About 10 years ago, Robert A. Hall, a five-time member of the Massachusetts State Legislature, wrote an essay on “Why I Am Tired.” In 2009 his story was on hundreds of others’ blogs – really made the rounds on the Internet – and thousands adored the Viet Nam veteran's candid assessment of what makes an ex-Marine grow weary. Again, this was written when he was 63.
Now he’s approaching his 73rd and suddenly his observations have re-appeared on many of the same Internet search engines.
Guess what? Robert Hall is still tired. The very things that he offered in his thoughts are still much and the same today. As I present what was written in 2009 – with a few updates -- it is a wonderful comparison to compare what was written back then, to how things have changed yet stayed the same.
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I’ll be 63 soon. Except for one semester in college when jobs were scarce, and a six-month period when I was between jobs, but job-hunting every day, I’ve worked, hard, since I was 18. Despite some health challenges, I still put in 50-hour weeks, and haven’t called in sick in seven or eight years. I make a good salary, but I didn’t inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, there’s no retirement in sight, and I’m tired. Very tired.
I’m tired of being told that I have to “spread the wealth around” to people who don’t have my work ethic. I’m tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy or stupid to earn it.
I’m tired of being told that I have to pay more taxes to “keep people in their homes.” Sure, if they lost their jobs or got sick, I’m willing to help. But if they bought McMansions at three times the price of our paid-off, $250,000 condo, on one-third of my salary, then let the leftwing Congress-critters who passed Fannie and Freddie and the Community Reinvestment Act that created the bubble help them - with their own money.
I’m tired of being told how bad America is by left wing millionaires like Michael Moore, George Soros and Hollywood entertainers who live in luxury because of the opportunities America offers. In thirty years, if they get their way, the United States will have the religious freedom and women’s rights of Saudi Arabia, the economy of Zimbabwe, the freedom of the press of China, the crime and violence of Mexico, the tolerance for Gay people of Iran, and the freedom of speech of Venezuela. Won’t multiculturalism be beautiful?
I’m tired of being told that Islam is a “Religion of Peace,” when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family “honor;” of Muslims rioting over some slight offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren’t “believers;” of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for “adultery;” of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur’an and Shari’a law tells them to.
I believe “a man should be judged by the content of his character, not by the color of his skin.” I’m tired of being told that “race doesn’t matter” in the post-racial world of President Obama, when it’s all that matters in affirmative action jobs, lower college admission and graduation standards for minorities (harming them the most), government contract set-asides, tolerance for the ghetto culture of violence and fatherless children that hurts minorities more than anyone, and in the appointment of US Senators from Illinois. I think it’s very cool that we have a black president and that a black child is doing her homework at the desk where Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation. I just wish the black president was Condi Rice, or someone who believes more in freedom and the individual and less in an all-knowing government.
I’m tired of a news media that thinks Bush’s fundraising and inaugural expenses were obscene, but that think Obama’s, at triple the cost, were wonderful. That thinks Bush exercising daily was a waste of presidential time, but Obama exercising is a great example for the public to control weight and stress, that picked over every line of Bush’s military records, but never demanded that Kerry release his, that slammed Palin with two years as governor for being too inexperienced for VP, but touted Obama with three years as senator as potentially the best president ever.
Wonder why people are dropping their subscriptions or switching to Fox News? Get a clue. I didn’t vote for Bush in 2000, but the media and Kerry drove me to his camp in 2004.
I’m tired of being told that out of “tolerance for other cultures” we must let Saudi Arabia use our oil money to fund mosques and madrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in America, while no American group is allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia to teach love and tolerance.
I’m tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate. My wife and I live in a two-bedroom apartment and carpool together five miles to our jobs. We also own a three-bedroom condo where our daughter and granddaughter live. Our carbon footprint is about 5% of Al Gore’s, and if you’re greener than Gore, you’re green enough.
I’m tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses while they tried to fight it off? I don’t think Gay people choose to be Gay, but I damn sure think druggies chose to take drugs. And I’m tired of harassment from cool people treating me like a freak when I tell them I never tried marijuana. Update: People have written to tell me I'd have more sympathy if this was close to me. It is exactly having seen the destruction of alcoholism and heroin addiction in my own family that makes me pretty intolerant of people who are willing to destroy the people around them to indulge themselves.
I’m tired of illegal aliens being called “undocumented workers,” especially the ones who aren’t working, but are living on welfare or crime. What’s next? Calling drug dealers, “Undocumented Pharmacists”? And, no, I’m not against Hispanics. Most of them are Catholic and it’s been a few hundred years since Catholics wanted to kill me for my religion. I’m willing to fast track for citizenship any Hispanic person who can speak English, doesn’t have a criminal record and who is self-supporting without family on welfare, or who serves honorably for three years in our military. Those are the citizens we need. Update: A few people have taken this to indicate some bias against Catholics, based on events 400 years ago. While I think they are either too touchy or fail to understand, I was only trying to say that I have zero problem with Catholics wanting to come to the US, but that I have great concerns about Muslims, as a good % of them do want to kill me, or force their religion and moral code on me.
I’m tired of latte liberals and journalists, who would never wear the uniform of the Republic themselves, or let their entitlement-handicapped kids near a recruiting station, trashing our military. They and their kids can sit at home, never having to make split-second decisions under life and death circumstances, and bad mouth better people than themselves. Do bad things happen in war? You bet. Do our troops sometimes misbehave? Sure. Does this compare with the atrocities that were the policy of our enemies for the last fifty years—and still are? Not even close.
So here’s the deal. I’ll let myself be subjected to all the humiliation and abuse that was heaped on terrorists at Abu Ghraib or Gitmo, and the critics can let themselves be subject to captivity by the Muslims who tortured and beheaded Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, or the Muslims who tortured and murdered Marine Lt. Col. William Higgins in Lebanon, or the Muslims who ran the blood-spattered Al Qaeda torture rooms our troops found in Iraq, or the Muslims who cut off the heads of schoolgirls in Indonesia, because the girls were Christian. Then we’ll compare notes. British and American soldiers are the only troops in history that civilians came to for help and handouts, instead of hiding from in fear. UPDATE: It has rightly been pointed out to me, several times, that I should have included Canadian, Australian and New Zealand troops here. My apologies for slighting these gallant allies of freedom.
I’m tired of people telling me that their party has a corner on virtue and the other party has a corner on corruption. Read the papers - bums are bipartisan. And I’m tired of people telling me we need bipartisanship. I live in Illinois, where the “Illinois Combine” of Democrats and Republicans has worked together harmoniously to loot the public for years. And I notice that the tax cheats in Obama’s cabinet are bipartisan as well.
I’m tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of both parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught. I’m tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.
Speaking of poor, I’m tired of hearing people with air-conditioned homes, color TVs and two cars called poor. The majority of Americans didn’t have that in 1970, but we didn’t know we were “poor.” The poverty pimps have to keep changing the definition of poor to keep the dollars flowing.
I’m real tired of people who don’t take responsibility for their lives and actions. I’m tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination, or big-whatever for their problems.
Yes, I’m damn tired. But I’m also glad to be 63 (sic). Because, mostly, I’m not going to get to see the world these people are making. I’m just sorry for my granddaughter.
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Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts state Senate. He blogs at www.tartanmarine.blogspot.com
Update: “Someone attached a picture of Robert D. Hall, an actor, to some versions and forwarded it on, saying that I was on CSI. We are two different people, and I am not an actor - -unless you count running for public office. And to the folks who said I'm Old and should die and get out of the way, I have IPF (Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis -- a type of chronic lung disease,) so will comply soon enough.