Vending Machines, Airports & Slogans

by Jay Nordlinger

In Impromptus today, I mention a new item in the vending machines of Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania: the “morning after” pill. Slip in 25 bucks, and apparently that baby slides down. (Well, not a real baby.) In my column, I say, “Remember a time in America when what you got from a vending machine was, say, a Mars bar? Was that a worse time in America than now?”

A reader writes, “I remember a time when cigarette machines were quite common.” True, true. The course of American morality is quite peculiar.

Another subject in Impromptus is airports, names of. Some Democrats are not quite reconciled to the name “Reagan” on National Airport, outside D.C. They choke on that word “Reagan.”

I remember when the name change went in on the Gipper’s birthday in 1998 (so it has been almost exactly 14 years). I was a little queasy. Of course, I had been a Reagan idolater for many years — so much so that a friend of mine called me “Gipp.” But I thought maybe Reagan’s name on our capital’s airport was a little in-your-face, and a little early. There was a Golden Rule factor too: What if the Democrats did something similar to us?

Some readers have written me to say, “What about Kennedy Airport or the Kennedy Center? We Republicans don’t gripe about that, do we?” Well, it has been a long time since Kennedy’s death. And he was assassinated. That changes everything.

When you think about it, though, Garfield has pretty much zilch. And poor McKinley — his name was on a big mountain, but now they call it Denali, I think.

Anyway, Reagan becomes a beloved national figure, not a Republican one, with every passing year. Generations hence, will people know his party?

Finally, readers have been sending me slogans of their devising. Thought I’d retail a couple of them here in the Corner. One reader says, “Here’s a Republican slogan for the coming campaign: ‘Is your tide lower than it was four years ago?’” He adds, “It will grow on you.” Another reader gets a jump on two cycles from now: “A perfect vision for 2020.”

I suspect we’ll be hearing a lot of that, when the time comes . . .

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