Curtis Dahlgren
"GOT GOD?"; part 2: The Year of the Gipper runs out the clock
By Curtis Dahlgren
December 31, 2011

"What raised us to the present happy state? How did we accomplish the Revolution? . . . The Government has been in the hands of the people . . . Had the people of the United States been educated in different principles, had they been less intelligent, less independent, or less virtuous, can it be believed that we should have . . been blessed with the same success? While, then, the constituent body retains its present sound and healthful state, everything will be safe . . . Let us by all wise and constitutional measures promote intelligence among the people as the best means of preserving our liberties . . " — President Monroe (first inaugural address)

- -

MAYBE IT WAS AN OUT-OF-BODY EXPERIENCE. It was a stormy night and a dark stranger came to my door in a long dark overcoat. I looked at the clock and it was just past bar-closing time.

"Sorry to bother you," said the tall man with the ramrod straight posture. "My Jeep ran out of gas right in front of your driveway and I saw your lights were on."

"I have gas in the garage," I said. "But why don't you come in while I get on my overshoes and my parka? You look like you could use some hot tea, too."

"Well, okay," he said. So for a couple of hours we sat around the kitchen table sipping on tea and brandy. Part of the conversation went something like this:

Me: What are you doing out on a night like this?

He: Well, I've been touring the congressional district of Bart Stupak — ol' B.S. — and man that's a big district! So I'm just passing through this area. I'm trying to get to Green Bay in time for the Cowboys game tomorrow.

Me: You actually have a ticket?!

He: Well, we have ways to get them; but what are you doing up so late?

Me: I was listening to the Laura Ingraham show.

He: Well, so was I — on my Jeep radio!

Me: SO: are you interested in politics or what?

He: Well, I used to dabble in it a little. But say — haven't we met before?

Me: Oh that's right — we were talking in the saloon before the election.

He: Yes I remember now; you're that writer. Haha — when you get old the first thing to go is the memory. And I'm almost a hundred!

Me: I'm no spring chicken either. I'm so old that my dad was conceived in February 1900.

He: I was born in February 1911.

Me: My dad saw Teddy Roosevelt when he was running for President in 1912.

He: And he's been on Mt. Rushmore for over 65 years already!

Me: But speaking of elections, what did you think about last Tuesday? Bart's successor is going to be a medical doctor, you know. And Wisconsin is sending a businessman and a former lumberjack to congress.

He: Yes, it reminds me of the days of Davy Crockett. I just wish we had had the Tea parties when I was, uh — working. It would have made things a bit easier.

Me: What did you do?

He: Well, you might say I was sort of an economist.

Me: One of my favorite subjects. Did you hear that the Federal Reserve Bank is going to buy 800 billion dollars worth of Treasury bills? Does the Fed really have that kind of money?

He: Of course not. It's make-believe monopoly money.

Me: There goes the value of my U.S. Savings Bonds, and maybe the dollar too!

He: And General Motors, too. It's now run by the government.

Me: Yes, who would have ever thought that someday Michael Moore and General Motors would be in the same bed together?

He: Haha! "What's good for General Motors is good for the country," right? And the President is giving billions in tax breaks to GM.

Me: And whatever's good for the government goes, eh? I guess that's the new Golden Rule. I get the impression that the Prez still doesn't get the concept of Supply-side Economics. Could you explain it to him maybe?

He: WELL — we're talking Natural Law here, "organic economics" you might say. In other words, a nation's "wealth" isn't a static "PIE" that can be lopped up into tiny pieces like a pizza. True wealth is a living dynamic organism that needs cultivation and weeding — but not "forcing" — in order to grow!

Money doesn't grow on trees, nor do geese lay golden eggs. It all takes hard work, and if the economy were a goose right now, you'd have to say that the government is 'noodling' the goose and possibly killing it. Businesses start out like mustard seeds, and need careful nurturing, not harassment.

Me: SO — supply-side economics is just that simple, and governments should keep their grubby hands off, eh?

He: Exactly. It's not that hard to understand. But instead they promise to tax and tax and "spend and spend" in order to "elect and elect."

Me: But in 2010 it backfired, because I think the people caught up with the facts.

He: Yes, I wish we had had the Internet and talk radio when I was, uh — working.

[I poured a few gallons of gas into his Jeep and the stranger was on his way. But before he left, I said, "What was your name again?" and he says:

"RON. But sometimes they called me the Gipper."

"WELL," I said. "Have a good day at the football game tomorrow." And he says:

"Believe me, I will." I laughed and said:

"Ya gonna be playin' offense or defense?" And he says:


Like I said, it must have been an out-of-body experience, but him-or-me, I'm not sure which.]

P.S. The Sunday after I posted this column, the Packers beat the Cowboys and caused the firing of the Dallas coach. The Packers had a 28-0 lead at halftime, so maybe the Gipp had something to do with it. Who knows, eh?

PPS: A friend of mine thought that column sounded so real, she asked me the meaning of it. WELL, you decide!

© Curtis Dahlgren


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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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