A Smatter of Opinion - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
A Smatter of Opinion

Some time ago, I don’t remember just when, I was somewhere, I don’t recall just where, and I was asked by someone, I don’t recollect just who, for my opinion on something, I don’t retain just what, and I said I had none. The dismay which met my response was intense.

“No opinion?!” the fellow exclaimed, gasped, griped, snapped, spat. “But you’re an American?! You are entitled to an opinion!”

Before this encounter, I had imagined this entitlement could be forgiven, a bequest from the national patrimony, but I found that was unforgiveable. I had thought I could look at a subject from various angles, shake well before using, and if an opinion did not fall out I could move on, so long as my shrug was not too French. If there’s no gold in the mine, move on to a more maternal lode. Or stay right in my seat and cede my right to take a stand. If I can’t quantify it, I can leave it to the qualified.

No more. I learned that with the right to an opinion comes an expectation. A true American must opine for the flag. I live, therefore I choose; being pro-life, I must be pro-choice. Add to that my childhood fascination with columnists – Alsop, Buchwald, Buckley, McGrory and Alsop – and it is no surprise to find me hawking opinions for a liveliness, if not quite a livelihood.

As 2010 closes to a draw, I thank God (and The American Spectator) for giving me the opportunity to make my voice heard. In that light, a few reflections on the year passed.


The year began with the passing of the health care bill, the mandate or tax or benefit or entitlement or whatever it claims to be. It was not developed by anyone or any group we could identify. It did not have extensive research or studies in support. It made no tests, conducted no experiments, took no measured steps in development. It appeared fully born like Adam and was left on our stoop like an unwanted changeling.

The only thing I can say for sure about this Cyclops — and I know this experientially, not empirically — is that absolutely no one will benefit from this in any way and that none of the predicted improvements will materialize. It is not in the nature of things for sloppy people to do sloppy work and create a sloppy product which then produces fabulous results.


The feel-good story of the year featured a group of over thirty miners in Chile trapped underground for weeks. Through a miracle of international cooperation, the right people and the right machines were brought to bear on the problem, with happy result. This was what a world of individual initiative looks like.


Unfortunately, it probably comes too late to convince the Western world that salvation is the end result of freedom. Too many years of propaganda have convinced them that free rein brings the fall, and that Heaven is on the side of the Engels.


The daughter of the Clintons married a Jew in a multi-denominational service that denominated nobody and served nobody. It provided a model for religion as the collected vague thoughts of superficial people trying to ponder matters of the spirit without heavy lifting. The notion that there is no one below government who knows what he is doing thus becomes wedded to the notion that there is no One above government who knows what He is doing.


Harry Reid won an election in the state of Nevada despite presiding over the squandering of trillions of dollars, thousands of thousands of millions, on his personal hunches without solid evidence.

Bernard Madoff went to jail for taking a few billion dollars from people for safekeeping and squandering it on his personal hunches without solid evidence.


The Yankees were eliminated in the playoffs and George Steinbrenner went to Heaven anyway. Michael Vick’s career, once gone to the dogs, began to soar on the wings of Eagles. LeBron James forsook the city of Cleveland, prompting its citizens to compare him to his late brother Jesse.


The Republicans won the House and blocked the Democrats in the Senate for cloture but many Americans lost their houses to foreclosure. America came to its census and moved away from New York to Florida. And don’t look now, but Jerry Brown has been reelected Governor of California.


Iran caught a virus and Greece is a riot. Argentina lost its shadow President and Venezuela lost its shadow citizenry. Afghanistan can’t control its surges while Pakistan can’t control its boarders. Israel froze its freeze and North Korea was contemplating a Korea change.


The world is still a dangerous place which resists the blandishments of men for melioration. As far as I am concerned, this would be a good moment for the Messiah to enter… even stage left, if that’s what it takes. Farewell to 2010, a mixed bag indeed.

Happy New Year 2011!

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