Day trip to Simi

We’re down in Southern California for Spring Break, so we’re doing some SoCal stuff.  Today’s outing was to the Reagan Library in Simi Valley.  My only other visit had been more than a decade ago, and two things were different since that last trip.  First, on this trip, I wasn’t a hostile Democrat laughing at him.  Second, they hadn’t yet built this amazing glass walled hangar around Air Force One.  Both of these changes made it a much better, more interesting visit.

I actually thought, going in, that the thing that would interest me most was the display of dresses from Nancy Reagan’s closet.  I discovered, though, that while my politics may have changed, my clothing sense hasn’t.  I didn’t like her clothes then, and I don’t like them now.  They simply don’t appeal to me aesthetically.

What I found most moving was the footage of the assassination attempt on Reagan.  As I blogged once before, that occurred when I was a student at Berkeley.  I vividly remember people around me celebrating, not his survival, but the act of the attempt.  Any disappointment they felt wasn’t with a crazy man trying to destroy the political process, or with four men, including the President, getting shot, but with the assassin’s failure to get the job done.

I mindlessly repeated those sentiments when I came home from Berkeley and my parents, appropriately, scolded me something awful.  It was their moral outrage that reminded me that, whether I believed in Reagan’s politics (and I didn’t at the time), all life is valuable, and that the political process is invaluable.  An attack on either is a blow to the heart of what makes us a free nation.  I learned my lesson and had the decency to be embarrassed by my initial response.

Anyway, watching the footage again was almost viscerally upsetting, and that despite the passage of 27 years.  I felt the emotions I should have felt in 1981, but was too politically blinded to feel then.

I was also impressed by the Secret Service. As I said to my children afterwards, only the Secret Service and the Marines are trained, in a non-combat situation, to run to the gun, not away from it.  I mean, normal people, when they hear shots fired, get the heck out of Dodge.  The Secret Service, however, sees men throwing their own bodies in the line of fire to protect the President.  It’s quite amazing.

My only complaint about the Library was that it was a little over the top in its adulation.  I understand that the entire point of the place is to memorialize Reagan (and Nancy), but it was so extreme that it sacrificed some credibility.  I certainly don’t mean that it should have been a place filled with jaded, jaundiced viewpoints, but it would have been more interesting if it had some exhibits showing the criticism he weathered.  As it was, it was a little to close to a shrine for intellectual comfort.

It was a long day and my bed is singing a siren song — and that’s saying something, since it’s about the most uncomfortable bed you can imagine.  I must be really, really tired to want to retire to it.

I’ll catch up with you all tomorrow.

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Comments

  1. Marguerite says

    ‘I mindlessly repeated those sentiments when I came home from Berkeley and my parents, appropriately, scolded me something awful.’

    In case you have a boring moment on your vacation, BW: I’m wondering what do you think drove you – and others – to those twisted sentiments in your leftist past? There are people who express glee that Tony Snow has cancer and they hope he dies. I was disgusted with Bill Clinton’s vulgar behavior and his wife’s accommodation (not to mention their politics) but can’t remember feeling or thinking that I hoped he/they would suffer harm or die. I’m betting that there is a self-righteousness that drives the left’s worldview. Am I kidding myself that I’m not self-righteous in being joyful every time I hear that some of the perps of 9-11 have been killed?

  2. says

    Marguerite, it’s very simple. Although the Left refuses to use the term “evil,” because it’s a term with moral connotations, the Left in fact lives in a binary world, that can be broken down into people of whom the Left approves and evil people. So, part of the glee is the, without ever using the “E” word, Leftists know that evil people deserve to be punished.

    Also, as 20th Century history illustrates, on the Left, enemies of the state deserve to be purged. That is, you don’t need to change their minds or let them be free as long as they leave you alone, or any other free market, libertarian concepts. Instead, you have a duty to the State to destroy them (as the Nazis destroyed Jews, Christians, Gays, the mentally ill, Communists, etc., and as the Soviets destroyed the Kulaks, and as the Chinese and Cambodians destroyed the educated).

