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Ed Ross | Monday, October 10, 2011

Last week was a mind-numbing time for people like me who are addicted to politics and the news. My iPhone alerted me to genuine “Breaking News” stories so frequently that I could hardly keep up with them. Then on Friday, I turned off my iPhone and my iPad, donned my tuxedo, and walked my daughter down the aisle at her wedding. Sitting at my computer the day after, I thought about what’s really important in life and how my daughter’s marriage renewed my faith in America.

Preparing for a traditional church wedding and all the events associated with it involve a great deal of planning and arranging. I played a minor role in all this, of course. Fathers of the bride just get in the way; and my daughter, the firm-wide events manager at a large international law firm, had everything well in hand. That gave me plenty of time to keep up with the news until the day of the wedding, but my daughter was much on my mind.

The week began with American Amanda Knox, in an Italian jail for four years convicted of murdering British exchange student Meredith Kercher, acquitted in a retrial by an Italian court.

I don’t know whether Knox got away with murder or had been wrongly accused, but it wasn’t difficult for me to imagine my own daughter, who has traveled abroad, wrongfully accused of a crime she didn’t commit in a foreign court.  

Then, after much speculation and anticipation, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie finally and definitively said he wasn’t running for president. His announcement was followed in short order by Sarah Palin disappointing her fans (and her critics) by declaring that she wouldn’t seek the Republican nomination either.

As a conservative columnist and radio talk-show host, I follow the ongoing presidential campaign intensely. America is in a mess and we desperately need a president that will lead us to better times. The majority of Republican primary voters aren’t satisfied with the current field of declared candidates and many were looking for either Christie or Palin to enter the race.

I’ve written and spoken about Christie and Palin, and I regularly discuss politics with my daughter. We worry about the America she, her husband, and her children will inherit. We have similar political views, although we don’t necessarily support the same political candidates—she has a strong-willed mind of her own. There were no politics discussions before or during the wedding. Now I have to wait until the honeymoon is over before they can resume.

I watched television coverage and read stories last week about the occupy-Wall-Street protests. Despite all the attempts by liberal reporters and commentators to equate the current protesters with Tea Partiers, I don't think most Americans are buying it. Some protestors call for an end to capitalism and the redistribution of wealth, but most don’t know what they want or how to achieve it even if they did.

Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about discovering that my daughter is one of them or receiving a call to come bail her out of jail. She knows who she is and what she wants. She’s definitely not a socialist. She doesn’t want anyone else’s money; she knows how to make her own.

Steve Jobs death Wednesday saddened me, not because I’m an avid iPhone and and iPad user and will miss his constant innovation, but because he was so brilliant I didn’t think about his liberal politics. He demonstrated what American entrepreneurship was all about—making top quality products that people want while making his company one of the most profitable in the world. Apple didn’t need government subsidies or a government bailout.

Steve Jobs’ technology has changed the world and it has changed people’s lives. I talk with my daughter over our iPhones several times a week. The day before the wedding I watched my 20-month-old grandniece play applications designed for children on her father’s iPad. She and my daughter’s children will grow up in a world where such everyday technology is as common as number-two pencils were to me at that age.

And then there was Attorney General Eric Holder and allegations that he may have lied to Congress last spring when he testified before a joint Senate-House committee investigation the “Fast and Furious” gun tracing operation that turned into a debacle. Holder denied he had even heard about the scandal until a few weeks before his testimony, but documents turned up indicating that briefing papers on the program had reached his office in 2010.

There is little about this news story that makes me think about my daughter other than I hope that the attorneys general that serve during her lifetime exhibit greater competence and concern for all American citizens than Holder has.

Events of the past few years, much less the events of the past week, have shaken my confidence in America. I’ve often wondered recently if America has seen its finest days, if my daughter and her children would have the opportunities and good fortune that I have had.

But after my daughter’s wedding to a great young man who I know will love, cherish and protect her, as she will him; and after getting to know their young friends and his siblings, I have no doubt that this country is in good hands and that better days lie ahead. I also have one magnificent son, but that’s the subject for another column.

There are many young people out there like those protesting on the streets this week that represent the lost, dependent, and helpless children of America. But there are many more that embody the traditional self-reliant, hard-working, and family-loving character of the American people. I didn’t lose a daughter last week, and I didn’t just gain a son-in-law. I had the great good fortune of participating in an event that helped me put everything in perspective and that renewed my faith and confidence in America and the American people.



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