I’ve been after John Feeny for a while. The first e-mail I received from him–and, yes, I still have it–was on January 23, only three days after Barack Obama was inaugurated. “If I can see the craziness that is beginning to unfold before our very eyes, then everybody else should as well,” he wrote. “Or, at the very least, they should have it presented to them in a clear, cogent fashion.” Amen.
I think it was in June that I first asked him to come on board and contribute here at America’s Right. He was humble, saying that he was just an everyday American and couldn’t do what we’re doing here at AR. I asked him something along the lines of: “John, what do you think I am?” Now, I’m delighted to welcome John Feeny to the group of everyday Americans I am lucky enough to know as contributors to America’s Right. I hope he comes back as often as he can. — Jeff
By John Feeny
Like most common sense-driven people, I live my life on the premise that honesty is always the best policy. In my effort to be upfront, therefore, allow me to begin what I have to say here by according credit where credit is due.
Over the course of the past year to year-and-a-half, we’ve certainly witnessed a political renaissance in this country. The people who consider themselves “conservatives”–those who ordinarily aren’t all that involved in political discourse, simply because they are, by their very nature, the “producers,” workers, and family-minded people of our society–have suddenly been jolted awake by what they quite justifiably see as a threat to their freedom:
Their own government.
Lump me in with that bunch. Politics was always one of the furthest things from my mind. Sports, school, and work were first. Then on down the road my family made up the foundation of my everyday life. Believe me when I tell you, though — the Red Sox and the Patriots have taken up more than their fair share of my life hours to this point, and to a certain extent they still do.
About a year-and-a-half ago, however, in my drive-by associations with the news, I began to hear more and more about an upcoming young presidential candidate by the name of Barack Obama. I’d never heard of him, and the more that I continued to hear his name, the more curious I became. Simply what was beginning to become a degree of “name-saturation” by the media is what piqued my attention, so I began reading up on this presidential newcomer.
Well, without having to go into the detail that would require my having to recite information that everyone reading this blog already knows, I became increasingly alarmed. Seemingly everything for which this man stood and all of his associations were, at the very least, superficially threatening to the integrity of America. I began to read and read some more, and eventually began to research what I began to understand as the politically-leftist mindset. In my never-ending search for materials, I happened upon America’s Right, and in the spirit of the honesty that I mentioned above, I have to give the lion’s share of credit to my political awakening to Jeff Schreiber and his team of writers. They have no idea the degree to which they’ve helped to more fully open my eyes to the very nature of what is taking place around us. It is therefore incumbent upon me to say that I do not include myself in the class of legal and political writer as Jeff and his team; I may have brought myself up to speed in a workman-like fashion over the recent year or so and may contribute here from time to time, but all credit is due to those on this blog. So, as you read what I have to opine, please remember this — I’m just a regular, everyday American like the rest of us.
One of the ideas that I firmly try to implant on a daily basis into the students in my charge is that in life, perception very often is the reality, and sometimes to an unfortunate degree. Because we are all merely human beings and make mistakes with the best of them, we’re vulnerable to making judgments based on what we see in the immediate rather than taking the time to understand and grasp the complexities of a given situation.
I’m guilty as charged, though I do my best to try never to rush in where angels fear to tread.
With regard to what is taking place in what passes for today’s America, however, I feel that there is a very important difference between being perceived as “strong” and merely being a practical, common-sense people and country. There is no question in my mind that it is Barack Obama’s intention to weaken not only this country but also her mainstream, moderately successful citizens. We conservatives, on the other hand, tend to live our lives by the dictates of personal restraint, practicality, and common sense, which more often than not results in our moderate successes in life, whether we’re talking about personal relationships, spirituality, or finances.
Being practical (and by extension successful and happy), though, is often perceived by others as strength, which simply cannot be. It forces others to perform self-diagnostics as to where they’ve gone wrong or failed to step up, and we certainly can’t have that. Not in an age when political correctness is the standard fare of discourse. Remember — all men are created literally equal.
By nature, I’m a pretty quiet guy. I usually don’t have much to say, and when I do, it’s usually in the written word. When it comes to my everyday interactions with people, however, I often don’t have to say much, for the simple reason that–well, at least according to the older members of my family–I apparently inherited the physical bearing of my grandfather, who was often referred to by his fellow detectives as the “gentle giant.” In fact, when I was working on my master’s degree, one of the female professors with whom I worked once came up to me and said: “You know, John, you’re actually a pretty nice guy. When I first met you I assumed you were a jerk.”
Hence the context that I provided toward the beginning of this essay.
And so it is with America. We may, from the perspective of other peoples, countries, cultures, and yes, some of our own citizens, come across as a “jerk” — for the simple reason that what is flouted as America’s alleged “arrogance” is actually hers and her people’s collective ability to be practical and brokers of common sense.
Take national security for example. What, exactly, doesn’t make sense about protecting our own people? Having the unmitigated temerity to do so, however, demonstrates confidence and strength, something that we simply cannot have on the world stage. No, sir. Are we as a nation perfect? Heavens, no — we’ve made some doozies of mistakes, which is part and parcel of being human. I’m not a gambling man, but I’d be willing to bet that we’re even going to make more in the future.
