The Most Empowering Word

I don't like the term "empowerment," and its liberal application today to anything that justifies pissing away my tax dollars. Like the "I have a disability so you can pay my rent, utilities and food bills so I can sit around all day and smoke pot" empowerment line. I also don't like the word "community," as it applies to a certain race, religion or sexual preference. Like "the black community." What in the hell is that exactly? Is it a gated neighborhood, and do you need a ticket to enter and watch black folks eat fried chicken, rap and vote in a single massive block and only for the Democratic candidates? Or "the gay community," as if it were some sort of alternative planet where gay people sit around sipping Pink Squirrels in apartments furnished out of House Beautiful as they limp-wrist and lisp their way through discussions about accessorizing their wardrobe for the latest Cher concert? This parsing of our nation is incredibly destructive and does nothing to heal the deep divisions among us. It's why poverty pimps like Al Sharpton use them; it justifies his miserable existence, and allows him to paint himself as a leader of "the black community,"something he definitely is not, and which makes me doubly puke when I watch the simpering ring-kissers on MSNBC legitimize the man who brought you Tawana Brawley and race riots in New York. In case you've forgotten, here's a refresher course:

And oops, she was lying and Sharpton made himself a media hog and finally a media presence on the basis of that lie but who cares because we need a guy from the "black community" to round out our lily-white cast so we'll annoint him and forget about his rocky and prevaricating past and ooo! don't we feel good about ourselves and aren't we so liberal and cool and with it and Rastus could you serve more chablis and brie to our guests, please?

We may live in a video world, but words still mean things. Like "illegal alien." Pretty simple term, and one that lights up most Americans. It's straightforward and to the point: illegal, meaning against the law, and alien, meaning you don't belong here. But those who have a vested interest in "empowering" those who sneaked into America couldn't argue the point if that was the accepted label, so they did what benefitted them most; they changed the terminology. Illegal alien became "undocumented alien," and then morphed into "undocumented resident." See, they belong here too, they just don't have the papers to prove it, and your problem with their being here is just out-and-out racism you Nazi, sheet-draped, KKK thug. You flinched when I called you those names, didn't you? Hard to respond to being called a Nazi or KKK thug, isn't it? Did it force you to look down at your hands to see if you had to wash the soot off your hands after the latest cross burning? It takes a heart of steel and the soul of a lion to combat them but you can, if you use what is the most empowering word in the world:


That's right, the simple word "no" can combat even the most vicious of critics and go a long way toward solving many of our problems in America today. You see the word every day: no passing zone, no swimming, no fishing, no hunting, no parking, and what may be the most insidious of all, the unspoken but understood concept in modern America of "no thinking." You know the sentiment is out there, and has inserted itself into the fabric of our nation: I am your elected representative and therefore I am smarter than you. I will do your thinking for you, and to help you along here is a check generously provided from me to you. "Give me liberty or give me death" has been replaced with "give me liberty or give me my check." I'd feel more comfortable about it if these elected philanthropists would cut us a personal check out of their multi-million dollar bank accounts, but that isn't going to happen, is it? They're in the business of fattening their bank statements, so any idea of sharing the wealth (their wealth) is out of the question. Never mind that the monies given to you are actually yours, cut out of a depleted national  treasury desperate for more tax dollars so politicians can bestow more largess upon their ignorant, humble subjects; you, all of us, have bought into this big lie. But you can fight back, using that simple, empowering word:

"No," I don't need the money. I can take care of myself, thank you.

"No," I am not a Nazi or KKK cross-burner. I do not want to exclude persons from locating here for any reason, and certainly not because of racial issues but there is a legal process for it and if that process can't handle the influx then perhaps we should re-examine it and tweak it to fit today's circumstances, but don't lay your name-calling bilge on me.

"No," I do not believe there is a black community, or gay community, or Hispanic community, or any other horse-hockey names you want to tag them with. I believe there is an American community, and that we all live and work and play and prosper within the protection of its borders and our magnificent Constitution.

"No," I don't need more rules and regulations to force me to eat what you eat, drink what you drink or to not smoke or read certain books or listen to certain radio programs. I am real, authentic grown-up person and can make those decisions for myself, thank you. And by the way; I don't need you harping on my children, either, or usurping my parental authority. They are my children and I have the ability to raise them to become responsible, caring adults.

Finally, and for those who are ostensibly running this mad house called America: "NO, you are NOT doing a good job. Your performance these last few decades has been execrable and in fact may be criminal. Back off and let the people decide for themselves once again. Take care of the roads and bridges, the sewage, the water and protect us from enemies foreign and domestic and leave the rest in our capable hands. We are not saying that we don't believe government has a place; it does. What we are saying is that you have forgotten exactly what that place is."

Parents of daughters lecture them to say no when boys become insistent. Parents of boys lecture their sons to say no to their most carnal of instincts. Responsible parents understand the disastrous fallout from out-of-wedlock births, and do their damnedest to prevent them by the liberal application of the word "no." It's not too difficult to make the leap from responsible parenthood to responsible citizenship.

Only we must remember that it is we who are the parents, and not those whom we have elected to represent us.

Lenny Palmer, 10/23/2011


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