As a son of a letter carrier, as someone who only got interested in politics because of the social issues—I was inspired by the heroic housewife Ellen McCormack, who ran for the Democratic nomination on the right of unborn children to escape the abortionists’ knife—I have a complicated reaction to Barack Obama. After hearing his spiel about men like my father, I can’t help wanting to walk up to that cafe au lait huckster and smack him across the face before the square-headed ex-Marines of the Secret Service pummel me into submission. But the problem is that I KNOW that my response is pre-programmed, that I’m drooling on Pavlovian cue to suit cold-blooded feminist bureaucrats from Wellesley, and silk-suited K-Street Republican operatives who view John McCain’s military record as “credibility fodder.”
And my own instinct points up the problem faced by the millions like me who came of age in the 1980s, who were the first in their families to go to college, who remember the very real issues that day to day face the folks we (mostly) left behind in our old neighborhoods:
* There are large pockets of immigrants who don’t play by the same rules your grandparents drilled into your folks. (You’re in AMERICA! Act like it!) who seem to think that they’re in the Old Country—except that they have a right to claim government checks when things go wrong. (Your grandparents just had to get on the boat and go home.)
* The public schools which your taxes are paying for are totally out of the question, unless one of your kids is such a dangerous sociopath that the Catholic schools won’t take him. Twelve years of parochial school tuition is just the price of giving birth. Go to public school, get stabbed, period.
* Your health insurance is gonna be outrageous, and if you go to a hospital, you’ll pass a waiting room full of illegals who are getting treated on your dime. Or else they’re giving birth to instant U.S. CITIZENS entitled to affirmative action at your kids’ expense.
* You can’t have a gun. Guns are for felons. If you carry a gun in the City (where you would need it) you might get busted and spend at least a year in jail. Where you will be raped. Which is something everybody jokes about—including the lefties who whine about Guantanamo, and the rightists who rant about sodomy. If felons are caught with guns, that’s the first charge to get dropped in a plea bargain. (You saw this on Law & Order.)
* Your taxes eat up about a third of your salary. (For WHAT, exactly? Border control?) Social Security doesn’t offer per-child exemptions. It eats up 15 percent. And no, you’ll never see a dime of it—it all goes to keep 10 million pairs of Depends planted in front of video poker machines in Atlantic City. Then they’ll drive home in the fast lane at 35 mph….
* Funny, but it seems that the gays are some kind of special victim group. Which is weird, since if you watched TV, you’d think they were half the population. They insist on the right to get married—whatever that means, since marriage seems to be the least enforceable contract around. If it were really important, the Feds would be tightening up the rules… you know, the way they did on bankruptcy. So leave your wife and kids if you want… but those credit card debts are SACRED.
* Abortion. Your daughter can have one, without anybody telling you. But she needs a permission slip to go with nuns to the friggin’ Planetarium. And she’s going to live with you until she’s 30. Then again, when she gets divorced, for another 5 years after that.
* Your son found a “smart” way to get a free ride to college. He’s sitting in Mosul now, guarding the ruins of a burnt-out Christian church. With any luck, the Iraqis who got driven out will move to your neighborhood, open a kebab place and a church with a liturgy that doesn’t include crap like “On Eagle’s Wings.” Christ how you hate that song.
* You’re fine, one one one, with black people, Mexicans, whatever. But you’re sick of having to drive fast through their neighborhoods (praying you don’t break down—guns are for felons) and to watch out for “urban youths” when you go to a cash machine at night. You know some of your own relatives once were shanty Irish/mafiosi/loan sharks/Klansmen/moonshiners, maybe even Prohibitionists. But enough already!
* You can’t stand the sight of that scary Clinton dyke, you’re pretty sure McCain might nuke Quebec to punish the French, and you might actually have voted for that tan guy with the nice speaking voice. Except now he has crapped on your head. The thing is, you don’t really blame him. You know his people got screwed even worse than yours did. You know he’s no worse than other Democrats, and he probably won’t send your son to invade Soreassistan. And that’s probably good enough for you.
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