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If only our forefathers had used attack ads
by Gene Owens

Thank goodness for the modern attack ads. Without them, we wouldn’t know what kinds of liars, crooks and idiots are being elected to public office.

If you’ve been watching television these past few months, you know that, no matter which candidate approves of this ad, the opponent is either too liberal, too dumb or too untrustworthy to be elected to high office.

It’s either malice or idiocy that moves people to propose the elimination of the IRS monster in favor of a system that taxes consumption instead of earnings.

It’s downright ungodly to oppose a constitutional amendment that would take from the states their right to define marriage. Only enemies of God would oppose an amendment to enshrine the Ten Commandments and other religious documents in what has thus far been a religiously neutral document.

Those who support adequate taxes to pay for public education are tax-and-spend liberals who are reckless with our money. Those who oppose tax increases are voting against good education.

Before the Internet trained our minds to believe whatever we saw on a video screen, people had to vote blindly.

Too bad. Here are some of the missed opportunities for informing Americans of the past about the people they were about to elect:

1788: George Washington claims to be the hero of the American Revolution. But did you know that he desecrated one of the holiest days of the year by attacking the Hessians as they were celebrating Christmas in Trenton? And did you know that it was Gen. Rochambeau of France, backed by the French fleet under Admiral Comte de Grasse, who really brought about the defeat of the outnumbered British at Yorktown? And that George Washington presided over the convention that drafted a constitution without one mention of God in its text?

And by the way, it’s a well-known fact that Washington chopped down a rare cherry tree in his own father’s yard. With George Washington as president, how long can we expect our precious wilderness to last?

1800: Thomas Jefferson says “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time by the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.” Perhaps it’s easy for Thomas Jefferson to compare the blood of patriots to manure, since he never went to war for liberty but holed up at Monticello cavorting with his slave women.

1808: In a speech to the Virginia Convention, James Madison advocated a strong central government. He says, “The most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property.” A strong central government and a policy of land distribution: James Madison is too liberal for us.

1836: Martin van Buren is the hand-picked successor to Andrew Jackson, the notorious high-tax president, apostle of federal power, and enemy of family values. Jackson threatened to send troops to South Carolina to collect the infamous protective tariff, and even implied that he might hang John C. Calhoun. He called armed resistance to federal power “treason and rebellion” and promised to put it down “when and where it may show its monster head.”

Furthermore, everyone knows that Jackson married a divorcee before she was free to remarry. He further showed his contempt for women by stating that after marrying one, “You will find it easier to spend $2,000 than to make $500.” Martin van Buren: a disciple of a tyrant, adulterer and woman-hater. We can’t afford another four years of that in the White House.

1864: “As a trial lawyer, Abe Lincoln once represented a slave owner who wanted his escaped slave returned to Kentucky from Illinois. Yet Abe claims to be anti-slavery. But he stated in his inaugural address that he had no intention of abolishing slavery where it already existed. Now he has issued the Emancipation Proclamation after getting us into a war with no plan for getting us out. Can we endure four more years of ‘Flip-Flop Abe’?”

1868: “U.S. Grant likes to say that the initials "U.S." stand for "Unconditional Surrender." But those who were with him at Pittsburgh Landing say they stand for "Utterly Soused." They say he was drunk when the Rebels attacked and nearly drove his army into the Tennessee River. Fortunately, Gen. Don Carlos Buell arrived and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. By the way, did you know that Grant once owned slaves?”

1912: When he was president, Theodore Roosevelt spent millions digging a ditch across the Isthmus of Panama when we already had railroads to carry goods from the Atlantic to the Pacific coasts. But Teddy wanted to regulate the railroads and place the nation’s reliance on ships of many nations passing through a canal across a foreign country. We need a president who looks out for American interests first.

1932: Franklin Roosevelt has no plan for ending the Depression aside from the policies President Hoover has already put into effect. Who wants to swap the steady hand at the wheel for an unsteady hand in a wheelchair? America needs a president who can stand on his own two feet.

1948: Harry Truman has given away billions to rebuild Europe when he could have lowered our taxes instead. He led us into a conflict in Korea without going to Congress for a declaration of war. He ordered racial integration in the armed forces without considering its potential effect on the morale of our troops. Harry Truman is just too liberal.

I'm Gene Owens and I do not approve of these ads.


Gene Owens has been around the Southern journalistic scene for 48 years. He has been senior associate editor of The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., and editorial-page editor of the Roanoke Times in Roanoke, Va.

As senior editor for Creative Services, a management consulting firm in High Point, N. C., he ghosted more than a dozen published books for professional clients. For the past nine years he has been assistant managing editor, political editor and columnist for the Mobile Register. Register readers last year named him their favorite local columnist, and readers of the independent regional magazine, Bay Weekly, agreed. He was runner-up in the regional Green Eyeshades competition among writers of humor columns.

He has been on the board of directors of the National Conference of Editorial Writers and was editor of The Masthead, the NCEW’s national quarterly. He recently went into semi-retirement in Anderson, S. C.

Read more of Gene's entertaining columns:
A Tribute to Johnny Cash
Roy Moore at the Courthouse Door
All about Gene and Greasepit Grammar
Greasepit Grammar: Misplaced modifiers
Greasepit Grammar: Inertia can get you
Greasepit Grammar: Drinking and dranking
The Wal-Mart Paradox
Taking a week off from retirement to do nothing
Insulation reduces mouse mortality rate
Flocking South with the snowbirds
Juicy Fruit will gum up the mole works
Dan Rather and the Texas truth

Write Gene Owens at 1004 Cobbs Glen Drive, Anderson SC 29621 or e-mail him at genepegg@bellsouth.net

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