Since the dawn of time, the universe has been, and still is, a boiling cauldron of catastrophes without end. It is, in fact, the fire in which we and every other living creature in it is forged. Whether we emerge from it a stronger, sharper steel sword,
or beaten down into a crude plowshare, will be determined by how we face each
What now? Do we cower in our caves and homes afraid to even breathe the air
around us, or do we face it with the same courage and willful determination with
which we endured the thousands of other scourges that have befallen mankind
in the millions of years human beings have walked on this planet? That is our
choice, one that each of us should make for him, or herself.
I used the word, should, rather than must, because that decision has been taken
from us by weak politicians more concerned with appearing to do what is best
for their voting constituency and in covering their backs, than they are in doing
what’s right for the country.
Patrick Henry demonstrated his unconditional commitment to freedom when he
said: “Give me liberty or give me death. Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton, Hancock, Franklin, Paine, and so many other brave men of their time, risked their
lives and fortunes to secure the blessings of liberty we have enjoyed for the past two hundred and forty four years. They deserve better from us than to have that precious gift of freedom compromised, or to see a once booming economy brought its knees.
The same state governors and city mayors who prided themselves on their self-
reliance and independence before NOVID-19 reared its ugly head, are now
pointing their fingers at the federal government, more specifically the President,
for not having sufficiently prepared for this new calamity.
Where were they? Why were they not prepared? Is it not their first responsibility
to take care of the health and well-being of their people? Do they not have access
to the same information regarding diseases as the U.S. Government? Do they not
have emergency plans prepared to cope with just such contingencies? If not, why
not? This is not the first time the world has been under the siege of a deadly virus.
The American people are angry at politicians whose only response to every crisis
is to point their fingers at those “on the other side if the aisle.” We don’t like it
from our governors and mayors, we don’t like it from our congressmen and
women, and we damn sure do not like it from our president. We expect better
from those with whom we have entrusted the health and well-being of our
country. Stop your petty bickering and political maneuvering and do your jobs.
I have no doubt we will get through this latest threat to humanity just as we did
all the others. My concern, given the tidal wave of fear and panic that grips so
many of our people—fed by the greed and lust for power of a few of our less
principled leaders—is how much of America will still be standing after the wave recedes.
The parking lots were full and the super markets were crowded with people
in every aisle, or standing in long lines to check out. Many of the shelves were
already stripped bare, as were the produce bins. I had to go to three different
stores to find the few things I needed. While I waited in line watching the
woman in front of me check out two shopping carts piled high with “stuff,”
I had time to contemplate the paranoia I was witnessing.
What is going on? Why this fear of a virus pandemic over which, it seems,
there is little anyone can do to stop? Thousands more people die every year
because of the flu virus, than has been occurring with COVID-19. And, even
if we are facing the apocalypse, how in hell is over-loading your shopping
cart with toilet paper and hand sanitizer going to stop it? The behavior of the
people in that store seemed to be irrational, unwarranted, at best.
Then it occurred to me. Most of them had to be Democrats; some of the
same folks that voted for Hillary Clinton in the last Presidential election.
They lost, but have never stopped crying about it, or trying to undo the
results through impeachment and other means. I remembered that special
classes to console their grief were set up in our universities and public
schools. It was the most irrational reaction by a group of people to
the results of a democratic election I have ever seen in my lifetime.
In the fighter pilot business we take a more philosophical approach
to situations over which we have no control. Every time we climb into
the cockpit of a high-performance jet fighter, whether it be in combat,
or on a routine training flight, we know that it could be our last. If we
spent even a few seconds worrying about it we couldn’t do our jobs.
An old fighter pilot once told me: “If you are going to die, why
do it all tensed up?”
After the “Two-cart lady” paid for her “stuff,” the cashier rung up the
two onions I had put on the conveyer belt. It came to 78 cents. I handed
her the change and said: “This should hold me until the end of the
world.” That brought a smile to her face.