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Honor 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 accounts.
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 health care.

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.

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