By any measure, 2003 was a tough year. It ends Orange, and 2004 promises to be as bad or worse. Next year we will enjoy a presidential election that is certain to produce thoughtful speeches, insightful interviews, and cutting debates. Yeah, well, I don’t believe it either. But maybe Madeleine the Short is right, and Dubya has bin Laden stashed away somewhere, to be dragged behind his chariot into the convention hall. If that is to be, I only wish I could be in the CBS booth when it happens. I think Dan Rather would cry.
Enough idle musing. There is much to do. As we draw alongside 2004, let’s once again plant our feet, turn our faces into the storm and prepare to sail against the wind. Clear for action, load with chain shot and issue a brace of pistols to all hands, for I mean to grapple and board.
I am an American man. I own many rolls of duct tape and an 18-volt cordless drill. I am, therefore, invincible. I fear no package labeled, “some assembly required.” I offer assistance to those who do, and gracefully accept their thanks, and wine and whiskey. I say nothing to their wives. Their misfortune is not something a gentleman would mention. I reject the idea that there are problems beyond our ability to solve, and in the famous words of the World War Two shipbuilders, “the difficult we do immediately, the impossible takes a little longer.” As for impossibly stupid ideas, and people, we must rejoice in rejecting them, and the fruits — and wines — of their labors.
I refuse to buy anything made in France. And I reject the idea that our boycott of French goods is ineffective, simply because it’s untrue. Even the Frogs admit that wine sales in the U.S. are a little off. But, of course, they’re trying to conceal the growing impact the boycott is having. The good folks at AC Nielsen keep count of much more than television ratings. I have a copy of the AC Nielsen “ScanTrack” report dated 14 November. It shows that for the year ending 27 September, French wine sales in the U.S. are down 12% from 2002, and declining monthly. Another American wine industry source told me declining sales for some types of French wine are much higher — probably about 25% — and still rising. Nevertheless, I hope you’ve stocked up on champagne for New Year’s Eve. Certainly not the stuff made Over There.
Let us rejoice in rejecting false labels. I insist that champagne is made —- very well, in fact — in places such as Washington, California, Spain and Australia. The term “sparkling wine” is a falsehood forced upon us by our government to protect the mouse that cannot roar. I reject it utterly. When I open a bottle of cold champagne I am drinking a product made anywhere but France, and enjoying it all the more. The Aussies have a real talent for adult beverages (making as well as drinking), and their very odd “sparkling Shiraz” will be in my wine refrigerator next to the American-made champagnes. It’s kinda like sangria, but without all that annoying fruit cocktail sludge. And it is up to us to ensure there is no sludge-like goop diluting American resolve.
Conservatives standing athwart the tide of history shouting, ‘halt” were what swept the Brezhnev Doctrine — “communism is inevitable and irreversible” — into its proper place, the dustbin of history. We must do the same for Islamic fascism. Terrorism lost a pal when Saddam was dragged out of his hole, but Saddam’s was a secular regime. Until we end the reign of a radical Islamic regime (pick one) we won’t prove to the Islamic fascists what Lech Walesa and Poland proved to the communists. I reject the idea that we cannot do it. We will, because we must.
I remain steadfast in rejecting the idea that we have to be more patient, tolerant, and caring. Our nation is rich in those qualities, and we need no false reinforcement of them. We are patient with those people and nations deserving of it. We also reject the idea that we need to keep our allies, warts and all. An ally is not a relative. There is nothing that binds them permanently to us, or we to them. To those who may have French relatives, my only advice is to seek a divorce. Which may be the remedy for the UN as well.
I reject the idea that the UN can be reformed. Are you sick and tired of the sanctimonious lectures we get every day from the ambassadors of Banana del Sur and Jihad al Arabiy? No more so than I. We should buy back the UN building and tell them to get the hell out of New Yawk. I can’t tell you how distressed I am about the hardship this will impose on our little diplo-buddies. Think about their dilemma: where would you rather take your pals for an expense account dinner: Delmonico’s or Mama Jihad’s Falafel Stand? After a year or two in Ouagadougou or whatever rat hole would take them, maybe the UN delegates would be more understanding of why they enjoy freedom and prosperity here and not at home.
It’s time to reject all of the vapor-headed critics. Not just critics of the left, but also those of the right as well who only criticize and offer no better ideas. I propose a rule of punditry and politics and invite the world to enforce it: If you don’t have a better idea than the one you’re dumping on, please shut up and not waste the valuable time of voters, readers and listeners. Politicians have always gotten away with this, and I reject the idea that we should allow it, particularly in presidential candidates. Especially those from Vermont.
The Dems — facing only each other and the media (I know, I know, but allow me this one redundancy) — are getting away with rhetorical murder. Howlin’ Howie’s speeches promise — I kid thee not – to improve our military. Our military isn’t by any means perfect, so just what does he plan to change? The guy who doesn’t know that the pointy end of the ship goes forward, or that JSTARS isn’t a Christmas tree decoration, ain’t telling, and nobody’s bothering to ask. We need to demand — persistently — answers from every candidate to very hard questions. How about this for starters? All you Dems say we’re fighting terrorism the wrong way. Okay, how would you do it? And don’t just tell me that you’d deliver the problem to Kofi and the Kupkakes. In the words of Sean Connery’s character in The Untouchables, just what are you prepared to do?
What I am prepared to do is reject the nonsensical ideas, accusations and polls that will flood our eyes and ears in 2004. This election will be a new low in American politics, and even with Howlin’ Howie as the opposition, winning is no certainty. I reject many things, but what I accept most proudly is the duty and responsibility of being an American. Included in that is the responsibility to be as well-informed as I can make myself. You can do no less. I will speak my mind — and write it — as often and as well as God enables me. Happy Rejectionists’ New Year.