Some things never change! There was a time that I thought people grew wiser as they aged from high school to adulthood. We pass through college where huge changes occur; my alcohol intake skyrocketed, my ability to discuss philosophical and sociological issues went from a 1 to a 9 on the Richter Scale! Love entered my life and softened me in ways I never expected. Then, children suddenly appeared and brought more change…the selfishness that is inherent in the young, suddenly dissolves when you have your own children. Instead of “sel-FISH”, we become “sel-FLESS!”
These changes happen at different times for different people; but most people I know at or near my age (guess) seem to have gone through them. No wonder it surprises me to look at someone who is considered a “leader” by many, if not in reality, then certainly by the role he has taken. Consider Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA). He is the Republican Majority Leader in the U.S. House of Representatives. Formerly, he was House Minority Whip, elected to Congress in 2001, after having served in the Virginia House of Delegates for 9 years and working as an attorney in his family’s real estate development business. Cantor is married and has three children.
Now, one would think that with all his experience in public and private life, plus marriage and raising three children, a person like Eric Cantor would have
gone through a maturation process, right? WRONG! When it comes to growth and maturity, Cantor is back in high school, waiting for the bell so he can go kick some sand in the face of the “90-pound weakling” who’s waiting to be picked up by his mom! Now, how do we know what kind of person Eric was in high school? We need to go no further than his high school yearbook; the photo of the tie and jacketed Cantor, hair perfectly coiffed, a Mona Lisa smile on his kisser…and the quote he chose for “the Ages” to remember him: ”I want what I want when I want it!”, attributed to the late 19th-century lyricist, Henry Blossom.
Sure, high school kids do stupid things; most of us have done things in high school that we would never do now, as adults, with our own kids! AND THERE IS THE RUB! Eric Cantor acts today the same way he did in high school. His “no compromise” position in Congress seems to reflect the Blossom quote perfectly. Cantor’s most recent exposure as a selfish, greedy, demanding, non-empathetic and uncaring ‘kid’ is his refusal to support Disaster Aid for victims of the East Coast Earthquake and Hurricane Irene, expected to result in billions of dollars of damage. We’re talking about people flooded out of their homes, small businesses shut down, bridges and roads destroyed, and many who couldn’t afford insurance to protect themselves. Cantor said he’ll approve aid IF he gets ‘what he wants’, which is corresponding cuts in Federal spending. Oh…I almost forgot…in 2004, after Hurricane Gaston caused $20 million in Cantor’s district, Cantor OPPOSED a bill to reduce Federal spending by an amount equal to disaster aid!
So, hostage-taking has again reared it’s head as a tool to get Eric what Eric wants, when Eric wants it! No compromise,
no negotiation! ‘Instant gratification’ is something I always associated with babies and toddlers. If they don’t get what they want, WHEN they want it, there’s crying and screaming and whining and kicking and more crying; perhaps President Obama needs to buy a gold-plated baby rattle and send it over to Cantor’s office. If nothing else, it may distract him from hurting people for a little while! “Ga-ga. Goo-goo. Bop-a woppa-goo-ga!”