We Should All Be a Little Cranky

Recently, I was called cranky in an article posted at the Huffington Post. The good news is that it's one of the few times that anything approaching the truth has been posted there. The part I resented, though, was having my crankiness attributed to age. The fact is I was a precocious curmudgeon. But the question that springs to mind is why more people aren't cranky these days when there is so much to be cranky about.



For instance, it used to irk me that Carl Bernstein, a rather minor footnote in America's history, who only came to prominence because an anonymous snitch chose to pass along secrets to him and Bob Woodward, was depicted in two major motion pictures, "All the President's Men" (Dustin Hoffman) and "Heartburn" (Jack Nicholson), when so many more deserving people haven't been featured in any. But that pales when compared to the number of movies that have glorified Che Guevara, a blood-thirsty villain. In addition to numerous TV productions, he has shown up in "Che!" (Omar Sharif), "Evita" (Antonio Banderas), "Motorcycle Diaries" (Eduardo Noriega Gael Garcia Bernal) and "Che: Parts One and Two" (Benecio Del Toro).

Because I listen to a lot of talk radio, I keep coming across Christopher Hitchens. I should first confess to being envious. The fact that he has managed to become a best-selling author by promoting himself as the fellow who thinks religion is a terrible thing truly boggles my mind. Why, I keep asking myself, are people buying his book? I'm not suggesting he's not entitled to his opinion, but why on earth does anybody care what Hitchens thinks about religion? I mean, are there some religious people who are going to become atheists because of anything he says? Frankly, I have this feeling that he protests a little too much, and that on his death bed, he'll hedge his bet by calling for a minister, a priest, a rabbi, an imam and a witch doctor.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've come across a few surveys that got my attention. In one, it was found that 41% of women in their 20s would marry for money, 74% of women in their 30s and over 60% of women who were 40 or older. The man's looks were of little or no concern, but he had to have at least $2.5 million. It wasn't that love didn't matter to the ladies, but it was love of money.

That reminded me that several years ago, there was a survey conducted by a woman's magazine -- perhaps the Ladies Home Journal -- that asked mothers of all ages if, having it all to do over again, they would still opt to have children. By a whopping margin, they said not a chance.

The ladies, it seems, aren't the great romantic nest-builders their publicists would have us think they are. I choose, however, to believe that most of these money-grubbing, embittered females are liberals. After all, in spite of all the whining about sexual harassment in the work place, you never heard liberal women complaining about serial womanizers such as Sen. Robert Packwood, Sen. Ted Kennedy or President Bill Clinton. In fact, they delighted in nailing the hides of such female whistle-blowers as Linda Tripp, Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick and Gennifer Flowers to the barn door. And when it came to Sarah Palin, they happily provided the lynch rope.

Another thing about liberals that points out their hypocritical double-standard is how they rejoice in canonizing whistle-blowers, but only when the whistle is blown on someone whose politics they oppose. When they thought they could use Valerie Plame to bring down Karl Rove or Dick Cheney, the New York Times covered the story as if it was the crime of the century. When it came out that the minor culprit was Richard Armitage, the story vanished along with the morning dew.

It is ever thus with liberals. Years ago, actor Cliff Robertson blew the whistle on studio executive David Begelman, who had forged Robertson's name on a check. It later turned out that Begelman had victimized several other people along the way. So, naturally, Hollywood, a town with a pimp's sense of decency, rallied to Begelman's defense and turned on Robertson with a vengeance, blacklisting him as a warning to others.

Even if you gave liberals the answers on an ethics exam, they'd fail. Take the United Nations for example. Fifty-seven percent of those on the left regard the U.N. as an ally of America, while only 15% of conservatives share that delusion.

Overall, a mere 53% of Americans think capitalism is a better system than socialism. One out of five actually favors socialism, while 27% can't make up what passes for their minds. I think it's a pretty safe guess that the overwhelming majority of the 53% are conservatives who were wise enough to recognize Barack Obama for what he has proven to be.

One of the scariest numbers I came across the other day was that 9% of Americans believe that Congress has the constitutional right to raise taxes retroactively. I realize that means 91% disagree, but 9% translates to nearly 30 million people and, I'm willing to wager, includes just about everyone in academia and the mainstream media!

When you see numbers like that, it's no wonder that there wasn't greater outrage when President Obama, after declaring how arrogant America is, said nice things to Mahmud Ahmadinejad, reached out to "moderates" in the Taliban, and curtsied to King Abdullah.

BurtPrelutsky@aol.com

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