J. Matt Barber:
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Life Outside The Beltway|
June 25, 2008
Washington elites, pontificating pundits and media types would be very surprised
to know: There is life outside the beltway. Millions of largely invisible, average
Americans live there. And these Americans are living lives totally alien to the
thousands of so-called experts and talking heads who claim to represent them.
For instance: These Americans, (I'll call them 'we' Americans, as I belong to their
ranks), aren't waiting breathlessly for the latest word on high from Hillary. We
really don't care what she says, having learned long ago that much of what comes
out of her mouth is designed for political expediency, not conveying truths.
We're also not marveling over the new media messiah, Obama. We've been around awhile
and we know what all the experts don't, namely, that a 15 minute flash in the pan
does not a president make. As far as we're concerned, the job of running this, the
greatest country in the world, requires more than being able to give a good speech.
And even though some of us wear checkered shirts and have been known to drink beer
on occasion doesn't mean we don't know the difference between socialism and capitalism.
Instead of spending all our time dissecting the nuance and context of the latest
sound bite du jour, we have better things to do. Like earning a living, spending
time with family or just plain having fun.
We have lives that are not dependant on political fortunes or government largesse.
We live in the real world. A world, unlike the inside of the D.C. beltway, where
hard work and merit are appreciated and rewarded. A world where a man's word is
still his bond and Christian values still mean something. A world where acquiring
power and money mean less than earning an honest living and the respect of our neighbors.
The latest polls mean less than zero to us. We know that in politics, 24 hours can
be a lifetime and there are many lifetimes to go before we cast our votes in November.
We 'invisible' Americans know when we're being patronized and we have enough common
sense to take with a grain of salt any pronouncements claiming to be 'for our own
good.' We know best how to run our lives, not some yahoo who's only accomplishment
was fooling enough of the populace to get elected to a position of political power.
To most of us in flyover country, political correctness is the hallmark of a herd
animal - one who follows the group and lets others do his thinking for him. One who is
more concerned with group status than doing what he thinks is right. You know who
I mean: the guys and gals that appear on TV, gravely giving us peons the benefit
of their vast knowledge. The ones who claim the 'truth' is relative yet insist that
their version is the only acceptable truth.
The difference between those that inhabit the rarified real-estate inside-the-beltway
and us average Americans is, we are held accountable for the decisions we make.
And when we endorse or promote a cause or an idea, we do it with our
own money, not the taxpayers'. And we do it quietly, for the right reasons, knowing
that the virtue is in the doing, not the talking about it.
Here in the heartland, we all practice capitalism without shame and we don't apologize
for making a profit. A lot of us still lower our voices to a whisper when discussing
race, but we're working on that.
Words still have meanings and we know that relabelling a donkey as a princess doesn't
make that ass a princess. We know a rose is still a rose, even if a self-annointed
expert says it isn't. We really don't need or want all the inside-the-beltway experts
telling us how to raise our own kids, what kind of car to buy, or how to celebrate
Mostly, we'd just like to be left alone by all the do-gooders who's main talents
are manufacturing crisis' in order to save us from them. We'd sure appreciate
it if you'd limit your mischief making to inside the beltway and leave us all alone.
We can live our lives just fine without your help.
Nancy Morgan is a columnist and news editor for
She lives in South Carolina
Article may be reprinted, with attribution
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