There’s this thing about strength, however. First, strength comes in different forms. Sure there’s physical strength, which many of those on the left side of the political slider will accuse America for having held over the less capable countries of the world, but strength also manifests itself spiritually, emotionally, and in the wisdom that comes from life experience. In short, strength in all of its forms comes as a result of the process of growth and maturation.
And therein, fans of America’s Right, lies the crux of the issue: from where I stand, those who inhabit the furthest leftist edge of the political slider (which is, if you don’t mind my adding here, an important consideration — because as I’ve come to see it those Democrats on the right side of their party are people whose outlook, despite the fact that I may disagree with them on certain social issues, is decidedly based in common sense) are people whose true issues–the source of their problematic mindset, which is, unfortunately for us, in the process of being imposed on our government–that they truly struggle with and are arguably completely opposed to the abstract notion of growth, in all of its forms.
Just as strength comes from the natural process of life and the lessons we all learn, growth also manifests itself not only economically but also physically, spiritually, and emotionally. A blanket refusal to acknowledge any and all of these forms of growth is an inherent component of the leftist ideal.
In short, we are in the process of struggling with a group of people who, for lack of a better way to put it, simply refuse to grow up. Their “demands” are simple – take care of everything in our lives.
Now, do I think Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Billy Ayers, and the rest of them struggle with this issue? Possibly, but not likely. The way that I see it, they’re merely exploiting those who do struggle in this regard and fully intend to try to give them everything they want. After all, to mine the ground in the land of those who perceive themselves as “disaffected” in some way, shape, or form is to mine ground that is, quite simply, chock full of votes and the power that comes with them.
I remember the ensuing initial months following the election last November, when it became more than apparent to anyone who didn’t have a problem seeing that 2+2=4–similar to Winston –that something was decidedly amiss with this new administration. One of my first off-the-cuff comments to one of my colleagues, a man who was just beginning to understand the simple truths with which I had been trying to wake him up, was that we were now being governed by what remained of the late-60’s radicals and that this was not going to be easy for any of us, simply because their time is now, because they are fully well aware that they have only two years to wreak the “change” on America for which they’ve been pining for the past 40 years. In short, I told him, we’re in the process of being governed by the kids.
The look on his face told me all that I needed to know. He suddenly saw a bigger picture and was no doubt beginning to process only the beginnings of the potential ramifications.
Should you have any doubt that we are, indeed, being governed by those who view life through the prism of childhood–a complete lack of any personal responsibility, a sense of deserved entitlements and handouts, those who for one reason or another view themselves as “shunned” in some form or fashion–look no further than the comments of noted economist Ben Stein and Chris Wallace of Fox News. Stein himself said on Glenn Beck’s program that we are entering a period in which the “nice car has been taken away from the cool kids,” and Wallace, in an interview with Bill O’Reilly during which they were discussing the Obama administration’s apparent refusal to sit down with the Fox Network for the deluge of Sunday talk shows on September 20th, claimed that this is the most “petulant” group of people in a Washington administration that he’s ever encountered during his entire career in the broadcast media, a career that spans nearly 30 years. He actually used the word “crybabies.” Wallace went on to contrast their behavior to that of Ronald Reagan, of whom he said: “Say what you will about the old man–sometimes you agreed with him, sometimes you didn’t–but he took it all in stride and as a natural part of his job.”
Wow — maturity. Fancy that. No stamping of feet when he didn’t like what people had to say about him. An outlook worthy of Rushmore, no question.
As I stated above, I do not doubt for a second that it is Barack Obama’s–and hard-leftists in general–intention to weaken those who have the temerity to exhibit confidence, the ability to compete, and strength. After all, that can be darn intimidating. There are a litany of examples that any of us could use in order to illustrate the point that I’m attempting to make, but pointing out the most obvious ones–our military’s efforts in Afghanistan, cap & trade, universal health care, just to name a few–speak for themselves.
Those on the far left do not, on principle, acknowledge the natural freedom and social Darwinism that are indirectly written into the foundation of our country. To do so would require them to step over the threshold into adulthood and accept the inherent responsibilities that go with that commitment. For some reason, it seems to be a much more acceptable course to deal with their adolescent insecurities and inability to deal with the “cool kids” by waging an unending war against their tormentors, either those on the playground or their parents in the house. And this time they’re hell-bent on getting their own way.
John Feeny is the author of the recently published book, Congress Shall Make No Law…Abridging Freedom of Speech and works in secondary education at a Catholic high school in the Northeast. He and his wife, Sheila–who works in higher education–have been married for 14 years and have become increasingly alarmed with the direction of the young people in our society and what that means for the future of our society. They’ve been blessed with one son, who at 11 years old is in the process of giving John a run for his money. John has been an America’s Right contributor since September 2009.
Congress Shall Make No Law…Abridging Freedom of Speech can be purchased at Amazon.com and is currently being sold alongside the books of Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, and Michele Malkin at Patriots Heart Network. John can also be followed at Twitter (JJFeen).