    Reagan was an enemy of the Left, he was therefore evil, and it was therefore appropriate to wish for and cheer his destruction. It’s a sickeningly inhumane attitude when seen from the outside looking in, but it makes perfect sense to those functioning within the state centered political system.

  3. Danny Lemieux says

    “….but it makes perfect sense to those functioning within the state centered political system.”

    Is it too strong to suggest that this sentence refers to is those that uphold the Fascist ideal, Book?

  4. says

    Not at all, Danny. People who place all their faith in the State cannot tolerate enemies of the State. In that regard, it made perfect sense for the Nazis to exterminate Jews, whom they deemed enemies of the State.

    Interestingly, those on the Left, with their hatred of “patriotism” try to make patriotism sound like statism — you know, my country right or wrong stuff, which would seem to vest too much power in the State. Patriotism, though, can exist with even the most minimal state power, and indeed tends to be naturally stronger under precisely that circumstance. No one truly loves that which they are forced to worship.

  5. Marguerite says

    Isn’t patriotism LOVE of country? I don’t have faith in my country, but I do love my country. Our founders loved their new country but didn’t put faith in it – right?

  6. suek says

    >>In that regard, it made perfect sense for the Nazis to exterminate Jews, whom they deemed enemies of the State.>>

    “We are the Borg… Resistance is futile”!!!

  7. suek says

    About Simi Valley…

    This time of year, it’s gorgeous. I’d like to own a few hundred acres or so. Come back in a couple of months – June or July and on into the year – and I’d give my few hundred acres back in a heartbeat! It gets dry, brown, over crowded, kind of smoggy…just not a great place. The Reagan Library, however, is at the top of the hills facing seaward – cool breeze even in the hottest of weather. Terrific location.

    I lived in Simi in the 1967-68 time frame. It was much smaller then…. There was Santa Susanna and Simi. Orange groves inbetween – about 5 miles worth. No freeway. Groves from about two blocks north of First St. to the hills. I used to ride in the dry riverbed – it’s not dry any more. People blame that on the groves, but that just isn’t so – there used to be ten – a hundred – times the grove acreage that there is now. I believe the water comes from the water treatment plants – they do a purify job on the sewage, then dump it into the riverbed. Now it’s all called Simi Valley, houses throughout the whole stretch. And they’re talking about permitting another 20,000 homes. I wonder where they think the water in the future is going to come from…!

  8. Ymarsakar says

    Patriotism, though, can exist with even the most minimal state power, and indeed tends to be naturally stronger under precisely that circumstance. No one truly loves that which they are forced to worship.

    In the political science dynamic, patriotism is when a person sees his country as his tribe. Humanitarianism, true humanitarianism, is when a person sees all of humanity as his or her tribe.

    When the Democrats recognize that the only virtuous loyalty you can hold are to victim groups or Democrat ideology, while kicking out people like Lieberman that disagree, what you have is not patriotism: what you have is people that recognize only their immediate family, circle of lackeys, or ideological group as being their tribe. Amoral familism also factors into things.

    Am I kidding myself that I’m not self-righteous in being joyful every time I hear that some of the perps of 9-11 have been killed?

    Feeling joy that people who hurt your family has died is a natural human reaction. A Democrat feeling joy at the idea that one of the enemies to their family, meaning tribe, might die off is also a natural human reaction. About as natural as violence and killing is, and just as reprehensible when Democrats live off the fruits of America but only extend their loyalty to their small ideological group of allies.

    Obviously if you have a family, an extended family at that in your nation, that provides for you, cares for you, ensures you get educated, protects you and your children, that you owe that family your loyalty in return. This is the basic fundamental relationship dynamics for a social human being. But Democrats don’t recognize America as being their tribe or even part of their tribe. They see America as foreign, as a geographic location that holds enemy tribes such as the Republicans.

    In that sense, we have been fighting tribalism for a very long time now. The Middle East should have been nothing new to us. What was new was dealing with the raw and undiluted tribalism of the Middle East, undiluted by American justice or culture or moderation.

