes at one of OUR president.

    I fought in Iraq and lost friends in that country because President Bush empowered ideologues to make decisions about the lives of other people children, while ignoring the advice of those in his administration who’d actually served. But he was still OUR President.

    I respect and admire President Obama for a host of reasons. But none of those reasons are why I see little distinction between Congressman Wilson’s outburst and the shoe hurling incident. Our condemnations of the congressman ring hollow if the presidency is to be respected only when we share warm personal feelings for the person filling the office.

  • In Baronius’ world, gumdrops grow on trees, it’s summer vacation every day, and white people inform others if they are experiencing racism.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doug –

    You know, I’m getting real tired of your pretensions. The sheer hatred foisted in Obama’s direction is far beyond anything any other American president has faced – period. You’ll claim otherwise…but your postings evince your lack of objectivity.

    For the life of me, I don’t remember seeing any accusations of Bush being Muslim, or Bush “pallin’ around” with terrorists, or Bush being accused of not being born in America…

    …and I must wonder what the oh-so-patriotic Right Wing would be saying if:

    – The media noted that former President Obama attended an investment meeting at the Washington, D.C. Ritz-Carlton hotel on September 10, 2001 and in particular a meeting with Shafiq bin Laden, representing joint interests of the Saudi Binladin Group and Carlyle; or

    – The Obama family had had strong relations with the Saudi royal family since before WWI; or

    – Obama’s grandfather had supported the Nazi party; or

    – British intelligence leaked a document that said, “Obama wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”; or

    – Obama wrote an executive signing statement that allowed him to declare a state of emergency and essentially run the country by fiat; or

    – Obama joked, “Things would be a lot easier in a dictatorship, so long as I’m the dictator.”

    If Obama did any one of those things, we’d be looking at civil disruption by the right wing on a national scale…and I think you know that.

    BUT since all these were just the oh-so-All-American Bush family, well, THAT’s okay in the eyes of conservative America!

  • zingzing

    glenn, that was masterful. but somehow, i get this feeling that the right wing around here can deny it…

    where’s dave been these last few days?

  • “If Obama did any one of those things, we’d be looking at civil disruption by the right wing on a national scale…”

    But we ARE looking at it. And Mr. Hunter, one of the most sensible of the bunch, is a perfect example.

  • Doug Hunter

    It’s the same crap with Bush and Obama. One was friends with the Sauds, the other Bill Ayers and Reverend Wright. One was ‘AWOL’ the other wasn’t born in the US. Both look to expand the powers of the federal government and spend like drunken sailors. Bush had to deal with 9/11, Katrina, and economic downcycles bookending his administration. Obama only has the recession so far, he should consider himself lucky.

    The only real difference is your crush on Obama. You get all thin skinned and sentimental because it’s your little buddy in office. Tough shit, grow a pair and get over it. You want to spread hate on Bush but exempt you messiah. There are plenty that want to spread it the other way and they’re just as ignorant and obstinate as those on your side. Get used to it.

  • zingzing

    if it’s the same crap (not that it is), where was the right wing then? the only real difference was your crush on bush. and don’t give me any crap about “we were there,” when you clearly were not.

  • Clavos

    Actually they are mirror images:

    The left wing beat up on the right winger Bush, and now the right wing is beating up on the left winger Obama.

    It’s a grand old amerikan tradition…

  • Doug Hunter

    “But we ARE looking at it. And Mr. Hunter, one of the most sensible of the bunch, is a perfect example.”

    What have I ever disrupted except a liberal lovefest? At least I restrict my rantings to responses in the comment section. Glenn has the Realists of the world on his side writing much hasher invective several pages in length every other day during the Bush administration (and continuing on against Obama for not going far enough now of course). I realize he can’t understand that because he felt his side was ‘speaking truth to power!’ while everyone who disagrees now is a delusional idiot. Strangely, those tea party members and healthcare protesters are under the same spell only in reverse.

    I know you’re not a delusional idiot. We differ because we have different (although not as much as you would think) value systems. I take a bit more liberty and self determination and you favor more interconnected compassion. From that point we can have a rational discussion of issues and likely come to a reasonable compromise.

    To Glenn’s of the world who won’t take that first step and admit that the other side isn’t wrong, just different, I have nothing nice to say. I will stoop to that level. When he starts treating the ideas of freedom and liberty as concepts, instead of a disease that the cause must be found and eradicated, then we can have a fine adult discussion.

  • Doug Hunter

    “where was the right wing then?”

    Doing the same crap you guys are now. Calling for civility and decorum. Asking people to honor the office and look at the issues from a different perspective. Same shit in reverse.

