KERN: Change the locks at the White House

The vast family that is America has an heir who’s too full of himself and who doesn’t respect family values. It’s time for tough love. Photo: White House Flickr / Pete Souza

ANDERSON, Ind., January 2, 2014 — America isn’t really a village; it’s a family which, until recently, held core values that were well known, agreed upon, and generally respected. American traditions, developed over two centuries, instilled respect and admiration around the world.

We had our problems. Some, like the War Between the States, were terrible; but the solid core of America — the basics of individualism, honor, accountability and thrift — were unquestioned. Individualism was so strong that it finally, after four score and some years, had to be addressed. And it was.

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One hundred years after that war, America faced a global threat from the collectivist Soviet Union. For thirty more years, it lurked in the shadows and sometimes dominated the headlines. Americans knew collectivism was wrong; it destroyed lives in unprecedented numbers, starved and enslaved entire nations, and sapped strength from the rest of the world, which had to maintain a bulwark against its expansion.

When that grand threat finally fell under its own weight aided by constant pressure of resistance from the rest of the world, led by America, Americans expected a “peace dividend,” where the military, already the greatest force in history, could be allowed to coast for a while, when technologies could be diverted from war-making back to productive use, and where talent and manpower could turn to useful rather than destructive work. To some extent, that happened.

Through a father and son, sandwiched around a playboy, the American presidency generally maintained a post-Soviet demeanor, and the only economic crises were brought about by government’s direct meddling with the economy and some co-option by Wall Street; but Americans recognized this, and protested, sometimes effectively.

Then, in a grand lapse of judgment, led by what can only be described as an anti-American press, a new heir, from an unknown part of the American family, took over. He wanted to “fundamentally change America,” and he set about doing so, interjecting federal government into areas where it had been long deemed unnecessary or unwanted. He ruled without opposition for two years; then, for three more, he ruled with only the lightest opposition; his critics were neutered, afraid of being called racists by the press and his other minions.

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Like a spoiled brat with his hands finally on the credit card, he ran through the family’s fortune and destroyed the family’s credit, putting America into a debt that is greater than all other national debts in world history, a debt that has ruined America’s ability to plan for her future. He has disrespected and dismissed old family friends — in Europe, the Americas, Africa, the Far East, Middle East, and Pacific Rim — and he has courted and supported murderous anti-American groups and despots in hopes of persuading them to hate us less.

What’s a family to do? When an adult child is still living in the family home, but has destroyed the family reputation, offended the family’s deepest friends, shot off his mouth in areas where he not only knows nothing, but has no right to speak, invited vagabonds and knaves into the parlor, and has run through the family fortune, we should do what any family would do: we need to change the locks, while he’s off playing in Hawaii.

Of course, we can’t literally lock him out of the White House, but we can, and should, take away his keys to the playroom, the dungeon, the tanks, the private jet, and the ships. We need to revoke his credit card, and we need to tell our family friends that we appreciate their help, dealing with this wild child. And, since he’s too old to lock in his room, we need to keep him on a short, short leash until he grows up and finds real work, preferably somewhere far from the respectable core of our family. Allowing him to continue to run amok highlights not only his bad judgment, but ours.

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Tim Kern

Tim Kern taught economics for fifteen years, and discovered that understanding life is easy; it’s recognizing reality that takes practice. He holds a music degree, and later earned an MBA in finance from Northwestern University. He has lived across the US, and now makes his home in Anderson, Indiana.

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