  9. Ymarsakar says

    Patriotism, though, can exist with even the most minimal state power, and indeed tends to be naturally stronger under precisely that circumstance. No one truly loves that which they are forced to worship.

    In the political science dynamic, patriotism is when a person sees his country as his tribe. Humanitarianism, true humanitarianism, is when a person sees all of humanity as his or her tribe.

    When the Democrats recognize that the only virtuous loyalty you can hold are to victim groups or Democrat ideology, while kicking out people like Lieberman that disagree, what you have is not patriotism: what you have is people that recognize only their immediate family, circle of lackeys, or ideological group as being their tribe. Amoral familism also factors into things.

  10. says

    I remember it very well. I was in sixth grade and I looked up to Reagan. When I heard he was shot, I was stunned and worried while a few other idiots at my school (we were in PE class at the time) smiled and applauded. And this was not in California, but in deep South Texas.

    The Reagan Library was wonderful to visit. Mrs. Marooned and I went back in 2001 and I wanted to go back before we left to see the Air Force One exhibit, but we never made it :( I’d also visited the LBJ Library many times, especially when I lived in Austin. My mother and a friend of hers took me and her friends daughter to see LBJ’s casket come off AF1 at Bergstrom AFB (now Austin’s new airport). I was too young to know what was going on, except that it was so cold that day I thought my hands were going to freeze off.

  11. Marguerite says

    Of course, it is possible to love my country and be a patriot and also be a humanitarian. By Y’s definition, every time I volunteer to pack medical supplies that are shipped all over the world I am a humanitarian. But all mankind did not make possible my life of liberty – my American forefathers did who for generations past up to this very day have fought and died for it.

  12. Ymarsakar says

    By Y’s definition, every time I volunteer to pack medical supplies that are shipped all over the world I am a humanitarian.

    By my definition, humanitarians would owe their ultimate loyalty to all of mankind. This is an ideal situation and thus should not currently exist in reality. People might try to move their loyalties to all of mankind, but it is extremely hard and very brittle. Blood is still the strongest bond between humans, inspite of all the advances in civilization concerning “law” or “nations”.

    If you saw humanity as your tribe, you might be asked in the future to sacrifice your nation so that humanity may survive and prosper. How would you make that decision? The Associated Press and the Un have obviously decided for themselves which path they will take.

    At such a time, your sense of family and what you see as your tribe will be tested to see where your ultimate loyalties are at. And if your ultimate loyalty is to your nation or family, then it cannot be said that you consider your “tribe” to be all of humanity.

    A person who sees all of humanity as their tribe de facto and de jure, must ultimately sacrifice many nations for the good of mankind. The sacrifice of Germany and many other nations and cities such as Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the good of not only America, but of mankind as well are never done for humanity but done to protect nations. Nations are still the largest and function “tribe” in existence. There is no “human” tribe except perhaps for American freedom fighters that fight to unify humanity’s disparate tribes.

    So long as your nation’s goals and welfare are linked to humanity’s ultimate potential and welfare, then your loyalty is never in conflict. But that’s not true for everybody nor is it true all of the time.

    This is why I say seeing all of humanity as your tribe is the ideal. It is the ideal that might be true, but currently it isn’t because people are divided into ideological groups, political groups, family groups, social groups, and national/ethnic groups.

  13. Ymarsakar says

    The Secret Service, however, sees men throwing their own bodies in the line of fire to protect the President. It’s quite amazing.

    That’s cause if you allow people to kill the President just cause they want to, eventually you will become embroiled in a Civil War. And that would hurt many more people, including the family members of the Secret Service. That is why US Marines and other patriots would willingly die to protect this nation, because it is only this nation that guarantees that their families will be secure or taken care of if they should die.

    That is the link between loving your family and loving your nation. That is why patriotism and being loyal to your nation are both virtues, instead of the LockStep fascist bootjacks that the Left would have everyone think it is. Obviously the Left prefers tribalism and ripping off anyone not related to you in the web of blood and power politics.

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