  • Horace,

    I thoroughly enjoyed your piece. You have a flair for writing that speaks to me on a personal level. My mother is 83 years old. I visit her very often now. She grew up in Virginia, and lived almost half of her life under Jim Crow, but she has a loving spirit, and a congeniality that I recognize in your work.

    Like you, she would invite people over for Sunday dinner, who fifty years ago, would’ve had her drinking from a separate fountain.

    So what’s going on here?

    I think what happens in America today is that since we have over 300 Million people, you can narrow-cast and niche market yourself rich through “extremist enterprising.”

    If you can find 1/10th of 1% of the population to agree with whatever extreme position you have, you can make a decent living. Up that figure a few clicks, and you can become a media cult of personality.

    That’s the theory of the long tail. If you can make millions on the lunatic fringe, why bother even trying to be reasonable?


  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doug –

    “To Glenn’s of the world who won’t take that first step and admit that the other side isn’t wrong, just different, I have nothing nice to say.

    Have I personally insulted you? No. Have you personally insulted me? Remember our ‘moral superiority’ discussion? Yes, you have insulted me…and I have yet to return your personal insult with one of my own.

    So don’t give me this claptrap about you ‘stooping down’ to my level.

    FYI, why don’t you peruse ALL of my writings and see if you can find (on this or any other forum, political or religious) ANY SINGLE INSTANCE of me personally insulting someone?

    No, you won’t – because you choose to ASSUME the worst of me.

    Doug, I have shown you provable facts and provable numbers…and you (like most conservatives here on BC) are flatly refusing to answer with provable facts and provable numbers.

    One more thing – your idea that I treat “freedom and liberty…as a disease”, when have I EVER, even ONCE made a statement ANYWHERE CLOSE to that?

    I haven’t – but you, who wants to believe the worst of someone who’s willing and able to stand up to you, can’t believe that I might actually be a patriot.

    You have falsely accused me. Either have the determination to prove your accusation using the words that I have posted…or have the courage to apologize for making a false accusation.

    You can’t do one…and I strongly suspect you won’t allow yourself to do the other. That’s why you insult me and falsely accuse me. You see, insults are a common resort for the weak or insecure. I am neither, and so I do not need to insult you.

    Tell me, Doug – how much time have you spent in the military? This “freedom and liberty is a disease” 20-year military man would really like to know.

    And one more thing – I used to be a Republican and still agree with at least two of their platform issues…but on the majority of the issues, their ideas (or refusal to accept ideas) are not good for America. THAT, sir, is why I post as I do. It is NOT the party…but it IS the issues that party supports or opposes.

    But again – since you’re obviously able to judge me as someone who thinks freedom and liberty is a disease…how long did you serve? Hm?

  • zingzing

    “Doing the same crap you guys are now. Calling for civility and decorum. Asking people to honor the office and look at the issues from a different perspective. Same shit in reverse.”

    of course, we didn’t bring guns and pray for his death, but you know, whatever. do you think that makes your side’s actions any better? look at glen’s list of grievances. if obama did any of that, what would you say?

    the left made a stink because he was dragging us into a bullshit war through lies, hoisting the patriot act on us, trying to make second class citizens of millions of people, writing executive statements that made him a dictator… come on. what the fuck is that?

    what has obama done that even fucking compares? and yet you want to shoot his ass and bury him in the ground. or at least some of you do. and the rest of you just wouldn’t go that far, but are perfectly willing to let someone else do it.

  • Clavos


  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Mirrors indeed…and when viewed in the mirror the wrong way, the molehill of Obama’s faults might indeed compare to a mountain comprised of an illegal war started on false pretenses, a Justice Department politicized for partisan gain, Katrina, and torture committed in the name of America.

    Mirrors, indeed.

  • zingzing

    clavos: “Mirrors…”

    life in a funhouse.

  • An allusion to Lost in the Funhouse by
    John Barth?

    Try The End of the Road. You’ll love it.

  • hanjie song
  • hanjie song


    I do agree the polarization of American politic has occurred, and the gap is arguably still widening. However, Bush is the biggest catalyst for the issue.

    The public’s outrage for Bush spawn out their disdains for his policies, not because he’s a white man from Texas.

    In contrast, most critics of the health care can not provide rational objections to it, they merely “want their America back.”

    Except “their America” was never as good as they would like to believe it to be.

  • Clavos

    Well, if Jimmy Carter says it’s racism, it must be…

  • Doug Hunter


    I said you view people who disagree with you as wrong and delusional. You said the following.

    “Mirrors indeed…and when viewed in the mirror the wrong way, the molehill of Obama’s faults might indeed compare to a mountain.”

