‘And He Walks With Me’ | The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
‘And He Walks With Me’
Ben Stein
by

Sunday

It’s the day of the Emmy Awards ceremony. I am feeling a bit strange about it. For one thing, I used to go to the Daytime Emmy ceremony year after year when Win Ben Stein’s Money was on the air on Comedy Central. That was fifteen years ago. I’m sad that I’m not invited to the Emmys anymore, although I do have a shelf of them in my living room.

Also, I do not watch any shows on TV at all except for Fox News, Fox Business, CNN, CBS Sunday Morning, and — extremely faithfully — Jimmy Kimmel Live. Jimmy was co-host and the real star of our quiz show, and he’s a genius and a great guy and I love him. So, he’s the host of the Emmys this year and, frankly, I am nervous about it simply because I suspect he’s nervous.

Also, I don’t feel well and haven’t for a long time. So, you see how it is.

Plus, I have to work on my tax materials for 2015. I have literally thousands (I really mean it — thousands) of cancelled checks to code as to whether they are deductible or not and this 1.) Takes a long time, and 2.) Makes me hate myself for my carelessness. I mean, it’s a lash I apply to myself. It’s just horrible.

So, that’s making me sick, too. It’s just a bad day. But I know that bad days are a part of life. I also know that feelings come and feelings go. And I know that my problems are tiny compared with the problems of Marines on Pelelieu or in Iraq or merchant seamen torpedoed in the North Atlantic by the Nazis. They’re really small compared with the problems of my fellow Jews in Europe when the Nazis came to town.

So, I’m in the pink. I watched the beginning of the Emmy Awards show and Jimmy was great, so I felt relieved about that. Should the Emmys be a four-hour hate-a-thon against Donald Trump, whom roughly half of all Americans like? I guess that’s what Hollywood is all about. In a way, I celebrate artistic freedom. On the other hand, there isn’t any here. You have to be in the Hate Trump Party or you’re sent to the Thought Police, to Room 101, where you get the worst possible punishment — to be an unperson in the land of celebrities. This is not true of Jimmy, who knows I am a conservative and is incredibly kind to me.

I’m sort of kidding about the PC thing, but not really. The one-party PC nature of the mass media in this country is unwholesome, to put it mildly. Thank God for Fox News. Thank God for the Internet. If not for them, with a one-party media, we would soon have a one-party nation. That’s what the Democrats want and it’s alarming.

Well, anyway, if and when Mrs. Clinton becomes First Thief, I have no doubt the media will go after her tooth and nail. Just the way they did with Obama, once he showed himself to be an incompetent race-baiter.

That reminds me… I just read where Mr. Obama told black people that they had to vote Democrat to show they were really aligned with their racial brothers and sisters. Yes, that actually happened.

Can you imagine if Mr. Trump told white Americans that they had to vote for him because they were white and he’s white? The media would go insane. But Mr. Obama gets away with this obvious appeal to race. HE GETS AWAY WITH EVERYTHING.

Well, I had better not think too much about this. It has made me sick again.

Anyway, I watched the Emmys and then had a late late late dinner with my glorious wifey. She’s been extremely ill and I wanted to make her something special.

So, I sautéed already cooked shrimp in olive oil, seasoned with lemon pepper. Then I made her steak.

She sat in front of her food eating quietly. Then she started to speak, so slowly and hesitantly that she seemed to be in a trance. “I remember Sundays in Idabel, with my Big Mama and Big Daddy,” she murmured. “Big Mama would get up very early. She would make biscuits and shredded beef and fresh vegetables and gravy and…” and here she detailed the meal in minute detail.

“But before we ate, we would go to church. The First Presbyterian Church. And there would be children there without shoes. They didn’t go to the services but they did go to Sunday school. And after church we would have our meal.

“And then we would take a nap. And then Big Daddy and I would get in his truck and go to see his farm and his tenants and we would bring them the funny papers from the newspapers. And Big Daddy would drive all around and look at everybody’s corn and soy beans and then look at his crops….

