Time to Stop Spitting On Your Shoes

The problems we now face are so many and so great as to sometimes seem overwhelming. I was thinking recently that I often feel like I am living in a foreign country where I can’t speak the language. What happened to my world when I wasn’t looking?

When I was a boy of seven and eight, we lived in an apartment complex on Long Island, New York. In many ways this was a magical place because of the variety of people I would encounter in my wandering, and this was a time before we were taught to fear our neighbors, so I did a lot of that.

I recall in particular a boy about my age. He had recently come with his family from a European country that is not important to name here and was having problems adjusting. I hope he had a good life later on, but at the time he was very unhappy and overly sensitive. Given my age, I was only made aware of that fact by his mother who would rush over during his frequent confrontations to pull him away and tell us so. “He doesn’t understand. He doesn’t understand,” she would repeat.

What made him more memorable was that he would spit. Not like a ball player, at the ground, but at your face. It was disconcerting for an eight-year-old. And then, if you took a swing at him, he would cry.

He would also say all sorts of things that you knew were epithets or curses, but you did not understand. At this time, I was possessed of a very small vocabulary of such words. “Stupid” was a favorite. “Dumb” was another. I felt inadequate to the task of retorting. Likely as not, I took another swing.

Another inadequacy was my spitting ability. I tried, but usually got the result on my shoes, on my own shirt, or perhaps no further than the end of my chin.

I have acquired a fairly large vocabulary of unpleasant words and phrases since those days, but I still can’t spit worth a damn. The importance of being aware of this inadequacy is for the judging of your choice of responses. You don’t want to get your answers all over your shoes. And you really don’t want to be taking a swing, unless they swing first, no matter how appropriate or satisfying it may feel. That’s a loser’s game. 

More importantly, I know that if I lose my temper, all those fancy expressions of disdain will suddenly be lost to mind, and I’ll be left with something that does not reach its mark. Oscar Wilde and Dorothy Parker would be ashamed of such verbal deficiencies.

But the problems we face as a nation deserve more than derogatory epithets. The anger I feel may not be easily expressed in words, but words are not the only recourse. Too many of those who are destroying my world simply do not understand. Epithets and cursing as much as spitting and swinging can be counterproductive.

The relative value of voting has been greatly damaged by fraud and immoral political hacks, but it is the only ultimate recourse and must be made secure. Voting where it will be fairly counted, especially in local government contests, is crucial. 

Withdrawing support from those politicians who are more concerned for their own careers than for the good of the country is a positive step forward. Taking control of the local school committee and town government is an achievable goal. Supporting any politician who does not appreciate these facts is a waste of time.

Buying products from companies and countries that support your enemies in order to save a buck is self-defeating. Perhaps you can’t cut them all out or be perfectly consistent, but you can at least let some of them know. For instance, companies currently supporting environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies may not be giving money directly to the Democratic Party, but they might as well be. Talk to your local bank about it.

Republicans such as Senators Mitt Romney of Utah and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina are not worth supporting. They are Democrats when it counts. One good barometer of that kind of mentality can be gauged by who supports sending money and supplies to Ukraine, a dictatorship that will turn on us whenever we stop feeding it.

When someone starts talking about “equity,” head for the door. That Marxian concept has no place in a free republic, nor do any of the other socialist support words such as “hate speech” and “open borders.” “Diversity” is the last thing big government wants or needs, and using the term while eliminating our distinctions as individuals is a blind. Freedom of speech is an absolute standard in a free society.

The murder rate in cities that limit gun ownership belies any attempt at justification. When the police are restricted from law enforcement by liberal courts, the right to bear arms is the last line of home defense. Meanwhile, the open borders crowd have got their cheap labor—sweatshops and child labor have blossomed in every state of the Union—while fentanyl and other drugs manufactured in China along with the viruses that kill us, flood in.

Any attempt to stop energy self-sufficiency is a good spotlight on those who would do us harm. There is no excuse for halting pipelines in favor of hauling fuel by truck or train. There is no reason to ship our resources—be they fuel or minerals or timber—to a nation which has avowed our defeat. Atomic energy is by far the cleanest means of production, so a block on that is a quick tell of who is not a friend.

The idea there is any good reason to enslave workers in Third World countries to supply the raw materials for the batteries in our cars is beyond a bad joke. Understand right now that buying an electric car is part of a mercantilism that is as bad as supporting the cotton trade in the antebellum South.

Fifty years of solar energy has produced solar cells and wind turbines made by China, with a continuing subsidy from the United States, that only work in good weather—but even then, not very well. Sure, it’s cheap to glaze your roof with your gray cells, but don’t forget to have a backup, or to pay your higher taxes. And remember, those disposal costs are a bummer for the environment as well.

The last two generations have been well-schooled in the regime’s lexicon of newspeak. As a group they are deaf to objections so long as the music keeps playing. Without a knowledge of their own history, but steeped in the broth of the socialist agenda, they are often as unable to express themselves to their parents as their parents are to them. You can’t fight your own children.

Some say, be quiet and hope for the best.

But what will you say when they tell you to move to smaller quarters, or to take public transportation and get rid of your car? You still have a chance to speak today. You won’t tomorrow. And there is no use cursing about it. You don’t speak their language.

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About Vincent McCaffrey

Vincent McCaffrey is a novelist and bookseller. Visit his website at www.vincentmccaffrey.com.

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