To live at Washington can be very tiresome. Today, a perfectly beneficial nap was interrupted by tweeting blue birds and other electronic alarms heralding the news that Governor Romney had selected young Ryan of Wisconsin as his Vice President. My editors, peevish librarians all, demanded comment. I asked, grumpy, “Is that really desirable?” Informed affirmative, I summoned my tweeting blue bird, who, likewise caught napping and unawares in the heat, acted as does a bear with a sore head.
Well. Tweeting blue birds, I am told, limit a man to forty characters in response—not words, characters. My response to tweeting blue birds is always “are the Japs bombing us again?” “Just what is the urgency to use such truncated code—we’ve plenty of time as, after all, young Ryan will be Vice President for 8 years—that is a great number of characters to send out with tweeting blue birds—particularly in this heat.”
A writer, even in this silly city, must think first of important things in order to afterwards address the trivial, and, I thought, somehow, of Mrs. Tuchman’s master work The Guns of August about the onset of the Great War, from which to draw requisite inspiration in the hellish heat of this, our present August, to offer whispered comment as to this young Ryan anointment business.
At the funeral of Edward VII in May, 1910, the German Emperor, Willy, commented after the service as he paced around the Buckingham Palace chamber in which his own mother, Victoria, Princess Royal, had been born, of the new King George V “George is a thorough Englishman and hates all foreigners,” but Willy allowed that aside, to Teddy Roosevelt, the American emissary at the funeral, “George is a very nice boy.” King George V was, at the time of his accession, forty-five years old.
Willy had himself truly detested the late Edward—“he is Satan!!—you cannot imagine what a Satan he is!!” Emperor Willy further insisted that the strategic marriages planned by the late “uncle of Europe” had been nothing more than a ruse concocted by Edward to “encircle and enslave the German people and Empire.” Germans are very touchy about such topics—see Reverend Luther and, in our day, Mr. Hitler—himself Reverend Luther’s remarkably similar heir–among many, many others.
I suppose I must write this afternoon for a time about America, mustn’t I? Oh, dear. It is a laudable pretence, employed often by writers, to say Deus flectit me manu, however, in truth, my maternal Nana here guides me by my hand. Nana told me as a boy “Giovanni, to know if a man is a gentleman or no, observe him in his treatment of servants.”
I am asked specifically if I “know young Ryan?” This is a supercilious question to ask anyone at Washington, a city in which everybody knows everybody else and nobody knows anyone at all at one and the same time. I have met young Ryan and find him amiable and capable. Far more important, I have observed him at table—everyone here eats in the same restaurants and clubs and, in consequence, it is very difficult for a “Washington man” to avoid being observed as to his manners at table and—the key to it all—how he treats servants.
Only a cad would make mention of Mr. Gingrich in this context, except as sidebar to say that the other Party was salivating at the prospect of my side’s running Mr. Gingrich solely on the basis of his manners respecting the treatment of servants at his table. Everybody here has his stories about that and they are of a type and they are all terribly negative. Mr. Gingrich made the lead over Mr. Romney for a short bit in their race down the backstretch and I suspect that party operatives huddled up and exclaimed “we have all seen this, his behavior at table, and we simply can’t run him—we know about it, the other Party knows about it and the “gentlemen” of the press know about it—we simply cannot run him.” All this as a lessonary to those who live elsewhere and are nonplussed as to how decisions are made as to who wins and who loses horse races in this city.
Young Ryan has exemplary manners at table, treats all he meets with a heartfelt and seemingly ingenuous hail fellow and is a good and fervent Catholic. Americans ought be heartened to know that, next spring, we will be led by two men, Governor Romney and young Ryan, who freely admit to believing, unashamedly, in God, and that will be, as the inscrutable Chinese say–a great leap forward –for America.
In fairness here, I concede that blue birds say to me that Mr. Gingrich has late converted to the One Faith and while laudable, that conversion does not erase the past. Young Ryan—make note—the past is ruthless and does not forget—always be kind and gentlemanly.
It was not long ago that, if a man expressed a disinclination to belief in God, this disinclination was taken as certain evidence of severe mental instability—not to say raving insanity. I pray God we are returning to that recent and happier time before social science and other altogether desultory Deities were offered up to us as replacements for God Jesus. Paganism is, justifiably, its’ own reward—pagans are discernibly, uninterruptedly, unhappy men—have a look at the other Party—which, even when in full power, is always angry—one never sees them smile—even disingenuously , these days.
Of which, two very angry blue birds have landed from the merciless heat bearing with them impassioned notes respecting the elevation of young Ryan to higher cloth—it seems the lad has hit quite a nerve already—even of a hot Saturday. One note, from the central committee of the other Party, a collection of men increasingly now desperate and flailing, screeches that young Ryan will—of course!!—deprive the little dears of their “right to choose.” The fair sex today has a disconcerting habit of avoiding use of the nominal—which is to say the subject—in their missives to me.
I am told by editors—very peevish and hungry librarians at this point in afternoon tweeting for my copy—that “you know what the little darlings mean—their right to choose—well—you know.” Truth is, I do not know and the lack of the nominal—that is to say the subject—as to what rights young Ryan lusts to deprive—leaves it rather hard for me to concede the point of the angry birds from the central committee—whatever that point may be.
But, hark, my dears!! The second angry blue bird is far more direct—in order to forestall this harrowing calamity of deprivation intended by young Ryan—this bird demands that I give money to the central committee. Well!!—at least this missive I understand as it is direct and unflinching and makes no allusion to unmentioned specifics of feminine deprivation. They want money!! I not only understand that message—I agree with it–and—I want money too!! I am left now a boy in search of a real, or imagined, grievance or privation of my own to send begging birds to collect for. I think I have finally undone the riddle as to how a man can become rich writing things at Washington.
