by Burt Prelutsky | Los Angeles

Back when I was a kid, the two major fears in America revolved around polio and Communism.  Because the first disease was so prevalent and so often fatal prior to the miraculous cures wrought by Dr. Albert Sabin and Dr. Jonas Salk, neither of whom managed to garner a Nobel Prize for their heroic efforts, children were kept out of public swimming pools and were discouraged from having too much physical activity.  It’s a wonder that our entire generation didn’t grow up to be hypochondriacs because if you were even slightly fatigued or had an aching back or a stiff neck, anguished parents started measuring you for an iron lung.

The second disease, Communism, created its own form of hysteria.  During the late 40s and early 50s, we had A-bomb drills in public schools.  We grammar school kids were led to believe that in case the Russians hit L.A. with an atomic bomb, we would be safe so long as we dropped to the floor and huddled beneath our desks with our hands clasped tightly behind our necks.  As everyone knows, there’s nothing better than tiny hands to ward off the effects of atomic radiation.  To this day, I wonder who came up with that particular brainstorm.

On the off-chance that the Russkies elected not to vaporize us, a lot of people were convinced that the plan to prevent tooth decay by introducing fluoride into our reservoirs was a Commie plot.  The fluoride, we were warned, would turn our brains to mush and make us easy prey for the Soviet Menace.  It’s taken about 60 years, but I am now convinced that the scaremongers were right.  How else to explain American liberals except by accepting that the Commies contaminated our water supply?

The fact that most Americans haven’t turned into brain-dead zombies muttering “hope…change…hope…change” like those scary creatures in horror movies only goes to prove that people have different tolerances to tainted water, just as they do to alcohol, various viruses and Barack Obama’s voice.

I mean, seriously, when Obama, during the campaign, spoke about judging him by the people he surrounded himself with, he pointed to Richard Lugar, Joe Biden and Warren Buffett, while drawing the curtain on Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers and Rashid Khalidi.  These days, though, he surrounds himself with such visitors from a strange planet as Van Jones, Jeff Jones and Sass Sunstein.  I’m just wondering if it’s still okay for us to judge him by his associates.

The MSM likened Obama to Abe Lincoln.  I guess their confusion was caused by  both men being skinny and from Illinois.  One major, rather obvious difference, though, is that Lincoln waged a war to preserve the Union.  Obama, on the other hand, would go to war to preserve such unions as the SEIU and the UAW.

Liberals get all in a tizzy when they’re accused of hypocrisy, but it’s hard to escape the fact that while arguing for the redistribution of wealth, you never see such kazillionaires as George Soros, Dianne Feinstein, Jay Rockefeller, Charles Schumer or John Kerry, redistributing any of theirs or even paying a penny more in taxes than is absolutely required.  And, as we discovered when he was putting his administration together, Obama’s friends and colleagues quite often try to avoid paying any taxes at all.

You also don’t see any of his political allies signing up for Obamacare or trading in their outrageously generous pension plans for Social Security.  These phonies are far worse than Marie Antoinette, who allegedly joked that if poor people couldn’t afford bread, they should eat cake.  What these creeps would have us eat is nowhere near as tasty or nutritious.

Consider the fact that the late unlamented Ted Kennedy was a hero to the green movement even after he used his considerable clout to make certain that windmills, those essential items that would free us from our dependence on fossil fuels, didn’t interfere with the view from his estate.

To fully appreciate how contemptible the left is, you merely have to note that whenever people oppose any item on Obama’s radical agenda, liberals follow Jimmy Carter’s lead and label them racists.  The majority of Americans voted for Obama last November and now, apparently millions of them, according to recent polls, are suffering from buyer’s remorse.  Is it really possible that they simply failed to notice on election day that they were voting for a black man?

It reminds me of those various black basketball and football coaches who insist, when they’re fired for not winning enough games, that it’s because of their race, even though the people firing them are the very same people who hired them in the first place.

Recently, some Americans were outraged when movie director Oliver Stone made a laudatory documentary about Hugo Chavez and then showed up with the Communist dictator at the Cannes Film Festival, where they bumped fists and naturally received a standing ovation.  It was enough to make me wish that Major Aldo Rayne had been there with his Inglorious Basterds to deal with Stone, Chavez and the assorted Euro-trash in attendance.

Speaking of Stone and Chavez, there are those who wonder why lefties are so often drawn to tyrants.  Why is it, normal people ask, that those on the left looked so fondly on Stalin; why they adorn their walls with Che Guevara posters; why they wore those dopey caps with the red star and carted around Mao’s Little Red Book in the 60s; why Sean Penn went to Iraq to show his solidarity with Saddam Hussein; why, to this day, they will flock to Cuba and kiss Castro’s behind; why they will side with Hamas and Hezbollah, while accusing Israel of crimes against humanity; and why Thomas Friedman of the N.Y. Times will feel free to extol the virtues of one-party autocracies such as China.

The answer is that they identify with tyrants.  They don’t oppose gulags on principle; they simply don’t wish to be sent to one.  That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t like to run one.  They also have a soft spot for dictators because they, themselves, are miserable excuses for human beings who look down on the masses as being ignorant, religious, peons who, in a just world, would exist only to serve as organ donors.

Don’t you ever find yourself wondering why liberals are happy to see Obama expanding the power and influence of the federal government, of appointing three dozen regulatory czars who answer only to him, of gobbling up major industrial and financial entities in a way reminiscent of Stalin and Hitler?  I mean, wouldn’t you think they’d dread the thought of a Republican president having all of that authority in the future?  After all, we have presidential elections every four years.  It’s not as if Obama could rule for 27 years like Mao, for 29 years like Stalin or for half a century like Castro.

Shouldn’t those on the left be the least bit concerned that a Mitt Romney, a Rick Perry, a Bobby Jindal or, God forbid, a Sarah Palin could inherit all that power?

After pondering that question, how can you avoid concluding that they simply have no intention of ever allowing that to happen? CRO

copyright 2009 Burt Prelutsky

Television scriptwriter, former humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine.

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