Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Beltway Elites and the Ordinary Americans They Rule

Life Outside the Beltway

Washington elites, pontificating pundits and media types would be very surprised to know: There is life outside the beltway. Millions of largely invisible, average Americans live there. And these Americans are living lives totally alien to the thousands of so-called experts and talking heads who claim to represent them.

For instance: These Americans, (I'll call them 'we' Americans, as I belong to their ranks), aren't waiting breathlessly for the latest word on high from Hillary. We really don't care what she says, having learned long ago that much of what comes out of her mouth is designed for political expediency, not conveying truths.

We're also not marveling over the new media messiah, Obama. We've been around awhile and we know what all the experts don't, namely, that a 15 minute flash in the pan does not a president make. As far as we're concerned, the job of running this, the greatest country in the world, requires more than being able to give a good speech. And even though some of us wear checkered shirts and have been known to drink beer on occasion doesn't mean we don't know the difference between socialism and capitalism.

Instead of spending all our time dissecting the nuance and context of the latest sound bite du jour, we have better things to do. Like earning a living, spending time with family or just plain having fun.

We have lives that are not dependant on political fortunes or government largesse. We live in the real world. A world, unlike the inside of the D.C. beltway, where hard work and merit are appreciated and rewarded. A world where a man's word is still his bond and Christian values still mean something. A world where acquiring power and money mean less than earning an honest living and the respect of our neighbors.

The latest polls mean less than zero to us. We know that in politics, 24 hours can be a lifetime and there are many lifetimes to go before we cast our votes in November.

We 'invisible' Americans know when we're being patronized and we have enough common sense to take with a grain of salt any pronouncements claiming to be 'for our own good.' We know best how to run our lives, not some yahoo who's only accomplishment was fooling enough of the populace to get elected to a position of political power.

To most of us in flyover country, political correctness is the hallmark of a herd animal - one who follows the group and lets others do his thinking for him. One who is more concerned with group status than doing what he thinks is right. You know who I mean: the guys and gals that appear on TV, gravely giving us peons the benefit of their vast knowledge. The ones who claim the 'truth' is relative yet insist that their version is the only acceptable truth.

The difference between those that inhabit the rarified real-estate inside-the-beltway and us average Americans is, we are held accountable for the decisions we make. And when we endorse or promote a cause or an idea, we do it with our own money, not the taxpayers'. And we do it quietly, for the right reasons, knowing that the virtue is in the doing, not the talking about it.

Here in the heartland, we all practice capitalism without shame and we don't apologize for making a profit. A lot of us still lower our voices to a whisper when discussing race, but we're working on that.

Words still have meanings and we know that relabelling a donkey as a princess doesn't make that ass a princess. We know a rose is still a rose, even if a self-annointed expert says it isn't. We really don't need or want all the inside-the-beltway experts telling us how to raise our own kids, what kind of car to buy, or how to celebrate diversity.

Mostly, we'd just like to be left alone by all the do-gooders who's main talents are manufacturing crisis' in order to save us from them. We'd sure appreciate it if you'd limit your mischief making to inside the beltway and leave us all alone. We can live our lives just fine without your help.

by Nancy Morgan

Nancy Morgan is a columnist and a news editor for
She lives in South Carolina, where she writes "Culture Watch" weekly.

Article may be reprinted with attribution. Bio available on request.

* myslewski

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