[As I often am, I was wrong. There was a difference between Bush and Gore. Bush was the worst president in American history. Gore couldn’t have aspired to that kind of incompetence if he’d have been brain-damaged.]
All Rights Reserved © 2000 Thomas W. Day
"When they ask 'why don't you live here?' I say 'man, I don't believe you don't leave.'" -- Bob Dylan
When I first started writing Rat Rants, I had hoped to keep certain sorts of my personal beliefs to myself. Mostly, I've been true to that objective. This essay is going to violate that intent and I apologize to those of you who might be offended.
Vice President Gore recently took a stand regarding the Miami family kidnapping of six year old Elian Gonzalez. Gore and Bush have stated that they think the demands of Florida's Cuban exile community are more important than a father's right to be with his son. It's almost impossible to tell one of these rich kids from the other, so I'm going to stop making the effort.
Like his amoral clone/competitor, Bush, Gore's stand is based on his desperate desire to get elected, regardless of the damage he does to this country and to the people who live here. Of course, Gorebush would never say anything so honest. Instead he pontificated, "Let us be clear that the real fault in this case lies with the oppressive regime of Fidel Castro. Elian should never have been forced to choose between freedom and his own father. Now we must take action, here on our own shores, to make sure that Elian's best interests are served."
The only interests Gorebush have ever been interested in are the 25 Electoral College votes controlled, mostly, by Miami's expatriate Cuban community. These folks may not be able to tell a Constitution from constipation, but they vote, relentlessly. The rest of Florida's residents fearfully avoid ballot boxes like normal Americans. Most of the state's registered voters could care less about politics, unless someone's talking about reducing Medicare or Social Security funding.
Bushgore has also said that the kid should be left with his distant relatives, until they can find a Florida family court judge who will rule that the boy's father be permanently deprived of his parental rights. Bushgore accuses Gorebush of posing for the Cuban vote. One pot calls the other kettle black and why do we care?
The heart of the story, here, is that a gaggle of distant relatives are making a grab for custody of a little boy, against a parent's will. Parents all over the country ought to be terrified by this spectacle. The fact that they aren't, is even more scary. If any of these clowns cared about the best interests of children, there wouldn't be a kid left in that cesspool we all know as Miami. At the least, we'd be hearing as much hand-wringing about the kids who are gang victims, every single day of the year, as we are about this one six year old.
Think about this story in a non-political light. Say, my cousin, who lives in California, ships his kids out "to the country" for a summer vacation. Being a conservative family-loving Midwesterner, I take a liking to those kids. Because I watch TV, I know what a vicious, rotten, Tower of Babble, California is and I decide these kids ought to "he be given a chance to feel what freedom means" (a quote from Bushgore). Obviously, a kid is a lot more free in Minnesota than in California, so I assume custody of the kids and ignore their parents' pleas for their return. Gorebush picks it up and, not wanting to insult the Midwestern voters, decides to hand the decision over to Minnesota's family court system and I get to keep the kids. That sort of stupidity will put a bit of strain on the decision to let the kids "visit Grandma for the summer," don't you think? Kids shipped out of New York and all of the decaying eastern cities, California (especially LA and San Francisco) and most of the decadent western cities are likely to have new homes, if this perverted set of rules become established. Everyone knows that Midwesterners are morally and culturally superior the rest of the country, right?
What a cool way to get even with your ex. You get the kids, for a weekend visitation, bag 'em up and mail them to a Midwestern relative. Essentially, that's what Elian Gonzalez's mother did. She happened to drown on the way (along with her boyfriend who had a really questionable history), but parental death shouldn't be a requirement for this kind of legalized kidnapping. If she'd have made it here, I doubt that Mr. Gonzalez's loss of parental rights would even be known outside of his immediate family. Even the fact that Mr. Gonzalez had been granted custody of his son by his country's family court system seems to be escaping the microscopic capacity of our own media. If Cuba's family court system is anything like ours, Ms. Gonzalez would have been a pretty awful parent to lose custody of her child.
Bushgore added insult to injury by babbling, "I would hope if Mr. Gonzalez does come over, that he come over as a person who's able to make a decision based on his desire . . . and that decision be made in a family court." Short form, if Elian's father doesn't relent to political extortion, he's obviously incapable of being a decent father and should lose custody of his son. If he doesn't "decide" to leave his kid with distant relatives, the court will make that decision for him.
I am hard pressed to believe that, if the father had died attempting to cross international boundaries with his son (violating a family court custody order), the nation would be reacting with the same "family values" hypocrisy. Father's rights are dramatically less powerful than mother's rights. This whole disgusting episode illustrates that so vividly that I can't feel a single positive emotion toward Florida's Cuban population. They, simply, disgust me. This is not a good feeling for me, because I have at least one friend who is part of that population. Apparently, the civilized and honorable folks in that city are being terrorized into pretending they are going along with the kidnappers.
And, personally, I want to make it clear to any relative, who might be considering shipping their kids my way, I consider almost every other state in the Union an unfit place to raise children, especially Kansas. Not that I want my family's kids. In fact, the opposite would be true. My kids are grown and, mostly, taking care of themselves, but it would be my moral duty as an American to prevent the kind of child abuse that comes from kids growing up in stupid places. Consider this my line drawn in Minnesota lake mud.