Purely Political, By James Buckley
I’ve tried; Lord knows I’ve tried.
Tried, that is, to think positive thoughts, to get back in the game, join the conversation, to believe I could help alter the negative results of terrible policy, to absorb what passes for “news” without crying for my country.
But I have failed.
There is no good news.
None. Nada. Zilch. Nul. Zero. Bupkis.
I’ve been turtled up since the November election, but the holidays have me wishing, hoping, wanting, to get out of this funk.
The “news” keeps getting in the way.
For example, the U.S. has promised to pour a never-ending supply of dollars into the Russian “incursion” into Ukraine. Unlike some of my friends, I support this effort, as difficult and as painful as it may turn out to be.
But the situation has me wondering where is/was the international tribunal, the U.N. discussions, the sober remorse of undeclared war and wanton attacks on civilian populations by an aggressive and unrelenting neighbor? Half the world, apparently, cares nothing for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and supports the efforts of Vladimir Putin to crush its very existence.
As for the current U.S. administration, it does show some resolve when it comes to Ukraine’s independence and survival, but nothing at all for U.S. sovereignty or its borders.
Tens of billions, probably hundreds of billions for Ukraine but not a sou for the U.S.? Well, all right, a couple billion dollars to add more notetakers at the southern border where tens of thousands of “immigrants” — invited by President Joe Biden and his Washington cohort — pour over the Rio Grande every week.
This is a policy?
This is a border?
This is a crime.
I know I promised in last week’s column to define a Republican strategy to combat the ongoing and worsening crime situation in the U.S., particularly in its cities and towns and especially the kind of “petty” theft perpetrated by individuals, gangs, and sometimes mobs against so many businesses.
Maybe I can in an upcoming column, although it has become extremely difficult to think I/we would have any impact whatsoever.
A case in point: While watching a show I thought had great promise when it debuted nearly a year ago — “Jesse Watters Primetime” on Cox Cable’s Channel 25 — I had to excuse myself from the TV den.
Jesse’s constant smirk in the face of dozens of videos capturing the unrestrained havoc taking place in grocery stores, department stores, drugstores, clothing shops, variety stores, and other kinds of businesses had me heading to my computer to find something more interesting to watch or listen to.
Speaking of listening, I could not listen to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky as he gave his impassioned speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday to a combined House/Senate (and special invited guests).
Those present continually interrupted President Zelensky, who spoke in hesitant but reasonably correct English, with applause and standing ovations, making it nearly impossible for the unshaven head of state to develop cadence with his plea. Mr. Zelensky too seemed mildly annoyed as the audience broke his rhythm and lessened the impact of his entreaties.
It would have been nice if someone (such as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi or Vice President Kamala Harris) had asked that people withhold their applause until the end. Mr. Zelensky looked to be about to ask exactly that, but he was there to solidify the effort of his diplomats and his countrymen to receive the largesse about to be approved, so he remained respectfully quiet.
But back to Jesse (whose show was halted for Mr. Zelensky’s appeal). Just before the news department broke into his “Primetime” show for the address, Mr. Watters was airing video of various stores in various cities throughout the U.S. where hundred of “shoplifters” were taking things off shelves and walking out without paying, as if the stores were open just to give stuff away.
Nobody stopped them.
Guards (none of them “armed” anymore, as far as I can tell) did nothing.
There were no chases, and, apparently, there’ll be no negative consequences for these raids. On screen, for all to see, was the complete collapse of our civilization, our beautiful experiment in self-government.
Jesse just smiled and made some snarky comments.
Many of those stores will be shut down. Many will leave never to return. Many, if not most, of those businesses are in the poorer sections of town. A couple years from now there will be no drugstores, variety stores, liquor stores, or restaurants in those neighborhoods.
Soon, the same perps whose arms were laden with ill-gotten goods are likely to begin shaking down restaurant diners, snatching watches, jewelry, credit cards and cash from cowed customers, as was once fairly common in New York City in the ’70s and ’80s.
Eventually, eager young “reporters” will be out on the streets of those various cities and towns railing against the cowardly store owners and “greedy” corporations who’ve refused to service their section of the city or town. They will conduct “interviews” with residents who will complain that more well-off Americans don’t care about them, and the “reporter” will nod in agreement.
Yada yada yada.
You’ve heard it all before.
And you’ll hear it all again.
Merry Christmas and, against all odds, here’s to a Happy New Year!
James Buckley is a longtime Montecito resident. He welcomes questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. Readers are invited to visit jimb.substack.com, where Jim’s Journals are on file. He also invites people to subscribe to Jim’s Journal.