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Cal Conservative's happy day 

Cal is determined to have a good day despite it all. He's still disappointed that Democrats did so well in the election, that Barack Obama will be president, Pat McCrory won't be governor, and the Dems will have big majorities in Congress. But Cal's a strong, freedom-loving, independent kind of guy, and he doesn't intend to let the liberal lemmings ruin his life. Cal and some of his equally conservative friends have talked about the beatings the Republicans took in the last two elections. They can't agree on why it happened, but they do agree on one thing, their bedrock truth: Whatever's wrong, it's the fault of the government and liberals.

Cal thinks about these things soon after he wakes up in his home in Huntersville. He splashes water on his face and walks to the kitchen to get the coffee maker going. The water he uses is clean and safe because, at one time, tree-hugging extremists fought for effectively enforced, minimum water quality standards.

While he waits for his coffee, Cal takes his daily allergy and blood pressure medications. His medicine is safe and effective because, years ago, some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and got the government to oversee the production of pharmaceuticals. All but $10 per prescription is paid by Cal's employer's health insurance plan, because 50 or more years ago, lazy union members went on strike to force their employers to give them paid medical insurance.

Cal cooks up some bacon and eggs (both of which are safe because of federal food regulations and inspections), then turns on the radio in time to hear a right-wing talk show host rail against "government entitlements."

"Damn right," thinks Cal, "only wusses think the government owes them something ... buncha liberal slackers."

Cal gets dressed, goes outside and takes a deep breath. The air is clean because environmentalist wackos 30 years ago got all worked up about industries polluting the atmosphere.

He gets in his SUV and drives to work in Charlotte on a government-funded, government-maintained and government-patrolled highway. His vehicle is among the safest in the world because some fuzzy-thinking, "Kumbaya"-singing liberal weenie like Ralph Nader fought for car safety standards. Cal pulls into his office building's parking deck, made affordable for his company by a specific tax break.

Cal starts his workday. He enjoys paid holidays and vacation time because lazy union loafers fought and died for enforceable working standards. Cal's job isn't unionized, but his employer gladly provides the benefits since he doesn't want his workers to bring in a union. If Cal is injured on the job, or God forbid, loses his job, he'll get worker's compensation or an unemployment check -- all because some Frenchified socialist didn't think people should starve or lose their homes because of a temporary problem.

At lunch, Cal and some work friends drive to a government-inspected restaurant while listening to Rush Limbaugh on the radio. As they wait for their food, they talk about how tired they are of picking up the tab for "bums who'd rather get a government handout than work," and the bums' friends in "big government" -- which reminds Cal that he needs to send off his student loan payment. That money sure came in handy when Cal attended state-funded UNC-Charlotte.

After work, Cal goes home, checks his e-mail and surfs his favorite conservative Web sites for awhile. The Internet is readily accessible to Cal because some America-hating liberals convinced Congress that giant communications companies shouldn't be given quicker Web access than ordinary citizens.

Cal plans to visit his parents this evening, out at the farmhouse in the country near Shelby. He drives again on the subsidized highways and soon pulls into the driveway of his boyhood home, where he and his sister were the third generation to live. His father quit farming years ago to work for Pittsburgh Plate Glass, but before that, his house was financed by the Farmers' Home Administration because bankers in those days would not make rural loans. And wouldn't you know it -- the house didn't have electricity until some pinko activists got together and demanded rural electrification.

Cal, as always, is glad to see his parents, who are now retired. Dad lives on Social Security and a union pension, all because some nosy liberals made sure he could take care of himself so Cal wouldn't have to.

As Cal drives home from his parents' house, he listens to a radio talk show. The host is talking about a new book that claims Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal actually prolonged the Great Depression, even though serious historians who agree with that premise are nearly non-existent. The host goes on, reminding listeners that conservatives are great and liberals are evil. He doesn't mention that it was conservatives who fought like wildcats against every protection and benefit Cal has enjoyed that day. As he pulls into his driveway in Huntersvile, Cal thinks to himself, "You're damned right! We don't need any more big-government losers taking over our lives! Why can't everyone be a self-made man like me? People should take care of themselves without government help, just like I have."

(Thanks to John Gray of Cincinnati, whose original "Day in the Life of Joe Middle-Class Republican" has circulated on the Internet since 2004.)

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