    Hmmm, wrong and delusional. Looks like my analysis was right on as usual. You are determined to make this about personal faults instead of rational discussion of issues. In your view, anyone who disagrees with you must be racist or delusional or uneducated, etc. You also continue to have the mental block where your own bias minimizes your own sides faults “molehill” and maximize those of your opponent “mountains”.

    I know you’re smarter than that. I don’t know why you continue the route of personal assault, maybe you’re harboring a little hate in your own heart. Who knows.

    (As to your question, 6 years AF EOD)

  • Doug Hunter

    “The public’s outrage for Bush spawn out their disdains for his policies, not because he’s a white man from Texas.

    In contrast, most critics of the health care can not provide rational objections” to it, they merely “want their America back.”

    You’ve been standing in an echo chamber with Glenn too long. No need to make subtle accusations of racism. Just look at what you wrote. You state that Bush criticism was about policies and you compare that with protesters of healthcare. Is healthcare not an Obama policy?

    There is plenty of information as to why people oppose Obama’s policies. People wanting to wrestle the country back is not in reference to any race, it’s in reference to the federal government itself. Just this year alone it spent $6000 more than it took in for every man woman and child in the country. We’re selling our kids out to the Chinese so we can stay a bit more comfortable now.

    The federal government is expanding far beyond the scope intended in the constitution and politics is driven, regardless of how good their intentions are, by authoritarians who only want to expand that power and influence even further.

  • Horace,

    You begin this article by saying: What I tell my black grandchildren about the cad who shouted a lie at the president.

    Please consider the following by Gary Bauer. I do not have a URL to this, as I have little reason to worry about what Christian pastors say, but this, which is part of a larger article that came to me by e-mail, was worth noting.

    Joe Was Right!

    Today, the House of Representatives will vote to formally discipline Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina for yelling “You lie!” at President Obama. I’d like to offer some advice.

    First to Rep. Wilson: Like an Old Testament prophet, you spoke truth to power, and the powerful resent it. The liberal majority today will attempt to make you pay a price for your boldness. It’s just one more sad example of the Left’s intolerance for dissent. Let it go. A formal House censure seemed only to enhance Barney Frank’s career – he’s now a committee chairman! And Charlie Rangel won’t step down or apologize despite demands for his resignation from the New York Times and the Washington Post.

    To House Conservatives: Use the debate today to expose the shortcomings of the healthcare reform bill. The fact is, Joe Wilson was right.

    As we have reported, the Congressional Research Service acknowledges that the current healthcare reform bill has no enforcement mechanism whatsoever to prevent illegal aliens from taking advantage of taxpayer-subsidized benefits. Moreover, the Senate Democrats and the White House now acknowledge that fact, and are theoretically trying to fix it. Not surprisingly, that has the president taking flak from at least one House liberal, who is an outspoken advocate of amnesty. His criticism, however, only confirms their radical agenda; and the American people should be grateful to Rep. Wilson for exposing it.

    The Left Needs Lessons In Civility

    All week Big Media has been covering Joe Wilson’s outburst. Many of the political commentators have said it was disrespectful of Wilson because Obama is technically his “boss.” I have news for these pundits, the real bosses of our elected representatives are the people in their districts. But you won’t hear Nancy Pelosi or the liberal media condemn the inappropriate outbursts liberal members of Congress made at their town halls over the recess. Here are two examples from politicians who the Left considers leaders in their radical movement.

    I mentioned Barney Frank’s town hall tirade several weeks ago. In case you missed it, Frank responded to a constituent who was arguing against ObamaCare by saying, “Trying to have a conversation with you would be like arguing with a dining room table.” The clip became an instant YouTube classic. It’s hard to imagine a constituent being treated with any more disrespect, but California’s Pete Stark did just that last weekend.

    Stark is one of the most liberal members of Congress. His views are out of touch with mainstream America. At a town hall this weekend, a constituent politely remarked on the government’s inefficiency when it comes to the healthcare system. He ended his remarks by telling Stark not to “pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.” The audience immediately cheered, at which point Stark said, “Well, I wouldn’t dignify you by peeing on your leg. It wouldn’t be worth wasting the urine.”

    I understand that you view of lot of these white southerners through the eyes of a man who has suffered vicious discrimination at their hands, and therefore you take what they say with some large grains of salt.

    Nobody has to explain to me why you could view a white southern congressman calling a black president a liar as nothing more than the typical behavior of a racist who can’t get the racism out of his system, and thinks he’s yelling at the kitchen help.

    But what if he’s right – and the black man at the podium is wrong?

