By Burt Prelutsky
Monday, November 19, 2007
It’s not true that I go through life constantly irked by the lunacy that surrounds us all. That would be a ridiculous exaggeration. After all, sometimes I’m asleep.
One of the things that does drive me batty is the widespread belief that professors are the smartest people in America. And by widespread, I’m not just referring to the faculty lounges on our college campuses. I only wish I were. But every time you turn around, some academician is spouting off on the op-ed page of your local news rag or giving advice to a politician or bloviating on some talk show. Now it would be one thing if they stuck to the subject they’ve been lecturing on for the past 30 or 40 years. But who wants to hear somebody go on at length about Hungarian poetry in the 18th century or pre-Columbian artifacts? Certainly not you or I and, least of all, his captive undergrads. But if he has a Ph.D after his name and gets to call himself Doctor, even though he can’t even set a broken arm or prescribe an antibiotic, he is allowed, even encouraged, to pass himself off as an authority on any number of unrelated topics.
Something else that galls me are illegal aliens and the incomprehensible way that they’re treated. We not only have churches, but entire cities offering these scofflaws sanctuary. To make matters even worse, we give them all sorts of enticements, ranging from free medical attention to free college tuition. Then, when one of them is actually caught -- even if it’s as a result of committing a felony -- we, as often as not, deport them. What’s the deal with that? It’s not as if Mexico is on the other side of the world. It’s no wonder that some thugs get deported over and over again. Instead of a wall, all we’ve got at our southern border is a well-oiled revolving door. I guarantee you that if we sent them off to Arizona to serve their sentences under the eagle eye of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, when they got out life back in Chihuahua and Jalisco wouldn’t look half bad.
A third thing that gets my dander up is James Dobson. I used to think he was a pretty sensible fellow. He had some sober thoughts to share on families and the raising of kids. But, then, he started getting in the middle of things he should have saved for dinner table conversation at the Dobsons. The last public statement I heard from him was when he advised his followers to stay home on election day in 2008 if Rudy Giuliani or Fred Thompson is the Republican candidate for president.
Now I happen to like Giuliani, but I can certainly understand why some conservatives might prefer Romney or McCain or Huckabee. But to suggest that Republicans stay home and allow Hillary Clinton to waltz back into the White House is not only stupid, but irresponsible. Perhaps Dr. Dobson is unaware of the fact that Giuliani has signed a document pledging to only appoint strict constructionists to the Supreme Court if he’s elected. With three of the nine justices already in their 70s and John Paul Stevens being 85, the next president is likely to appoint three or four justices during the four or eight years of his or her administration. And it’s the Supreme Court, not the president, who decides those issues so close to Dobson’s heart; namely, abortion, school prayer and same-sex marriage.
Finally, we come to Al Gore, who’s been a source of constant annoyance for more years than I care to think about. What, after all, can you say about a guy who is still whining about the vote count seven years ago in Florida, but never once owns up to the fact that he couldn’t carry his home state, even though Tennessee had twice gone for Bill Clinton and had even been carried by smarmy Jimmy Carter?
Recently, a puckish reader wrote to me, asking if I thought that global warming might be caused not by fossil fuels or Al Gore’s overwrought imagination, but by the hyper-sexualization of America. It got me to thinking. Between all the pornography on the Internet and all the ads and commercials insisting we could all be hotties if only we used a different toothpaste, drove a different car, ate a different breakfast cereal and consumed Viagra like peanuts, her tongue-in-cheek theory makes a lot more sense than believing that Ed Begley’s riding his bicycle to auditions is somehow going to affect the climate at the North Pole.
Plus there’s another advantage to promoting this theory. If word began to circulate that Gore’s ultimate mission is to make the Amish the role models for the rest of us, all those Hollywood squirts who want him to be the standard bearer for the Democratic party in 2008 would quickly write him off as a fuddy-duddy and a major party pooper.