I’m going to share a recent experience I had that will help explain why I hold most politicians, including even those with whom I agree on most issues, in such low regard.
A few years ago, I self-published a collection of my always insightful, often amusing, essays. I titled it “Conservatives Are From Mars, Liberals Are From San Francisco (A Hollywood Right-Winger Comes Out of the Closet).”
Although I was able to get a fair amount of media attention, what with appearances on radio shows hosted by the likes of Ronn Owens, G. Gordon Liddy, Al Rantel, Mark Isler and Michael Medved, the one thing I was unable to get was a distributor. Understandably, they refuse to deal with one-book publishers. Too much paperwork, they explained.
As a result, even after three years, I still had several hundred copies of the book in my garage. I figured that eventually they’d all be sold, and I only hoped to live long enough to see it happen. But then, one day, I was approached by Cumberland House/WND Books and asked to put together a new collection.
Even though I came up with a few catchy titles, the publisher had fallen in love with the original. And, so, it was decided that only the sub-title would be changed. Well, once “Conservatives Are From Mars, Liberals Are From San Francisco (101 Reasons I’m Happy I Left the Left)” saw the light of day, I realized it was time to move on. There was no point in causing even more confusion by continuing to peddle the first book, but what was I to do with the remaining boxes I had on hand? After all, most of the pieces were as timely as the day I’d written them. Then it came to me -- I’d donate them to the military for their libraries and hospitals.
But how was I to go about it? It’s true that I have a couple of old friends who are congressmen, but I didn’t want to place them in any sort of emotional or ethical bind. After all, they’re both liberal Democrats who regard me as a political Neanderthal. Instead, I decided to approach congressmen I didn’t know personally, but who seemed to share my world view. So I started mailing out copies of my book, along with a note requesting any assistance or advice they could provide.
In each case, I followed up a few weeks later with a letter or a phone call.
Before I was through, I had approached five members of the California delegation, Republicans all. They were Ed Royce, Brian Bilbray, John T. Doolittle, David Dreier and Howard “Buck” McKeon. It was like dropping stones down a bottomless well.
That was the situation until I was at a party about a week ago. My wife and I wound up talking to an attractive young woman named Melanie Kreckovsky. In the course of our conversation, we discovered that Ms. Kreckovsky, who was in mufti that evening, was the commander of a U.S. Navy base.
The next day, when it occurred to me that she might know how I could go about getting my book into the hands of our young warriors, I got her e-mail address from the party’s host.
Within minutes, she had gotten back to me with the suggestion that I contact Carolyn Blashek, and even provided me with an e-mail address.
Ms. Blashek, who is affiliated with Operation Gratitude, a non-profit, all-volunteer, organization that sends thousands upon thousands of care packages to America’s deployed troops, promptly took me up on my offer.
This morning, the books were collected, and will soon be on their way to Iraq and Afghanistan and God knows where else.
For the record, from the time I wrote to Commander Kreckovsky to the time that Ms. Blashek got back to me, no more than 15 minutes had elapsed!
After three months, I have yet to hear from congressmen Royce, Bilbray, Doolittle, Dreier or McKeon.
In a nutshell, I think this little tale sums up the very real difference between politicians and the military.