Taking Stock in 2022 - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Taking Stock in 2022
by

Can this really be? Can I really be 77? Can it really be that the President of this country is a smart but wildly uninformed man with no special distinction in brains or morals? Have we really stopped enforcing laws protecting respectable citizens and coddling violent criminals?

Here is the way I see our 2022 beginning: I still have a great life. I have a fine family. I have air-conditioning. I have a heated pool that I use and love a lot. I have a circle of wonderful friends that I cherish, some, like my brilliant lawyer friend Nolan Rappaport, going back to 1956. Others are as recent as a few months ago. I have a great sister that I talk to almost every day.

I have a fine supermarket near me. It’s called Pavilions and it has fresh fish and meat that I can cook up in minutes. My wife is something of an invalid, and I cook for her every single day, and I love doing it. Tonight we’ll have French toast.

Thanks to the incredible honesty and brilliance of a family named Hathaway and their managers, I am financially stable at least for a couple of more years. (LOL.) The weather here in Beverly Hills is glorious. We have a house in Malibu. The views of the sunsets are unbelievable. The ocean shimmers endlessly. My fireplace crackles every time I am there with a real wood fire made by my pals Leibniz Lopez and Jeff Reyes. I can call my super smart colleague Judah to discuss the politics of the day. My philosopher genius colleague, Ellis Ratner, can summon up insights that stun me hour after hour. My war hero pal, Larry Lissitzyn, is always available to reminisce with stories of our happy times at the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity at Columbia in the mid 1960s. Phil DeMuth is an endless joy to be around.

I have warm, ecstatic memories of teaching at American U in the early 1970s, and at UC Santa Cruz just after that. I recall glowing days working with and for Norman Lear and his deputy, the best friend I ever had, Al Burton. I have been laughing and joshing with Bob and Wlady for more than 45 years!!!!

My beautiful super girl, Bethany, has introduced me to a British TV series called Endeavour. My wife and I watch it every night. Soon we will be done with it and then we’ll watch it again. That’s how good it is. It’s better than any movie.

I had the best parents on earth, especially my father. I got to work for the greatest President of all time, Richard Nixon, The Peacemaker, Savior of Israel. Again, I have a brilliant, witty sister filled with good advice.

I have spectacular memories of happy days at Yale Law School, especially with my closest colleagues, Duncan Kennedy, Dick Balzer, Bob Calhoun, John W. Keker, also a war hero. Some of the most shining memories of my Yale life were with my young friends, Nan and, Nancy, from super elegant families, but modest and unassuming.

College in New York City from 1962 to 1966 was stunningly good. My econ teachers, especially C. Lowell Harriss at Columbia, genuinely opened my eyes to how life works.

Above all there are my stupendously shining wife and next to her, my stunningly handsome son and his uniquely beautiful daughter, nine year old Coco.

I could go on forever. The main point I am aiming at is that even with the continuing crisis of Democrat/Bolshevik rule, life is still amazingly good if you know where to look.

Yes, we have genuinely insane “thought leaders” in Congress like Ilhan Omar and AOC. Yes, our homes and streets are often unsafe. Yes, this is now a society of persons and races and not laws. Yes, even in the most exclusive neighborhoods, crime is still rampant.

Yes, Mr. Biden has engineered a set of rules that guarantee inflation. Yes, our education system has simply collapsed under the weight of PC. Yes, there is no more free speech and the fight against an imaginary racism has killed law enforcement.

Yes, America is run by a cabal of thugs and media billionaires. The America of freedom I grew up in is gone.

But we can fight back with words and lawsuits — NEVER with violence. And little by little, as the good doctor said, “We shall overcome.” Our ideas of what America must be are simply far better than theirs. Freedom is better than slavery.

In the meantime, learn from my best student, Ferris himself. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” In 2022, fight peacefully, but also stop and look around.

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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