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Taking the pulse of the nation

By Dr. Robert Owens
web posted July 13, 2009

Sitting in a cabin on the edge of a lake in the middle of the woods with the woman I love.  The open windows bring a gentle breeze cooling the pleasant knotty-pine paneled room.  The sounds of birds provide a sound-track to my thoughts.  Governments may fall and economies may stumble but everyone needs some time aside to gather their thoughts.

Each year the best wife in the world and the man lucky enough to be her husband take a road trip.  Seeing our grandchildren and other assorted friends and family provides the spine upon which we construct our adventure.  In this day of stratospheric gas prices and uncertain employment we're blessed with online professions so where others take stay-cations we take work-cations.  As long as we can plug into the world-wide-web we're good to go.  Taking a break from community involvement, shuttering the compound we load up the minivan and hit the road taking the pulse of America.  While interstate highways provide wonderful get-me-there-quick travel avoiding the hassle of airport security and waiting on the tarmac they tend to look and feel the same.  We prefer the back roads where we can see the sights, smell the roses and meet the people.

Turning strangers into acquaintances by reaching out with friendly chatter it's amazing where the conversations go.  From, "Wasn't that a big storm last night" to "My grandkids are cuter than yours," to "What-in-the-world is happening to our country."  Small talk breaks like a wave against the cliffs of our current national transformation.  From coast-to-coast and border-to-border Americans of every age, every race and every condition are waking up to the fact the America we've known is being submerged under progressivism's long-sought centrally-planned government-owned collectivist state.

Talking to people in line at World-Mart, at the Arch Inn or enjoying the free continental breakfast at Motel 7 one common thread moves across this land.  People are concerned the America we've experienced won't be there for our children.  All across the fruited plane citizens express the feeling that our nation is slipping like sand through our fingers.  Rome is burning and the Emperor can't even play the saxophone. 

The topics of conversation rush to the floor of the stock exchange.  What company will be taken over next?  What rate will the Chinese demand to buy more of our expanding debt?  Or to the floors of Congress: will the global warming cult really ram the cap-n-tax abomination down our throats even as their manufactured consensus cools?  Will the addition of one more comedian to the peanut gallery give us amnesty and possibly 10-20 million new voters before the next election?  Will the government-option turn into single-payer Healthcare rationing?  Will Acorn run the census with all the integrity and non-partisanship they bring to voter registration?  Is the change we can believe in merely from each according to his ability to each according to his need with a great big grin?  Will cheers turn to moans: "That which I have feared has come upon me!"

One phenomenon we encountered in the heartland was that the Omaniacs we met, with one notable exception, were either plugged into the Mainstream Media repeating the usual progressive talking points while hoping they hadn't voted for the repeal of the Constitution.   Or they were totally disengaged from current events expressing their militant apathy along the lines of, "I don't care about what's going on and I can't stand anyone who does!" as they channel-surf to the next game show.  The exception was a dyed-in-the-wool yellow-dog Democrat a lifelong supporter of the Daley Machine who's advocated the socialization of America.  Instead of the blank stares and rote recitation of the Mainstream's talking points he's plugged into the Huffington Post – Daily Kos wing of the media reciting their talking points.  Now that his side has triumphed, now that the Living Constitution and over-whelming majorities assure the passage of his long sought agenda he's convinced the country will explode into social disruption and civil unrest.  He's stocking up food and guns as he attempts to recruit people to help man the loop-holes he's cut into the walls of his remote cabin.

After a month on the road filled with conversations and observations what's the pulse?  America is still America filled with vibrant, caring and inventive people.  However, the nation is split between those who want a nanny-state where it takes a village to ensure no one fails, everything is fair and someone else pays for it all.  Those who just wanted change who believed "Anything would be better than what we've got now" who are stunned at the way things are changing as they close their eyes, mumble a faithless prayer "It can't happen here" and click their heels three times hoping they'll wake up in the world they've always known.  And those who believe America's secret to success is freedom and opportunity.  And with the pulse comes my prescription?  Take every opportunity to save the freedom and save the Republic. ESR

Dr. Robert Owens teaches History, Political Science, Religion, and Leadership for Southside Virginia Community CollegeContact Dr. Owens. © 2009 Robert R. Owens.  Dr. Owens is available for speaking engagements.


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