Back to School in Westwood | The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Back to School in Westwood
Ben Stein
by

Saturday, bloody Saturday

So, at 11 a.m., off I go with my pal Judah to attend a gathering of the UCLA Bruin College Democrats. The meeting is at UCLA, always a parking nightmare, but we found our spot. Then a beautiful young woman in blue escorted us to the salon where the meeting was taking place.

The Bruins in attendance were a charming, friendly lot. They all had sweet, intelligent faces, and I was simply bewitched by them.

The speaker was a friendly woman from the Center for American Progress, if I have that right. She is a huge admirer of HRC and has been with her for years. She was also a graduate of Yale Law School, class of ’92, 22 years after I graduated. I can only say the school has changed a helluva lot.

She gave a few pleasant remarks. A few softball questions were tossed at her by the chair, and then I got to ask my question:

“Hillary Clinton talks about creating better paying middle class jobs. Exactly how in a world as globally competitive as ours, with us competing with very low wage nations, with their top grade machinery, will she do that?”

Madame said that other countries had done it, and had enlarged the middle class. She named a few small countries and one large one, Canada, (which I think is factually incorrect) but I am bound to say her answer — as I understood it, perhaps mistakenly — was, “We’ll take the money out of the shareholders’ hides. They get too much money as it is.”

(I am paraphrasing.)

I told her that in many if not most cases the workers were the shareholders through their pension plans, which often owned large amounts of the affected company’s stock.

She said she agreed, but that such meant that the workers would not get the money until they were much older. I laughed and said that was exactly when it was most needed. I don’t recall her answer to that, but I am sure it was great.

As a 71-year-old, I can promise you, we need the money.

I left when a question came up about something and Madame answered using the Democrat catch phrase of the last decade, “systemic racism.”

Wow, do I hate that totally phony, race-dividing, trouble-making phrase. How about systemic law breaking? How about systemic drug and alcohol abuse? How about systemic abandoning your children? Do we ever hear about those? No, because there are no votes in that for the Democrats. Keep up that sense of anger and victimization among non-whites, and there’s where the Democrats win elections.

My pal Judah and I discussed this subject. The black people I work with and have as friends are so hard working and well-disciplined inside and out that it breaks my heart to see them ignored and the trouble makers catered to. To me, the blacks are naturally smart, industrious, and creative. They are natural Republicans and I hope they get into that big tent as soon as possible.

The GOP welcomes people who work and create and that should and does include people of all races.

And nut case leftists, make of this what you will. I am old and I don’t care what you say about me. I welcome good people and I don’t care what color they are and that’s the GOP I know.

In the car on the way to my next event, Judah said another of his many reasons why he thinks Trump will win. “At the first debate, he’ll start out by saying, ‘Mrs. Clinton, it is in sworn testimony that your husband raped a number of women. It’s also in sworn testimony that you enabled him. How can you possibly be the women’s candidate as you call yourself? You didn’t help women. You betrayed women.’”

I had to admit the power of his point. How will Mrs. Clinton possibly defend against that?

Then, off to a rest for me.

Then, dinner with the 42-year-old son of an extremely close friend who has been my benefactor for many years.

The son was in a terrible, horrible auto accident about 27 years ago. He had serious brain injuries and they get worse, not better. Now, his brain is telling his body to stop making enough calcium. So his hip joints are terribly dysfunctional and he is in awful pain. We sat at my favorite restaurant, Sushi-Ya, on Sunset, and he rolled out the list of meds he’s taking. I am bound to say I have never in my life heard of anyone taking so many painkillers, anti-depressants, sedatives, anti-seizure meds. He’s in a trance all day and all night. He cannot drive, so he takes the bus everywhere, which is really rare in L.A.

The government subsidizes his medical treatment at a breathtakingly expensive level. I would guess we taxpayers have spent millions on him. Poor kid. He really is in a bad way, but he’s brave and he kindly complimented me on by magnificent but old Cadillac.

He was obviously on some different planet for the most part, though. Just in a dream world from all of the meds, all prescribed by well-meaning doctors.

I have known him since he was about three, long before his auto crash. He was a sweet boy and he’s still sweet. His mother died some years ago. His father takes good care of him but the state takes most of the care.

If he had been wearing his seatbelt, none of this would have happened. A word to the wise. All the while as he told his horror story, we ate delicious sushi.

I drove the son home and I was in total shock. Life dishes out some terrible punishments for the crime of being alive. For the crime of carelessness.

“I hate careless people,” said Jordan Baker in Gatsby. She added, “It takes two to make an accident.” In the young man’s case, it took just one. (Paraphrasing again.)

I went home to my wifey. She had not eaten all day and was hungry. Generally, she will not eat unless it’s placed before her by me or a restaurant. I made her two medium-sized steaks and she ate hearty. She’s incredibly thin and can eat anything and stay slender.

She was extremely solicitous about my badly injured young dining companion. The whole thing just breaks my heart. I passed out about 11 p.m. and awakened about three a.m., unable to go back to sleep. I watched a 1949 movie with Orson Welles, Tyrone Power, and Wanda Hendrix. It was about Cesare Borgia. Eli Wallach was in it too, and was great. Wanda Hendrix, whom I had never heard of, was stupefyingly beautiful. A southern belle from Jacksonville, Florida, the most Southern town I have ever been in. (I love it!) She was a big star in the ’40s and ’50s. Huge. Now, she’s been dead for decades. She died very young of pneumonia. So so so totally beautiful.

She reminded me of my wife, the world’s most nearly perfect being. How did I get so blessed as to have her? Look up Wanda Hendrix on Google. You won’t believe your eyes. That’s how I feel when I look at wifey. I have said it before and I’ll say it again: most of the world is in black and white. My wife is in Technicolor.


Downtowngal/Creative Commons

Ben Stein
Ben Stein
Follow Their Stories:
View More
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.
o
Sign Up to receive Our Latest Updates! Register

Be a Free Market Loving Patriot. Subscribe Today!