top of page

Opinion: Late to the party

As Alice rambles about in Wonderland she is greeted by the white rabbit, who tells her he is late, for a very important date.

I can’t stand it when I am late to the party. Not actually tardy at a social event, that too is a source of irritation, but metaphorically, being the last to find out something it seems everybody else knows. Someone recently sent me a link to a video on Facebook. I have never spent any time on U-Tube viewing the drivel other people find so fascinating. I would rather read about a subject than be told how something works. I am reevaluating the value of the amateur videos attached to Facebook.

As for arriving late to the other type of party, I am one of those annoying people who shows up about half an hour before an event is scheduled to start. I have often said I am incapable of arriving on time, but that I do “early,” better than anyone you have ever met. It is because I subscribe to the theory that if one is always early, one is never late.

When attending a social event I arrive usually before the announced time the doors will open. Part of it is an effort to do a good job for the Tribune. Take a charity ball for example. It is much easier to view and enjoy the party decor and its nuances when the ballroom is still nearly empty. After examining the furnishings I can come back later in the evening to photograph party guests admiring the color scheme.

The banks and federal offices would close for both of the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. The Madera Unified School District still has both days on this year’s calendar. Since February is, a short month already, two holidays in as many weeks makes for a school kid’s delight. In the adult world, the two birthdays have been combined to form Presidents Day honoring all the presidents.

In the current political climate, too many people find it perfectly acceptable to speak ill of our president. There have always been pundits, the Rush Limbaughs of this country, who make their living criticizing every single decision made by the U.S. President.

The current administration has brought out many who love drawing attention to themselves and their righteous indignation by commenting on the state of affairs in the White House. The media has always criticized the occupant of the Oval Office but I don’t remember it ever being this cruel.

Their justification may to some be understandable because our current POTUS is unlike any person to have occupied the mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

As a businessman and a real estate developer, President Trump hasn’t spent what many consider the requisite time paying his dues as a lesser government official. He was never a senator, congressman, governor or even mayor. And yet his first ride on the political carousel he catches the brass ring and is elected to the highest office in the land.

He is considered by some to be too rough around the edges and uncouth to represent the United States on the world stage. He is far more human than any of the men who have served as president in the later part of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st.

President Obama most of the time reminded me of the skinny Star Wars robot C3PO. I admired how he walked the tight rope between the houses of Congress as the first African-American president. I had to laugh the way one minute he portrayed this stiff and oh-so-proper statesman and the next he would slip into the persona of a Chicago homeboy jumping and jiving with his celebrity friends.

Before him, we had the Texas cowboy who it seemed delegated much of his authority to his second in command Vice President Dick Cheney, the subject of the new movie Vice.

I saw the vice president at the Fresno airport on a campaign stop. After being rude to the waiting press, he made a beeline to Barbara Bigelow, called her by name as they greeted one another like old friends.

President Trump has accomplished some amazing things in just the first two years of his presidency.

One of his major campaign promises was to protect the countries southern border. His efforts to build the wall is being heavily resisted by most of the Democrats on Capitol Hill. Hasn’t the time come for this country to drop the usage of the hyphen when describing one’s nationality? I think it is a travesty that anyone would place their ancestors’ heritage before the fact that they are an American.

Be it Polish-American, Greek-American or Dutch-American from wherever our forefathers hailed coming to America was an important step in the history of their lineage. Most came to America to escape some adversity that plagued their homeland. Be it violence, poverty or illness, America represented a safe and abundant haven for them and their families. Becoming an American, embracing the freedoms afforded the residents of this country should be of first and foremost importance.

Honoring the President’s Day observance I am reminded of a quote attributed to President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907.

“In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed or birthplace or origin,” TR said.

“But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American and nothing but an American … There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag … We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language … and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”

Long days and pleasant nights, have a great weekend.

• • •

Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.

bottom of page