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Addison Gardner: Always Right

Addison Gardner
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

I grew up in a matriarchal household, sandwiched between sisters and presided over by Adolph Eichmann’s ex-secretary, “Klara.”

Nobody knows how Klara managed to immigrate to America, but she never set foot on Ellis Island. It was the early ’50s, “Ike” was president, and New Jersey was still notorious for its prewar flirtations with the pro-Nazi, “German American Bund.”

My parents were in their early 20s and had no inkling of Klara’s background; they just knew she was a no-nonsense disciplinarian.

I learned the wisdom of apologizing for my mistakes in a giddy-up hurry.

My father and I had an appointment, every evening when he came home from work, and his policy was: “Spank first, and ask questions later.”

I apologized to store owners, classmates, teachers, principals, coaches and girlfriends. Nor did I shun the parents of girlfriends. If you petitioned, you got an apology.

I like to think of my childhood and adolescence as my “apologize for myself” phase.

As an adult student of politics, I have learned that it’s more redemptive to apologize for other people’s mistakes. See, my apologizing for your mistakes imposes less wear-and-tear on my psyche.

Politics is practiced best when it reaches many people. Proper political apologizing, then, is a numbers game; one can apologize hundreds of times for one’s own sins, or a handful of times for millions of other people’s sins.

This is apology conservation, or apology “sustainability,” if you will.

I’ve decided to apologize to you, my readership (for your mistakes) first. I will start with this small group, work up to country-sized audiences, then apologize to whole continents and, finally, my denouement: An apology for planetary blunders committed by everybody, except me.

I apologize for frailties of the flesh (temporary), which keep me from being everywhere and apologizing to everyone at once. If good intentions count, photographers will soon be framing my head with haloes.

I began my group-apology tutelage when America’s “first black president” traveled to Africa in 1998 and apologized for America’s historic tryst with slavery, while standing upon the only continent practicing slavery.

Now I’m shadowing America’s second black president who apologized ” while in Turkey ” for Euro-Americans who put Native Americans to the sword, engaged in slavery, and practiced one religion to the exclusion of others ” behaving, in other words, exactly “like Turks.”

First, I should apologize for Obama’s rejection of French President Sarkozy’s invitation to visit America’s 9,387 war-dead in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy. I apologize for his fear of “offending Germany” and for his disrespecting the downy-faced dead who waded ashore but never made it off the beaches on D-Day.

Utah Beach. Omaha Beach. Gold Beach. Juno Beach. Sword Beach. Five beaches and 5,000 casualties. I apologize to the families of those dead.

White House staff explained that it “wasn’t logistically possible” to visit the Normandy memorial, but the president found time to visit The Blue Mosque in Istanbul, where he apologized for Americans who were “arrogant,” “dismissive” and “derisive.”

I apologize for the White House staff.

I am sorry that Obama’s heartfelt apologies to Europeans and Muslims didn’t net us additional combat troops in Afghanistan, a 2 percent of European Union GDP pledge to the International Monetary Fund, or a Security Council browbeating of Kim Jung Il’s ICBM launch.

Sorry that didn’t work out.

I am sorry that the president omitted a chivalrous nod to diminutive Elizabeth, the queen of our staunchest ally, but included a groveling bow to Abdullah, the king of anti-American terror financing and energy-enslavement.

I apologize for the naivete of the president’s Czech Republic speech, during which he noted the North Korean missile launch, earlier in the day, and proclaimed, “Violators must be punished. Words must mean something. The world must stand together to prevent the spread of these weapons. Now is the time for a strong international response.”

I am sorry Obama’s telegenic tropes don’t trump Security Council realities.

I apologize for Secretary of Defense Gates’ decision to eliminate funding for America’s missile defense programs: Alaskan interceptors ” missiles that would’ve stopped North Korean ICBMs from hitting America ” won’t be deployed.

So, I apologize to West Coast Americans.

We are now within missile range of a terminally ill, North Korean crackpot, but at least European university students and “moderate Muslims” like us more, even if radicalized Muslims and Communist Koreans fear us less.

(Apologies to any offended, radicalized Muslims.)

I am sorry that President Obama has decided to legitimize the odious U.N. “Human Rights Council,” which has long been a Club Med for tyrants and hasn’t managed to unearth human rights abuses anywhere but Tel Aviv.

I apologize for the tens of trillions of dollars in new spending that Democrats are authorizing in order to finance social programs that heartless Republicans (who hate fairness, social justice, the environment, unwed mothers and wanna-wed homosexuals) have bottled up for decades.

I would apologize for President Bush’s many blunders, but Obama has already done that in 27 countries.

I close with an apology to The World for any future “man-caused disasters,” (a.k.a., Acts of Terrorism) resulting from failures in America’s “overseas contingency operations,” (a.k.a., War on Terror) stemming from a lack of apologies to any person, place, or thing not previously cited.

If I’ve overlooked anything for which either I, or the president, should’ve apologized (on behalf of decedents of mostly white, mostly Euro-Christian people), I’m sorry.

Which reminds me: “America is not a Christian nation.”

I apologize if you thought it was.


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