Living in American Freedom | The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Living in American Freedom
Ben Stein
by

Saturday

So, I see there is wild turmoil in Turkey. There has been another mass killing by ISIS in France. The whole world is on edge. But here I sit at my computer keyboard looking eastward over Lake Pendoreille. The sun is peeking through the clouds. There is one small blue motorboat in my line of sight. Otherwise, it’s just mile after mile of water and mountains and blue gray skies.

I’m worried about the future of this glorious America. I am worried about the whole human race. But we’re all going to die anyway, so here’s what I am thinking about right this second:

A few feet from where I am sitting lies my wife, Alex, my only wifey. She has not been feeling well for months but she seems to have a few good days up here. She loves the mountain air and the birds and the water and she is asleep now. She is so peaceful and happy in her sleep. Sleeping the sleep of the blessed.

I worry about everything, but then I think, “I have the finest woman I have ever met as my wife. I never had a clue that there could be such a fine woman as my wife. She has no meanness of spirit in her whole spirit and soul. She does not know envy or jealousy or grudges. She is a divinity.

“How did it happen,” I ask myself, “that I got to have such a nearly perfect wife? Why did the Lord God do that for me?”

It was pure grace, the gift of the living, personal Lord that runs my life. I have every flaw known to existence, but God gave me a wife who can and does forgive everything.

Then, I think, it’s also America. God let the Steins, who would otherwise have been hunted and haunted and tortured and murdered in Europe live and flourish in America, and especially right now in the most beautiful spot on this planet, Sandpoint, Idaho.

The Nazis came. The Cossacks came. The Croatians came and every kind of killer, after the Jews. The Hamas and the terrorists are still killing everywhere they can get their hands on a Jew. And I am looking out at Lake Pendoreille.

How can I ever be grateful enough, to the British, to the Red Army, above all, to the Americans who fought and died to keep America free?

There is no phrasing, no spelling, no eloquence that touches the beauty of life in America.

My son, Tommy, and daughter-in-law, The Kitten, and granddaughter, Coco, all live in Greenville, South Carolina, and they live in peace and plenty, too.

My brilliant sister and her family live in Brooklyn and they live in American freedom, too. Glory be.

And now, the political season begins in earnest and it will be dramatic. But I get to watch it from the vantage point of history: there is a lot of ruin in a nation, as Smith said. We will continue. And as long as I have my wife, my deity living next to me, gleaming with moral and physical stupendous light, all will be well.

I’ll complain a lot tomorrow, about the economy and about the candidates and the agitators. But for right now, I am in a rare moment of sanity. I have a close friend named Jane. Her mother was in Auschwitz and survived. She cries when she even thinks about heaven on earth, shimmering, powerful America. I do, too, and I have always lived here. Paradise on earth, life with Alex on Lake Pendoreille, on my Cobalt, eating my pasta, e-mailing my genius sister, strolling through town with my pal, Judah, breathing the air of gratitude. This is the finest place on earth and I have the best wife on earth here in it and on it. Oh, Lord, how great Thou art.

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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