A few mixed days in Chicago, amid some good thoughts about RN.
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Good night, moon. Tomorrow I am speaking in Lake Forest, where my dear friend John Hughes sleeps for all eternity. Talk about a genius. He wrote Ferris Bueller in one 48-hour stretch. I miss him.
A mixed day. I got up at the Peninsula in Chicago, ate my stale toast, dressed, and my wife and I went downstairs to join my pal John R. Coyne, Jr., for lunch in the hotel lobby. John was his usual lively and insightful self. The food was so-so, but the service was just a cruel mockery. That place is beautiful but needs a manager who will get it running right.
We talked about politics mostly. Plus lots of reminiscences of the Nixon days, when John, Aram Bakshian, Ken Khachigian, Dave Gergen, Ann Morgan, Jon Hoornstra and many others and I worked shoulder to shoulder to save the Peacemaker. It didn’t work. He was just on the wrong side.
Jon, if you’re there, I love your e-mails.
What a great President RN was — ending the war in Vietnam, opening up China, setting up serious environmental protection, the first nuclear arms reduction treaty with the Soviet, saving Israel in the Yom Kippur War, and trying to get universal health care through.
All with the vicious leftists attacking him night and day. I love him.
We talked about the brilliant Lee Atwater and how much he is missed. Then, after much struggle trying to get my wife her food, we left.
Long nap, then out to Lake Forest to speak to a delightful group of physicians. Lovely men and women. Intelligent. Thoughtful. Caring.
One of them, though, made a point that saddened me immensely. She said that hundreds of thousands of soldiers were coming back from the wars with disabilities. She said that the money burden would be enormous. “However bad it is now,” she added, “it will be worse.”
Suddenly it dawned on me. It will be worse about EVERYTHING. Too much of the younger generation has minimal education. Minimal decent work attitudes (generally, not always). Minimal ability to get along with others. The nation’s intellectual capital, self-discipline capital, is vanishing. That’s a catastrophe. That’s it for the USA. Gar-nicht, as my sister would say. When the middle aged who have decent abilities leave the scene, good night nurse. Too sad to dwell upon.
My audience was fantastic and I stayed for a long time with them. The great joy of speaking is meeting the audience. I hated to leave. They were literally locking up the room when I left. Then my driver took me back to my hotel. On the way, he told me how his kids had talked him into spending the last of his savings on a cruise to Belize with them and it was so expensive he also had to put some of it on his credit card.
A cruise to Belize? Is he kidding? Why not just drive to a really nice neighborhood and park his car there and go for a walk? Putting a cruise on a credit card? Well, I should not throw stones. I make every kind of mistake there is. Every kind.
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?