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From Us, the Bitterati



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I have done what I said I wouldn’t do, and certainly didn’t want to do: I have written another “Bitterfest.” Four years ago, after the election, I wrote “Bitterfest ’08.” And now: “Bitterfest 2012.”

A small sampling of mail — starting with a note about taxation. In my column — my “Bitterfest” — I write,

“Reality will assert itself,” you may well say. As Obama had to deal with terrorists, he will have to deal with the debt, with entitlements, and so on. There’s no way around it. Margaret Thatcher liked to say, “The facts of life are conservative.”

I don’t know. For some, soaking the rich — a.k.a. “fairness” — is the highest priority, no matter the economic consequences.

A reader writes,

I have a very good friend who is a hard lefty. While discussing politics with him once, I tried to establish some common ground. I asked if we could agree that any taxation that demonstrably reduced revenue was too high. He thought for a minute and then answered that, no, removing money from the hands of the rich was a good in itself, regardless of the revenue raised. He believes that making the wealthy less wealthy is a sufficient reason for taxation.

One reason I reproduce the above note is that I have met many, many such people in my life.

Here’s a note from a friend and colleague of mine from Macedonia:

The whole string of countries from Estonia through Poland and Hungary and then down to us are developing into work-in-progress but still solid free-market countries, on account of being liberated at a time when the U.S. still exported freedom. Anyone planning on leaving the U.S. can choose a city with fine opera.

A reader from Wisconsin said he was having “a Michelle Obama moment” — but a Michelle Obama moment in reverse: For the first time, he was ashamed of his country.

We have done this with our eyes wide open. How are we anything but a decade or two behind Europe? [Meaning France or Greece, not Estonia.] And how is my Marine aviator son supposed to serve proudly and boldly under a craven commander-in-chief? Especially after Benghazi?

That is a cri de coeur, not so light. This next is both light and dark: You remember how Obama once accused people like you and me of clinging to guns and religion. Well, a lot of people are doing that: clinging as never before (particularly to religion).

He’s got our number. He knows us well.

I ought to end with a ray of hope — and here it is. Some days ago, Biden encountered a man on the campaign trail in Florida. The vice president said, “Are you Indian?” The man said, “American!”

My kind of fellow citizen.



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