The Best & Brightest Need to Vacate

The Best & Brightest Need to Vacate August 9, 2010

Well, for sure, Mrs. Obama will never go back to her life, as usual. Apparently there are two more vacations scheduled before September, next weekend’s overnight “somewhere” at Florida’s Gulf coast, and then 10 days at Martha’s Vineyard.

I don’t begrudge anyone a vacation, especially not to Martha’s Vineyard, which I hear is great. But as reports suggest that coverage of the First Lady’s 5 days in Spain could have generated about a billion dollars to the economy of that nation, I wonder if the Obama family couldn’t have done better for America by taking their ten-days-downtime in towns that are not quite so well-visited as the Vineyard, and could really use a Marbella-sized influx of media-coverage cash.

You know what could really have spread the wealth around, which President Obama says he likes to do? A ROAD-TRIP across America that could showcase to the world all the beautiful and historical landmarks worth visiting right here. They could start at Montauk, with its wonderful Lighthouse, great fishing and whale-watching, it’s middle-class vibe, so different from the stagnant Hamptons. They could trek through Camp Hero, with its Cold War history and fun-to-speculate-about Tesla connections.

Then, the Obama’s could visit the Shinnecock Indian Nation at its annual Pow Wow where he can pick up some pottery and tuck into some delicious Fry Bread. I’m sure the fishermen and pub owners in Montauk and Shinnecock could benefit from the economic stimulus of such a visit. Heading back to Manhattan, the Obamas could visit the Old Bethpage Village Restoration, or sample a the fare in Oyster Bay.

Leaving Long Island, the Obama’s could get in an RV and travel westward, hitting spots of interest, state-by-state.

My family did this when I was a kid
, traveling in a big GMC Rambler Wagon. We saw Notre Dame University, Mount Rushmore, and the Crazy Horse Memorial, the Buffalo Bill historical center. It sounds corny and campy? Quite the opposite, it was an interesting, educationally valuable and ultimately inspiring vacation. Along the way we encountered American goofiness and American genius and we came away from the trip feeling better-acquainted with the nation and warmly affectionate toward her citizenry, even making peace with people who refer to soda as “pop.”

The media, of course, might not like having to follow the Obama’s into such dusty, hayseed venues when the Vineyard beckons–they certainly didn’t like having to follow Bush to Crawford–but perhaps making the acquaintance of the “provincial” sort of plain-folks American they would encounter may broaden their parochial perspectives a little.

After all, why should anybody go back to their lives as usual? The press has done Democrat-laden Nantucket to death, and they just covered Chelsea Clinton’s Big Wedding. You’d think they’d be a tiny bit curious about life beyond the Boston-DC corridor, if for no other reason than to see if all of their dearly-held stereotypes are ring true.

People are sick and tired of other people telling them how their lives will be. They’d like to get back to work, as soon as the jobs show up, especially because it looks like they’ll soon be required to pay for some more blatant political pandering. But, while we’re waiting, perhaps the president and his family could showcase America’s history to itself, and show them how it was.

You know, before all the hope and change happened.

Victor Davis Hanson

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