As I am employed, for pay, to not address serious issues, I must, lamentably, here switch gears somewhat. Consider, on a far less serious level, free market capitalism as a political construct. I have late sent out, on wings of other blue birds, connections to this proposal that I ask again be considered by the new President in November and now also young Ryan: https://johndanielbegg.com/2012/05/30/heartbreak-in-paradise/
My Party has come to represent to some an unfortunate view of the world taken through the prism of a mean-spirited monetary pinchiness and fiscal flintiness. A most unfortunate view of things!! Among such who appear to hold these narrow and sour spirited views are some who maintain they are as one with young Ryan. I caution him to reject their seductions—for many reasons, first and foremost of which is that Jesus Christ would reject them. Neither Jesus, nor I, are economists—thank God!!–and we are disinterested in fiscal and monetary policy except to the extent that those policies help or hurt the poor–who are His special ones.
I have, in my life, been often asked the relevant difference between our two, principal
political Parties. The correct answer to this is eye-popping in its simplicity. The difference is that the other Party pretends to care about the poor while mine does not so pretend. This means, among other things, that my party is marginally less sanctimonious before God–as the poor are His special ones. To pretend to care for them in order to steal their votes is, hence, far the more offensive to God than the position of my Party which does not so pretend.
This, however, does not leave you or Governor Romney off the hook, young Ryan—kindly attend. Recall your reading on Lazarus who was sent into damnation for having ignored a poor man. Gentlemen—the poor are God’s caution to us—do not ignore them or pretend to care for then—a far higher Power watches and is vexed and displeased. Do not displease Him. My Party represents the primacy of enlightened self-interest—which is swell as far as it goes—trouble is—it doesn’t go far enough. Our country is not, and cannot ever be, happy and righteous if we ignore His poor ones—so—tend to them as He cautions us to do, young Ryan, in your Lazarus.
I hope that when we take all of, what passes for power in this odd little city, in November, and we shall do so massively, we are not showy or gaudy in our celebrations. Many in the land are sorely beaten down and need jobs and encouragement. In many corners of my Party, the vogue obsession is with balancing budgets and eliminating deficits—to the exclusion of all else. While I understand that young Ryan, who has cultivated, wittingly or no, a reputation as a chief proponent of such austerity measures, likely thinks he is doing God’s work, I must caution him and others who stand with him that, in real life, these concerns are abstractions of academic economics best left in classrooms.
I ask of young Ryan and others of his group—what, tangibly, have these things that you propose to do with getting Americans good jobs—right now—the only economic issue of any consequence to the American people? Again, the obsession ought properly to be with nurturing commerce–directly.
In my anticipated system that Governor Romney and Mr. Ryan ought to adopt at my suggestion, the employer will provide a good wage, sterling health care and good, old-fashioned, retirement benefits in exchange for an end to all business tax. The massive new tax base of well paid workers thus created will quickly eliminate deficits and balance all federal, state and local budgets. Young Ryan and friends are admonished that deficit spending of itself is not a mortal sin. What sin there is in it comes when deficits are rung up for the wrong reasons. The issue as to ringing up deficits is not if they lead to an artificial economic construct but rather if they are beneficial expenditures.
George V was my favorite King of my century and he was a nice boy who grew to be a good man. I hope the same will prove out with young Ryan when he becomes our new Vice President next January.
To young Ryan and Governor Romney, I now caution—political reputations are a dicey matter—one is remembered in history for things that, in truth, are rather subtle. One is remembered, in history, very sparingly, or not at all. Set about, gentlemen, to be remembered for having been always kind and fair to the people of America—always.
Gentlemen, the other Party, as was Germany at end of Great War, will be slaughtered, and vivisected, in November. Begin now to be magnanimous and kind victors—never petty. The other Party will be mean spirited—let them—be aware they have no other course. The incumbent executive and at least a dozen, perhaps fourteen, Democratic seats in the upper Chamber and many more in lower House will flip over. The singular strategy and tactic is single-minded in the other Party—and it has been so since at least last October when they realized they were in terminus. Their strategy, their tactic, has been and will remain–drop napalm endlessly on Governor Romney and now, upon you, young Ryan. They have no other weapon.
Understand that the other Party is not evil—it is merely wrong—that is to say–incorrect. Understand also that the victory you will win and savor has a good deal less to do with you than with a massive rejection of the other Party—do not forget this—it is simply their day to die—you will win largely by default. This current ran other way in 2008—that election represented our day to die—nothing more. Now the current has simply reversed. In understanding this, consider that you must always appear to the people as kind, magnanimous and right–that is to say–correct.
The history of your brief interlude upon the stage of history begins now—not in November. Begin—now—to be covetous of your historic reputation. They will hit you hard—desperate men will try anything—dying men will try even more. They are dying. They know it. You must fight them—but in the back of your mind remember that you are pre-ordained to win—nothing they can do or say can prevent their utter, overwhelming rejection and defeat. Fight as needed, but be magnanimous and kind. Fly always above the battlefield as does a good King.
Consider always gentlemen that a petulant blue bird will carry your reputation into history—he will carry forth forty characters—not words—forty characters–forty. What would you have that blue bird bring with him to your history? I suggest you have him say of you, Governor Romney and now of you, Young Ryan: “We tried to always be kind and fair.”