    The essence of your article – that blacks suffered far more indignities at the hands of whites in the United States, so that a white legislator screaming “liar” at a black man addressing a chamber of legislators should be regarded with the sense of balance it deserves – cannot be argued with. Any Jew who can recall the days when no department store would hire Jews (as was the case in Detroit and Minneapolis in the mid 1950’s) could easily understand what you are talking about and empathise.

    But perhaps that initial example at the beginning of your article might not be the right hook upon which to hang that argument.

    Think about it.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Jimmy Carter grew up Down South…and he understands what goes through the minds of Southern whites (as do I).

    No offense, but you didn’t grow up there. You don’t know the culture as we do, or their appreciation of history. For example, the city of Vicksburg (I lived there, too) didn’t celebrate Independence Day for eighty years after the Civil War…and when I was there in the seventies, a lot of people still didn’t celebrate it. It’s not for nothing that Ole Miss’ song starts out,

    “Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton, old times there are not forgotten! Look away, look away, look away, Dixieland!”

    That’s why confederate flags were still so popular – it’s a reminder of when they were their own country…and when blacks weren’t so ‘uppity’. My visit to MS last month was the first time I’ve ever been in MS – ever! – that I didn’t hear my family use the n-word. Hispanics such as yourself are usually not looked upon kindly in the Delta, either…because (to abuse an old saying) in the eyes of many of the older whites there, the blacks are the devil they know, but you’re the devil they don’t know.

    This is the real Deep South I’m referring to, not Florida. And FYI, in the opinions of most Southerners, Florida is not part of the Deep South (and I’m only half joking when I say we only begrudge the SEC’s decision to include UF and FSU). Florida’s more of a Great Northern Retirement Home.

    Yes, this post probably offends you – but it is the truth.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doug –

    AF EOD? For now, this retired Navy man will take you at your word. Go watch “The Hurt Locker”. You probably won’t like it because of the obvious mistakes that even I could see…but it’s more about psychology than about accuracy of EOD policy and procedures.

    I don’t know why you continue the route of personal assault, maybe you’re harboring a little hate in your own heart. Who knows.

    I’m still waiting for you to point out even ONE insult I’ve posted against anyone in ANY forum where I’ve EVER posted (other than certain politicians or celebrities). Just one, Doug. If you can’t point out any insults I’ve made, then what does that say about your continuing accusations against me?

    I’m really getting tired of your repeated accusations…that you don’t back up.

    So far you’ve claimed that I’m delusional, that I believe freedom and liberty are a disease…and you’re accusing me of making personal assaults.

    PROVE YOUR ACCUSATIONS! BACK ‘EM UP, GUY…because if people see a grown man refusing to prove his accusations, then they might start questioning his other claims.

  • Clavos

    Actually, Glenn, we Floridians don’t consider ourselves part of the USA, much less the backwards south.

  • Clavos

    And Glenn, as usual, you make a lot of unwarranted assumptions. I lived in Georgia for twenty years (the 70s and 80s), during which time I worked on civic projects with Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter when he was governor. I know both of them well.

  • Clavos

    And during those years I traveled all over GA, TN, MS, KY, AL, and AR on business, in both rural and urban areas. I have numerous friends in all of them, all of whom are southerners born and bred.

    I’m quite familiar with the south: its history, traditions and people.

  • Clavos

    Oh, and one other thing: take a look at my picture on my writer’s page. Do I look “Hispanic” to you? Another of your erroneous assumptions; millions of Mexicans are blond-haired and blue eyed and are, just like you Gringos, of European ancestry.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    I didn’t say you had not lived and worked in the Deep South. I said you did not grow up in the Deep South. There’s a difference, sir…and while you may feel you know the history, traditions, and people, I assure you that there is much that you do not and cannot know. As with many of my fellow Southern whites, my roots there go back to the early 1800’s, and includes family who fought and died for the Confederacy. My direct descendants are buried in the same backwoods-church cemetery back to before the Civil War.

    No, Clavos, you do NOT know the Southern psyche…but perhaps a little vignette will help. My mother – an amateur genealogist – once told my grandmother that we had a black ancestor who was a spy for the Union during the siege of Vicksburg. My grandmother became very angry and did not speak for three days…about something that occurred 130 years prior.

    It’s just like when I finally move to the Philippines – I know much of their culture and I’ve traveled in several areas and I’ve known some influential people there…

    …but I am not so naive as to assume that if I lived there right now, that even twenty years from now I would understand the details of what drives the Filipino psyche.

  • Clavos

    Bullshit, Glenn.

    That’s the same fallacy some African Americans use to discredit whites’ arguments, and it’s bullshit in that milieu as well.

