Walking Dead


This past weekend my wife and I went to dinner with a couple of friends.  The restaurant was crowded.  When we registered with the hostess, we were informed that our wait would be approximately twenty minutes.  The time elapsed in friendly conversation. Yet a number of tables were vacated and unfilled as we continued to wait. The other gentleman in our party inquired of the hostess why we hadn't been seated since there were many empty tables.  The hostess replied that she had called our name several times without response.  Since we had been standing a short distance from her the entire time, she was either confused or less than candid, I don’t know which.  At any rate, let’s just say that she was sadly mistaken.  But the good news is that we were seated immediately. The rub was that she and her wait staff were offended by my friend’s "impatience." Once seated at the table, he allowed himself a brief moment of stern reflection, only to express exactly what I myself was thinking and feeling.  “Nothing in this damn society works anymore! I don’t care who I offend,” he exclaimed. “If I don’t receive decent service, I plan to complain, and I will think nothing of ‘dressing down’ a person who gives me a hard time about it.” Many of you have probably had the same kind of experience I’m describing although you’ve remained silent, thinking there's no reason to make a scene.  When the bill is left on the table, you add a hefty gratuity, as if to say, “Thanks for the poor to mediocre service.” 

I wouldn’t mention this experience if it weren’t, in microcosm, a reflection of what has been happening all around me lately.  The following are experiences my wife and I have had during the last three months as we’ve prepared to move from one city to another:  

  • a title company waited until the day of closing to inform us that no survey of the property was on file;
  • a realtor  representing a  buyer of our home failed  to disclose to us or to our agent that the buyer would not be able to  close on the transaction, which failure resulted in our detrimental reliance upon everything being a “done deal;”
  • our house did not pass a hydrostatic plumbing test, because a drain hadn’t  been identified and capped by the plumber, resulting in the expenditure of increased time and money for additional testing;
  • insurance was recommended by our agent to pay for pre-existing, but unknown, defects and breakdowns prior to closing, but the company refused to pay our claims on the ground that they were – now get this – “pre-existing  conditions,”  and
  • 250-pound movers arrived at our house, sat down on a planter in the entry way to rest their aching feet and backs, and cracked the wood of the fixture.

Let me emphasize that this list of mishaps, obviously occasioned by incompetence, is only a partial one, severely abbreviated. When my wife described to her sister-in-law in graphic detail much of what has happened to us in recent months,  she in turn labeled our experience “the move from Hell.” It couldn’t have been phrased any better than that. 

But, as you know, I tend to be the philosophical type and am wondering, “Are all these occurrences mere anomalies, a series of isolated events, or do they point to a deeper reality?” They do, in my judgment, signal something else; i.e.,  many people don’t care much about the quality of their work product anymore.  As long as they receive a paycheck, they see no need to strive for stellar performance.  A job well done is a lost virtue. Hold this thought for a moment, and ask yourself whether it may have political implications. 

Certainly it does.  The government spies on us; leaves an American ambassador and his entourage in harm’s way to be murdered and is thereafter dismissive of the fact (“What difference does it make . . . how  they died?”); fails to enforce border security; incurs a national debt that will never be repaid; drastically increases welfare spending; passes a healthcare bill that most legislators did not so much as read; makes allowances for bastard organizations like La Raza Unida, the NAACP, and the American GI Forum which continue to play “the race card” while demanding selfish entitlements; and renders special privileges to Muslims even as an element among them tries to sabotage our way of life.  The American people respond to these outrages, as well as to countless others, with a sigh and a “so what?” We are largely indifferent to performance and willing to overlook anything, no matter how grievous. 

Some citizens insist that the government’s missteps and overreaching really make no difference to them.  They ask, “All civilizations eventually fail, don’t they; and, besides, what do I have to hide from the government?” This is a perfect example of intellectual sloth. Civilizations have indeed failed, because the people within them have taken the same lackadaisical attitude as this, an attitude which invariably ends in societal collapse.

That an individual has nothing to hide from the government is irrelevant. It is amazing how creative “big brother” can be if and when he decides to destroy you.  Stitching together telephone numbers and emails, along with a few photos from camera surveillance, can present a grossly misleading profile and be used to one's everlasting detriment. 

One thing I can say in favor of those who take this nonchalant and imperturbable perspective on political matters is that, at the least, it’s a perspective.  This can’t be said for all citizens, as many of them have no perspective on social issues and government at all and are downright ignorant and self-absorbed, if not stupid.  “Moore, Oklahoma” means nothing to them, and neither does “Benghazi.”  Eric Holder’s lies and Barack Obama’s specious promises and explanations fall on their deaf ears, day in and day out.  This group comprise the walking dead of America. Calling them citizens with “low information” is ridiculously euphemistic; they are deaf, dumb, and DEAD!  So why, you ask, are public officials irresponsible? Because the walking dead never call them to task, and never insist that they give an account; that's why!  This promiscuous attitude toward  those who serve us is borne out by Bill Clinton’s explanation of why he cavorted with Monica Lewinsky: “Because I could.” 

I’ve described the problem, but still not ventured to explain its cause. 

So let me shift gears.  When I participated in Little League baseball as a kid, the quality of the play emphasized excellence.  Three strikes and a player was out.  If a pitcher gave up too many hits or walks, he was pulled from the game. The best players a team had took the field and strove to win.  There was disappointment, sometimes even tearful, when confronted by a loss. Yet contrast this quality of dynamic and robust play to what I witnessed in my grandson’s league.  There were no balls or strikes.  Hitters were afforded numerous chances to swing at the ball. The managers themselves took the mound and lobbed one pitch after another to the plate.  No matter how miserable or stellar a player was, he entered the game for a limited time. In short, it was not the game of baseball that I’d known as a boy, but a sickeningly bogus attempt to build self-esteem, resulting in a miserably careless and incompetent level of play.  

One reason, perhaps not the only one, for indifference and poor service is an egalitarian philosophy, implemented as early as grade school, dictating that nobody  can or will be a loser.  This mentality lends itself to a false reality, which aggrandizes the self at the expense of discounting individual achievement and merit. 

Why should it be shocking to us that interaction between people and groups in America is presently burdened with a religious sense of entitlement on the one hand and social and political indifference on the other?  This American mindset is characterized by the fervent belief that each person deserves the very best although he or she may be only mediocre, that fairness means each is entitled to an equal share of the pie, and that so long as a person’s material needs are satisfied no one and nothing else matters.  This is the new public religion of America, to which the nation’s walking dead unwittingly subscribe. The Nanny State becomes their Kingdom of God. 

It’s not difficult for a rational person to refute this creed as the pack of lies it is, but it’s a colossal challenge to reverse years of indoctrination, especially when fueled and promoted by demagogues of government.  I realize that Mr. Obama hates the religion to which I “cling” along with my “guns,” but I do hope he comprehends that there are millions of patriots who view his own messianic socialist religion as little more than debilitating nonsense.  

Now, if we can only awaken the walking dead. 

June 12, 2013