“My sister and I would go to a play house and put on grown-up clothes and act in little things we made up….

“And it was a simple life and, you know what, I loved it. I think it was the happiest childhood anyone could have had.”

“What were Big Mama’s favorite hymns?” I asked her and she was still in a trance as if she were the Delphic Oracle.

“The Old Rugged Cross?” I asked her.

“That and ‘In The Garden,’” Alex said and then she started to sing, “I come to the garden alone, when the dew is still in the meadow… and He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me I am His own….”

I was just floored. I have known my wife well for fifty years. I think this was the most earnest monologue I have ever heard from her. It was just overpowering. I think she was saying that she wanted a simple life, that maybe the incredibly complex life revealed by those thousands of cancelled checks and my worries that my dear pal would have problems at the Emmys was not what she wants now at age 69.

After dinner, I cleaned up while Alex told me about how, when she lived in the Army base in Ansbach, and her father was on maneuvers (I have to brag — Silver Star, World War II; Bronze Star, Distinguished Service Medal, Vietnam) she and her sister Dale and their mother would sit by the piano and sing hymns.

“In Idabel everything was segregated,” she said. “But I always went to school with black kids on the post. It never was a big deal to me.”

After dinner I put her to bed and then my pal Judah Friedman and I — he’s a giant Trump guy and a certified genius — went to Jimmy’s party. It was a great party and Jimmy is such a great guy that just talking to him brings tears to my eyes. He is as big a star as there is, and as humble as anyone can be.

But we did not stay long. I just wanted to be home with Alex and the dogs. In the garden.

Tuesday

By the way… I have a tiny account at Wells Fargo in Sandpoint. And I am a tiny stockholder of Berkshire-Hathaway, which owns a large chunk of Wells Fargo. My friend, Warren E. Buffett, speaks highly indeed of John Stumpf, the CEO of Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo has now been found to have acted illegally and dishonestly in opening over one million fake accounts with service charges and fees for customers who did not know these entities were being created.

The bank has agreed to pay a fine of something like $185 million to the government for this wrongdoing. It’s also being sued like insane mania.

Mr. Stumpf appeared today before a Senate Committee. On that committee was the conscience of the nation, Senator Elizabeth Warren from (wait for it…) MASSACHUSETTS! She gave Mr. Stumpf, who had admitted it happened on his watch and was his fault and his responsibility, unshirted hell for his faults. “You took responsibility,” she said gravely. “Did you resign? Did you give back even a nickel of your millions in pay?”

Mr. Stumpf was clearly blown away by Mrs. Warren’s fury and basically just said it was all up to the directors.

The bad thing here is that Mrs. Warren is totally right. Mr. Stumpf was a sinner and he should lose his job and he should give back some of his millions. Let him be stoned.

But if I were Mr. Stumpf, I might have been tempted to say to the honorable solon, “Yes, I did those things and failed to do many things. And I will resign and pay millions back. Now, Mrs. Warren, you and your party promised to balance the budget. Instead, you doubled the deficit. You gave your word that your health plan would be budget neutral and would not make anyone change his doctor or insurer. That was all lies and instead, you have basically demolished the health care system. You promised you would improve life for the poor and the black. Their lives are more filled with danger of murder than ever. There are more people on food stamps than ever. You promised that your party would give us a post-racial society. Instead, we have the worst racial hatred in generations. Have you given back any of your salary, Mrs. Warren? Have you resigned? Have you asked Mr. Obama to resign?

“You promised a better relation with Russia. It’s a disaster now. You promised to rein in the Israel-Palestinian impasse. It’s all worse than it’s been in generations. Have you resigned? Have you asked Mr. Obama or Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Kerry to resign?

“I have sinned, Madame and I’ll pay the price. When do you ever have to say you’re sorry? Or does being Senator Warren mean you never have to apologize for anything because you are above the law?”

That would have been nice. The truth that it’s unimaginable is a testament to the terrifying power of big government.

Ben Stein
Ben Stein
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Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes “Ben Stein’s Diary” for every issue of The American Spectator.
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