Thursday, March 19, 2009

I think it was asking for help...

Yesterday was a day of significance for Americans.

I drove from Augusta, Maine to my regional corporate office in Burlington, Mass through mid-day for a meeting, dinner, and a late night return. The farce of Obama's outrage against AIG's executive bonuses was playing itself out in real-time on talk radio and I caught before, during, and after perspectives from a variety of sources.


A huge American flag unfurled into the wind and into my view as I rounded a corner. The sight of it there- large, alone, billowing, evoked in me an emotion I've never, ever, EVER before experienced about our flag, our home. I don't know if it was shame, disappointment, fear, regret, or guilt, this strange stew of anxiety. But when have you ever looked at our flag with anything but a positive or supportive emotional response?

I listened, crestfallen, as Obama railed away at the injustices and the greed and the evil ways... as he borrowed tired cliches from his political ancestors ("The buck stops with me"? Come on!)... and floundered despite his great oratory prowess ("...and" "but let us recall..." "I want to make... one... thing.. clear") and finally made his power-grabbing point- that this was all just proof and evidence of the need for more regulation and control in this and all capitalist industries. Let's tick them off together, shall we? Banking, Insurance, Health Care, Automotive, Investments... What's left?

Obama and Congress sanctimoniously, righteously, soullessly had the gall to crucify a pawn to satisfy the masses screaming for Barabbas. To quote Captain Renault in Casablanca:

Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
[a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]
Croupier: Your winnings, sir.

That's right, Barney. I'm talkin' to you. You hypocrite.

Late at night, swimming north into the darkness that is I95 through the Kennebec Valley of Maine, my MP3 player glowed with an image of Ronald Reagan as he delivered, single-handed and boldly, a defiant challenge at Brandenburg gate to "Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev... Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

My day started with the shameless shameful and ended with liberty's successful stand at the gate of tyranny. I pulled over and cried.

Our flag stood there yesterday, huge and proud in the wind. I saw it. I don't know who else did.

I think it was asking for help.

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