…then to be loved for someone you are not.” – Andre Gide
FADE IN: San Fernando Valley, early 1980’s
I had the privilege of coming of age in a time of seemingly endless opportunity in this country; I cast my first vote for Ronald Reagan in 1980 after graduating high school, again as a soldier serving in W. Germany in 1984, and for George H.W. Bush in 1988, just after I landed my first real job in film in Hollywood. I was one of the first “Gen-X’ers,” and as such, was fortunate enough to learn early on that while I looked to the White House for leadership, it was squarely up to me to make my life happen, especially if I wanted to make that life in the motion picture industry.
Aspiring doctors and lawyers with good grades as undergrads seem to have no problem financing their high education, such is (or was) the promise of an M.D. or J.D. degree. However, try walking into Chase and asking for $50,000 because you’ve always wanted to make movies, and you quickly discover that unless you come from a wealthy family (which I certainly didn’t), its far better to come to class smelling like Quarter Pounders then not to get to come to class at all.
Yes, it was hard. So much so at one point I made the decision to enlist in the Army in order to use the GI Bill to sock away enough money so as not to have to worry about balancing both a full-time job AND a full-time graduate program. However, while I of course at times found myself envious of the younger, more fortunate kids who were seemingly able to lay their hands on any amount of money they wanted or needed, I was never covetous, choosing instead to use my maturity and work ethic to my advantage. Whereas the kid with his father’s Visa was busy making a documentary about how Reagan was going to kill the planet with Minuteman and Pershing II missiles, I was busy writing original screenplays in my barracks in Stuttgart. Three of which I was actually able to sell once I got back home. The documentary, on the other hand, didn’t do anything for the kid, except maybe get him the temporary company of some patchouli-soaked hipster chick.
CUT TO: Chicago, present day
So now I find myself in my late 40’s, a little over a year since the canonization election of America’s first messiah black President. Truth be told, I wasn’t all that enthusiastic about Mr. McCain, and being physiologically incapable of voting for a Democrat, I voted for Bob Barr (don’t you dare judge me). However, having been raised to respect not only the office but the will of the people, I respected Obama’s election and watched his and Mr. McCain’s speeches that night. I will confess that I was, for a brief shining moment, hopeful. I am at heart a patriot, and am grateful that we install our leaders with votes, as opposed to machetes.
But of course, we all now realize the folly of that hope. While I continue to respect the office and the will of the people, Mr. Obama clearly does neither, the evidence supporting this assertion being bountiful and exhaustively cited. However, unlike the thoroughly repugnant nature of the opposition, it’s leaders and their proletariat (to include a sycophantic media) during the eight years of Mr. Bush’s administration, we on the right have largely chosen to forego the filth and the fury in favor of a demand for accountability, acknowledgement of the will of the people, and respect for the Constitution. It’s a ridiculously simple approach: we elected you to do what you said you would do, and what we tell you to do, not the other way around. Do it not, and you’ll be on the first thing smokin’ back from whence you came. Capice?
Contrastingly, the sheer, unapologetic hatred the left has spent most of the last decade awash in is now directed almost exclusively at those of us who, with no help from the media, have properly vetted this president’s policies and practices and found them sorely wanting. The vile cartoons of Mr. Bush depicted satanically, complete with horns, malevolent eyes and smile, complete with the requisite blood-drenched fangs have been replaced with sophomoric homoerotic references from the media and comparisons to white supremacist organizations from Democrat leaders directed at those of us who do nothing more than petition our government for redress. Some of what the left-leaning vox populi has tossed our way is just downright scary and probably illegal in most states.
Whatever their motivations, these unfortunates have decided that the 46% of this country who didn’t vote for Mr. Obama have been rendered irrelevant, and the almost 30% who’ve joined us in opposition to the catastrophe-in-waiting now be debated are about as well-regarded. C’est la vie. I consider myself to be in good company.
Having said that, I’ve made the decision to spend the rest of this Sunday afternoon with the TV off. I’m going to publish this, shut the laptop down and catch up on some reading. Should I awaken tomorrow morning in a country where I’m not to be trusted with the care of my family, then I’ll know I have some serious work to do. I’ll know that kid who got through life on his father’s Visa will probably be thinking he just scored something else he didn’t have to work for.
In that case, I’ll have to make certain I do everything in my power to dispel him of that notion…