It's that time of year: The days are hot and muggy as we head into August, the NFL training camps are underway, and college football teams soon will begin their two-a-day workouts.
My 2001 Ford Taurus, which has 174,000 miles on the odometer and runs like a top, has non-functioning air conditioning. The diagnosis: It needs a new compressor. Total parts and labor is close to $1K. Fuhgettabboutit!
I am still recovering from some tough times in 2009, and cannot afford to shell out $1K on a non-essential, even though I spend quite a bit of time in my car. September is only 4 1/2 weeks away. The days won't be as long, there is much less likelihood of 90-degree-plus temperatures post 8/31, and some days ought to be nice and cool.
Suck it up. That's what I'm doing, knowing that better days lie ahead, both financially and weather-wise. And that's what many of us are doing during this demoralizing time in our nation's history: displaying fortitude, hoping and praying for better days.
We conservatives are not emotional whiners, window breakers or fanatics who engage in ridiculous name-calling and vulgar commentary like the left does. Let's put it this way: If someone as far to the right on the ideological spectrum as President Obama is to the left were elected president, the left would be exploding with rage — trashing cities, breaking windows, setting fires, and overturning cars. Loser riff-raff types (you know, the 20- and 30- something slackers who are still living at home or relying on Daddy to pay the rent) would be lying out in the street to impede traffic. The blogs and airwaves would be crackling with vitriol. We'd also be subject to excessive use of the "F" word and the usual lame pejoratives -- Nazi, Hitler, fascist, war criminal, etc. that are as predictable from leftists as poop from pigeons.
But we have something they don't: Good ideas, knowledge of history and our nation's constitution, and the ability to articulate our views. Not to mention the fact that far more Americans consider themselves conservatives than liberals. Too, most of us believe in God and try to live our lives accordingly. It sometimes seems as if the level of anger, self-righteousness and scorn for political opponents exhibited by the left stems from little or no faith in God. I believe that those who don't have that bedrock, guiding light in their lives are highly susceptible to the destruction of hubris, anger, and bullheadedness. It's scary what emotions, ideas, and sick propensities can fill the void of an empty spiritual shell.
Millions of Americans are aghast at what is happening in Washington, D.C. I am supremely confident the GOP will take back the House, and I believe Republicans have a reasonable chance of also taking the Senate. But furhter damage still can be done by Democrats in a lame duck session, and Republicans won't be able to get their own ideas into law during 2011-12 with President Obama's veto pen always at the ready.
Meanwhile, here in Michigan, an underwhelming slate of candidates will face off on Tuesday in the Republican and Democrat primaries. Waiting patiently for the woefully failed Gov. Jennifer Granholm to leave Lansing. Dog days, indeed.
Thomas Paine's words come to mind: These are the times that try men's souls. But maybe it's true that adversity builds character and what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Let us hope so.