Fr. Coughlin, the anti-Semitic “radio priest” of the 1930s.
What strange times we’re living in. The world seems out of control. Institutions are collapsing (Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch), new institutions are arising (Glenn Beck, Twitter), and no one’s in charge. After 10 months in office, Barack Obama seems particularly clueless.
We’re living in chaos and anarchy. So last night a Muslim psychiatrist shot up Fort Hood.
One of the wounded lives an hour from my house. I ask your prayers for Nathan A. Hewitt, an Army marksman from Lafayette, Indiana. His uncles are quoted in the local paper saying he’s going to be okay. [UPDATE: The Journal and Courier now reports that Cpl. Hewitt is out of the hospital.]
So we’ll get through this, no time to panic. It’s an ugly world out there, you never know what’s going to happen. But it makes sense to try and understand what’s causing all these seismic shifts. We have to step back from immediate events to look at the world as a whole. After all, the Army knows how to secure the scene of a gunfight.
Prayers too for the civilian policewoman who dropped the shooter, and I suppose even for the gunman, Nidal Hasan, who allegedly cried out “God is good!” while killing people.
I must admit my first reaction to this was, “No more Muslims.” And I’m one who argued against anti-Muslim prejudice after 9/11. The shooter is responsible for his actions, not a whole religion. Even if we’re getting really, really tired of violent Muslims.
But step back; step back. What the hell’s going on?
What do you see in the world right now? Take a deep breath, look and think.
Be careful what you say and do. Don’t add fuel to the fire. Be kind and generous. Stay aware of your limitations. Make sure your friends and family are safe. Make a cup of tea, pet the dog. I can make you a sandwich or we can get pizza.
Be quiet, hold the ones you love, then start to make sense of this world.
The first thing I see is economic dislocation. You see that too. Globalization has changed everything.
It’s good that India, China and other countries are getting richer. God wants everyone to have enough to eat.
It’s hard on American workers that their own companies have shipped all the manufacturing jobs overseas. The unemployment rate in Elkhart County, Indiana is over 20%. But an RV maker is recalling 400 workers. They say the recession is officially over, but jobs will remain scarce.
By the skin of our teeth we’ve avoided a rerun of the Great Depression.
Conditions remain volatile. I’m surprised there haven’t been riots. I’m glad I don’t work on Wall Street, where Goldman Sachs and the remaining big banks want to resume business as usual, trying to reassert control over the world economy. I’m not sure it’s going to work anymore. We wouldn’t want another bombing at J.P. Morgan.
Osama bin Laden targeted the World Trade Center.
Instead of localized riots and violence, we’ve got sporadic outbreaks and near-riots, such as the anti-health care reform “town hall meetings” that flared up nationwide over the summer, orchestrated by radical Father Coughlins on Fox News.
In Arizona some guy packed heat in front of President Obama—and no one said anything, a clear signal that Obama’s getting terrible advice from his handlers. These are the same people who loaded the Treasury and Federal Reserve with more Wall Streeters.
Gov. Jon Corzine went down in New Jersey Tuesday night. Used to be the co-chair of Goldman Sachs, but his “financial expertise” didn’t amount to anything. Jerseyites voted for a snake-oil salesman instead.
The Republican Party is breaking down. In NY-23, the GOP nominee quit three days before the election after constant attacks by Sarah Palin and the Club for Growth (what a club!), so she did the smart thing and endorsed the Democrat.
Mainers voted for the Catholic Church and anti-Gay marriage, but narrowly, 53-47.
Kalamazoo banned anti-Gay discrimination, and Washington state gave domestic partners more rights while continuing to tax them differently than Straight people.
What exactly is Glenn Beck’s talent? He isn’t goodlooking or well-spoken; he just “says stuff” and cries on cue. But he’s bull’s-eyed the zeitgeist, the right person at the right time. A year ago it was Sarah Palin, but she’s so last year. Is Levi Johnston hung?
Is this the end of capitalism? Is that what’s got people so upset?
Is that why Rahm Emmanuel told Obama, “We’re going to load you up with capitalists, that’s how to save the country”?
Why are we in Iraq and Afghanistan in the midst of an economic meltdown? Why did Nathan Hewitt get shot by an American Muslim at Fort Hood?
Obama is no Roosevelt, nor is he Harry Truman or LBJ. He’s too reliant on bad advisers who consistently make mistakes. The man’s in over his head—and I worked my ass off to get him elected. (We won Indiana for the first time since 1964, the LBJ year.)
Where from here? A few simple steps, Mr. President.
• Fire the economic team, except for Paul Volcker and the woman at the FDIC. If capitalism is collapsing, it does not help to have Goldman Sachs at the helm. Dump ’em and say, “We were wrong, these are not the right people. Business should make profits but not at the expense of human lives. We’re bringing in a new team.” Continue health care reform. Demonize the insurance companies if you have to. Acne at 16 is not a justification for cutting off coverage for cancer at 45.
• Send Rahm back to Chicago. He was great at campaigning and he’s suitably ruthless, but he can’t govern a city block, much less a nation.
• Invite Jon Stewart and the “Daily Show” team to dinner. Have a serious discussion.
• Target the enemies, Michelle Bachmann, Virginia Foxx, Evan Bayh and the Blue Dog Democrats. The country is polarized, so go polar.
• Stroke that guy from Florida, Rep. Alan Grayson. He understands the polarization and fights back, the Glenn Beck of the Left with a lot more talent.
• Shut down Gitmo, pull all troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. Declare victory in one and withdrawal from the other. We tried to do good but we can’t afford two wars. So we’re done. We never wanted war in Afghanistan, we wanted bin Laden. So get him.
• Put Wall Street in jail. That will settle the country.
• Tell GM it either makes a profit or faces a firing squad. This includes the UAW and its Cadillac insurance plan.
• Concentrate on your family. Take Michelle on the sweetest, hottest date imaginable. Kiss your girls. Visit their school like a parent. Scratch Bo’s belly. Ask Laura Bush’s advice.
• And realize you’ve taken office, an incredible superstar, after The Worst Damn President Ever. So don’t be afraid of the seismic shifts, just keep your balance, then lead.
We all know the world is changing faster than anyone can keep up with. Reassure people; the only thing to fear is fear itself. It’s ridiculous that Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin are media stars, much less a hockey puck like Levi Johnston.
• In short, dominate. For good. Stop giving all these punks the time of day. Give us health care, and peace, and reformed capitalism. Be like Martin Luther and nail your theses to the wall.
Reassure people. This is hard but we’ll get through it.
After all we like you, even though we don’t quite understand you. You’re a big change all by yourself.
But you have to supply substance, and results we can see. Put people back to work. Ignore the naysayers. Twist Evan Bayh’s arm off till he votes for you. Dominate, like we know you can.
Why else did Michelle fall in love with you, but because you know how to be a man?++
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