Retirement and Social Security Reform
Heroes by Rescuing Their Country
Investor's Business Daily
December 1, 2009
By Ernest S. Christian
A much-decorated genuine American hero, Marine
Staff Sergeant Charles I. Cartwright, was laid to rest near
the small farming village of Johnsville, Md., where he grew
up and lived before going off to fight with distinction and
valor for his country. He was killed in Afghanistan while
on his fifth tour of duty in war zones.
Hour after hour, hundreds of other stalwart Americans filed
through the tiny, hundred-year-old Johnsville Methodist Church
to pay tribute, waiting quietly and humbly in lines that stretched
outside and up the road on a crisp autumn day. An oversized
American flag waved atop a nearby corn silo, the final touch
in a real-life Norman Rockwell tableau.
It was simultaneously a scene both to make a strong man cry
- and it did - and a reaffirmation of those characteristics
that make the people of Johnsville (and others like them)
the heart, soul and sinew of America.
Sergeant Cartwright's memorial service is also a reminder
of how much better America and its people are than the politicians
who rule over us from their high perches in Washington, only
70 miles from Johnsville.
By what right do they lord it over us, take our money, give
it to their political friends and waste the rest?
Why are they always doing dumb stuff, costing us jobs, harming
our kids, causing housing and credit bubbles, bankrupting
America with debt, ruining the dollar, taking away the interest
on our savings accounts and giving it to banks who won't lend
to us but, instead, funnel the money abroad and aid speculators
in the stock market?
Have politicians no sense? Have they no shame? Do they think
we don't know what is going on? We want the folks in Washington
to keep their hands off our doctors, our jobs and our bank
We see through all the double-talk about ObamaCare. We know
that the phony numbers don't add up.
The result will be more debt, more taxes and less health care
at a higher price. And the last thing we want is to take a
ticket, stand in line and ask permission from a bureaucrat
about when, whether and what medical care we may receive.
We are embarrassed at the depraved spectacle of U.S. senators
auctioning off their votes as if our health were a commodity
to be sold to the highest bidder - and incensed by a president
who now seems far more interested in winning a no-holds-barred
political victory, no matter the cost, than in actually improving
We don't like being lied to and having our intelligence insulted.
We are outraged at politicians who demean America's constitution,
its history and traditions - and have put their own careers
and egos ahead of America's security and prosperity.
We are flabbergasted by a president who seems not to like
us and our middle class values, who can't even bring himself
to use the word terrorism, who goes about the world apologizing
for America and forecasting its decline - and whose runaway
tax and spending policies are, in the opinion of many experts,
as well as by the standards of our own common sense, well-calculated
to produce a disastrous result for America.
The politicians in Washington - Democrats and Republicans
alike - seem intent on dishonoring the sacrifice made by Sergeant
Cartwright and more than 600,000 American patriots in graves
scattered all around the world.
As I sit on the porch of my farmhouse looking at recently
harvested cornfields, I wonder why the politicians in Washington
cannot be more like the real people of America, my friends
and neighbors here in Johnsville, who do their work with competence
and skill, are honest with themselves and one another - and
always seek to help, not harm.
And I wonder whether the real people of America will ever
be able to reclaim our nation from the clutches of political
potentates now so arrogant and powerful that they seem to
think they can - by spending money - "fix" elections
and perpetuate themselves in office, even though most Americans
disagree with what they are doing.
Perhaps the politicians will prevail - but I am betting on
the spirit of Sergeant Cartwright and similar people everywhere
to rescue and restore America.
Christian is a retired Washington lawyer and former government
official who farms and writes in Johnsville.