Presidents, Valentine’s Day, and Sarah Palin
It is a good day to ponder how we got here from there. “From where?” you might ask. “There” was a place where there was no shame in hard work. “There” was a place where there was a correlation and connectivity between the fruits of labor and reward. “There” was a place where there was no such thing as the fruits of entitlement. In the dawn of the enlighted world Descartes said “Cogito, ergo sum.” I think, therefore I am. Perhaps our leadership today would find Descartes falling short of their view of government inspired utopia because he merely connected his ability to think with his very existence. They would look to connect existence with entitlement. Something like “I think, therefore I am, and therefore I deserve something.”
Most Americans are home today. Few Americans are taking time to thank the reasons they are home. How many fellow Americans are taking time out to ponder the sacrifices of Washington and Lincoln? Incidentally, if there had been a President’s Day in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, do you think those honored Presidents would have remained idle on that day?
This country was built on a rock solid ethic that has lost its way. So I would like to throw down my marker. There is NOTHING wrong with hard work. There is NOTHING wrong with being rewarded as a result of that hard work. There is EVERYTHING wrong with an expectation that society owes someone for something that person has not earned. So as we think back on our nation’s greatest Presidents, let us never forget how hard they worked to achieve their greatness. Let us not forget how each and every one of us have benefitted immeasurably from the incredible feats of those who blazed our now well worn and comfortable trails of life.
And now a plug for literacy. There is a famous picture of President Lincoln sitting at a table, accompanied by his son Tad. Even at a moment’s repose, Lincoln has a book in his hand. Lincoln was a literary master; a wordsmith of epic proportions. It did not happen accidentally. Today, I have one resolve. I am taking my 9 and 13 year old children to the bookstore. They will each pick out a book, and they WILL read it. That is the least I can do to honor President Lincoln.
Every year, I have a hard time juxtaposing Valentine’s Day with President’s Day. Fluff and Gravitas all jumbled up. It makes for a good lyric for Bob Dylan, but it sure is hard for me to reconcile. It’s really difficult for me to envision Lincoln running out to get that Hallmark card for Mary. What have we wrought? That said, I remember well the first year after I was married and I made the mistake of opining about how Valentine’s Day is a creation of card and candy makers, and how on earth can we fall into such a commercial net! Well, suffice to say, the cold day in hell analogy comes to mind and from that year on I have made sure there are some Hallmark cards on Valentine’s Day. I’m like the Coal Miner’s Daughter. I may be ignorant, but I ain’t stupid.
How about that Sarah Palin? As long as I am throwing markers around like so many softballs at the state fair, I need to be perfectly clear on this one. I am NOT a Sarah Palin groupie. I do NOT think she is the best candidate for the Republican party in 2012. I admire Sarah Palin for what she has accomplished. She is a poster child for the notion that one can do anything one sets one’s mind to doing. Long live Sarah Palin for what she’s done with her life.
So where am I going with this? I am just astounded at the vitriol spewing forth from the effete elite left. They absolutely, positively cannot stand Sarah Palin. She drives them bonkers. They are beside themselves with disdain and outrage that this gun totin’, good lookin’, “uneducated” (she didn’t go to Yale, after all) mama has actually gained traction with middle America. God forbid!
Look, Sarah Palin is no Ronald Reagan. But I am intrigued to see the way the left is pounding her from their ideological/intellectual perch. For those who remember the 1970′s and 1980′s, we have seen this movie. They did it to Reagan. They hated him. They only came around to liking him when they they had time to kill during the motorcade procession following his funeral. So, let’s be dispassionate and just watch this space. I think the left will continue to propel Sarah Palin into the national limelight. Now that is a little President’s Day irony for you. So am I off to the bookstore? You betcha!