John Boehner, he of the orange tan and easy tears, takes over as Speaker of the House on Wednesday.
Pundits predict that in his first speech he will most certainly let loose some of those infamous tears, choked up over his success from humble origins and lamenting the loss of the American Dream among today's youngsters, whom he admits he can no longer "visit in schools." (It's just too depressing.)
Well, John, here's my perspective. I too come from most humble origins. I had only three siblings, but we shared beds and a bathroom and had rats climbing in the walls of our house, which wasn't far from a farm machinery dump. We grew our own vegetables, bought $100 cars and kept them running by sheer force of will and my dad's mechanical skill, and worked at whatever jobs we could find. Today, there is nothing glamorous in that background to reflect upon. And I don't try. It pretty much sucked.
But, unlike you, I am not teary eyed when it comes to the American Dream. I believe we have so much potential as a people and as a nation. We have so many young parents, babies, and children living in poverty. We need to lift these people up. Make sure they have food, health care, and an excellent education. There is no reason why this, one of the greatest nations on earth, cannot provide these necessities.
Yes, our economy is in crisis. But George Bush, you, and other Republicans are to blame for this situation. You left us with something to cry about. You cut taxes on the wealthy, waged unnecessary wars, and deregulated financial industries, leaving us with staggering deficits and a collapsing economy.
People are hurting. They are out of work. They are fighting your sorry wars. The luckiest have only lost their livelihoods. Others have lost their arms and legs and their lives.
But, guess what, John? Those survivors aren't crying in their coffee. They are moving forward, they are envisioning a better America, they are imagining their own and our country's future. That's what rugged American's do.
So shed some selfish tears on Wednesday. But know that stronger Americans are keeping up hope for the future. They want to lift up all Americans. And they will fight that good fight. Without tears.