I think I have discovered heaven. It is America outside of New York, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica. Just several days ago, I was in Scottsdale, Arizona, again, as I often am. I had dinner at PF Chang’s with my dear pals Barron and Steve, indispensable friends, and then we shopped at the great Barnes & Noble and then had tea at Starbucks. The night was warm and dry and breezy. The faces were friendly. The stars were out. It was paradise. The next day I spoke at the Troon Four Seasons in Scottsdale to a group of kindly insurance people. Two nights later I was in Grand Rapids, Michigan, home of my old boss, Gerald R. Ford. I gave a speech to execs and customers of a fine bank called Standard-Federal. Then we had supper at a fabulously good cafe called the 1913 Room, and then we had a long political discussion. No one raised his voice. No one tried to make the other look stupid. No one bragged and everyone laughed a lot. Life between the coasts is blissful. I have discovered heaven and it is heartland America. Walla Walla, Scottsdale, Grand Rapids, even Las Vegas, which is basically Midwestern and kind. What did I ever do to deserve to be in America? Thank you, dear Lord.
Everywhere I go I preach the good gospel of gratitude, humility, reliance on God, patriotism, and devotion to one’s family. And it all goes down extremely well.
However, I have been warned that at Whitman College there are almost no Republicans and virtually zero supporters of Mr. Bush. So I am a little nervous. Plus I have been told that I will be faced by militant demonstrators, something that has never happened before.
The only solution is to go for a ride into the lovely surrounding countryside. I was told about its beauty by the kind people who flew here with me on a Horizon Airlines plane last night. We all rendezvoused at the Seattle Airport and then headed to the small plane. A man named Lessard, who makes and sells wine, talked to me about what a great small town Walla Walla is, and how I must see the wheat fields and vineyards outside of town.
A kindly college boy named Bruce has taken the car of the charming young woman who runs the lecture series, and we set out to the countryside. Alas, I was so nervous, I thought I would surely not enjoy it. WRONG! The countryside outside Walla Walla is magnificent. Rolling fields. Horizons of snow-capped mountains. Crystal blue skies. Immaculate small farm houses. On top of one hill we spied a funeral plot of ancient vintage with gravestones from the mid-19th century, overlooking a landscape that probably has not changed since the Indians were displaced. (They took their revenge by killing Marcus Whitman and his family, founders of the community.) One of the gravestones said, in large carvings I could easily read, “Earth has no pain that heaven cannot heal.” I thought this was quite good and I have tried to remember it.
I took many, many photos of the area. I used up three rolls and I only wish I had brought more film. If Wlady allows, I am going to accompany this article with a photo, which I think you will like a lot.
I returned to my magnificent small hotel suite at the Marcus Whitman, a renovated hotel from before World War I, ate the food I had bought at Wal-Mart the night before, toasted some toast in my Wal-Mart $6.87 toaster, and girded my loins to speak. I did that mostly by praying, which is always the best preparation for anything. I will say what I have to say and if they boo and hiss, it will not kill me.p> Midnight The Same Day…. br> Well, I gave my speech after a rollicking dinner with the College Republicans. Everything went great. The students loved me and I loved them. They were not hostile at all. They asked me many questions about my stand on the right to life of unborn children, but I answered in what I hope was a forthcoming way, and they all clapped mightily and stood up when I finished to give me a standing ovation. /p>
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?