  • zingzing

    clavos, you are pretty wishy-washy on your heritage. whatever suits the argument at the time. (of course, i refer to the “wetback” conversation in particular, gringo.)

  • Clavos

    One advantage to being multicultural, zing.

    And don’t call me gringo — I don’t want it getting out.

  • zingzing

    don’t worry, clavos…

  • Well, it’s too late for that.

  • Doug Hunter

    “Just one, Doug. If you can’t point out any insults I’ve made, then what does that say about your continuing accusations against me?”

    I don’t have to look any farther up that post #79. It’s an insult to make generalizations about groups. If you don’t consider being implicated as a racist as insulting then I see where you would disagree. You’ve also tried to link opposing thought to lack of education, etc. My point is that you focus a fair percentage of your effort in painting those who disagree with you with that type of broad brush rather than arguing the merits of your position.

  • Doug Hunter

    I’ll check out The Hurt Locker. Most of the movie portrayals of that career field are a total joke. If I remember correctly The General’s Daughter did have a robot and a realistic, if brief, portrayal.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doug –

    It’s an insult to make generalizations about groups.

    That, sir, is YOUR opinion. And I have made NO personal insults against anyone other than politicians and celebrities.

    But YOU said I was continuing to make personal assaults.


  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    I don’t care if you think it’s BS – you didn’t grow up there, and you do not know them like I do. Case closed.

  • OK, good night, you two.

    I’ve stayed longer than I intended, but it was worth it.

    We should continue.

  • Clavos

    Clavos –

    I don’t care if you think it’s BS – you didn’t grow up there, and you do not know them like I do. Case closed.

    You do realize, don’t you Glenn, that you just boxed yourself into invalidating every assertion you ever make henceforth about anything which you haven’t experienced personally, anything you haven’t “grown up with?”

    It’s a fallacious and specious argument, Glenn. Were it real and true, humanity would have achieved virtually no progress since prehistory; we would all still be clubbing wooly mammoths for dinner.

  • Clavos

    My point is that you focus a fair percentage of your effort in painting those who disagree with you with that type of broad brush rather than arguing the merits of your position.

    Quoted for Truth.

  • hanjie song


    All my undergrads in econ 1002 can tell you why directly injecting capital into the demand side is the most effective policy to revitalize the national economy.

    But I also don’t expect all of America to understand how this will work. Essentially, they are bicker at a subject they know little about. Why is that they feel strongly against something they are uncertain about.

    Excuse me if I’m being frank, but my interpretation is simply that certain sectors of American public is upset and afraid that America is being reformed and regulated at the hands of a black man.

  • Injecting cash into the “demand side” of the economy at the same time that you take that same cash out in loans, currency devaluation and future taxes cannot provide a long term solution to economic problems.


  • Glenn Contrarian

    Of COURSE racism is no longer a problem with Republicans and conservatives.

    It should be noted, though, that the most listened-to man in all of radio, whom Republican congressmen offend at their peril, just said yesterday that buses need to be segregated – buses for whites, and buses for blacks.

    He said…”In Obama’s America the white kids now get beat up. …I think the guy’s wrong. I think not only it was racism, it was justifiable racism. I mean, that’s the lesson we’re being taught here today. Kid shouldn’t have been on the bus anyway. We need segregated buses — it was invading space and stuff. This is Obama’s America.”

    A full transcript is here.

    Again, this is the most listened-to man on radio

    …and it does NOT matter how much Dave and Clavos and Doug and Arch-con disavow his idiocy, he IS the single most influential man in Conservative America.

    Yeah, you can see racism’s not a problem among the conservatives…if you’re in a coma.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    I’m not sure about the benefits of demand-side economics…but I can say for certainty that supply-side economics has been an utter disaster.

    If I had my way, we would pay higher taxes – and those taxes would go to provide all the ‘commons’: firefighers, police, justice, prisons, education (through college), health care, industry safety regulation, road maintenance…

    …all those things that better enable people to WORK, to keep them healthier and more educated for the benefit of American business.

    In other words, government should give the people the tools (the OPPORTUNITY) they need to work…but NEVER do the work for them.

    What government should NOT be a part of is any manufacturing and selling that are in any way part of real business. For instance, these prison-based industries are essentially slave labor and hurt competition. Government should not be a party to the manufacturing and selling of health care essentials (drugs, equipment, etc.). The government should be manufacturing and selling NOTHING, but should be focused on keeping the population health and educated so we have a better and more capable work force…and on helping our companies sell (and especially export) our products.

    Is this really so bad? It works for other modern industrialized democracies – why can’t it work here?