Along with my trusted co-pilot of the past forty years, I survived another stealth excursion into the DC metro area. I navigated malfunction junction without shaking fists, honking horns or one-fingered commuter salutes – at least not from me. Having left there some years ago, one thing I never pine for is the beltway madness where everyone is in a hurry and most of them headed some place they would rather not be. For those of you unfamiliar, malfunction junction is where Interstates 95, 395, and 495 collide into multiple lanes of mayhem – all of them apparently trying to escape from Washington at 70 miles per hour. On ramps cross exit ramps and merge lanes are typically four lanes away from where you need to be and it is constantly under construction. I am always left wondering where in the blazes do all of these cars come from and where they are all going. One of my long time Internet acquaintances and former co-contributor at Old War Dogs has a blog “This Ain’t Hell, but you can see it from here”. I am thinking that maybe he has a bird’s eye view of the DC beltway – or its creeping Communism.
In scenes like the DC beltway, I see freedom. I see the freedom that we have, for now, in this great country to move about as we please. My mind trails back to the train trips I made through the former East Germany while traveling from Frankfurt to Berlin where the communist East German guards, known for shooting people who tried to escape to freedom, would board the trains at the stops. Sadder still is the mass of Americans who do not seem to understand what it is they are allowing slip away without so much as a whimper. Just envision that magnificently engineered highway sitting empty with multiple military checkpoints on access routes into and out of the city. Papers please. Travel permit please. Gut wrenching thought, is it not?
Fortunately for me, I arrived there with splendid images of the New River Gorge and the serenity of a trip through the Shenandoah Valley fresh in my mind. While visiting the mayhem, I knew that when my business concluded, I would have that nice drive back through some of our country’s most beautiful real estate along with some valuable time to think.
Interstate 66 is another DC escape route. It is a short scenic ride that dumps you on to Interstate 81, where one must fall into step with the north-south truck traffic which is relatively light on a Sunday afternoon. Traveling through the valley, I think about all of these giant trucks filled with goods cutting through its middle and the valley is still as pristine as ever. Endless pastures with farmland and grazing cattle under a brilliant June sky. Leaving 81 and heading west into the West Virginia mountains I sometimes feel like I am driving into a giant green cocoon. One that is warm, welcoming and free. I think about the highway system crisscrossing America. Our people are able to travel about covering distances in days that took our ancestors many months and goods manufactured on one side of the country making it to the other side in the same manner. The liberals are right I suppose, fossil fuels have had a major impact on our country. It sent freedom rushing to every corner of it and allowed many to escape from those smothering metro centers.
Of course, if you listen to Vice President Joe Biden, our country is falling to pieces and China is where it is really happening. His main qualification for being a heartbeat away is unfettered gas-baggery. Sadly, Washington is full of his kind – people who sell their souls for an eye-blink of power. Joe, maybe they will let you be the mayor of your concentration camp – I mean commune.
I am growing weary of hearing about how wonderful communist red China is with its near slave labor and forced abortion and who is the enabler of communist North Korea where the poor starve while the Kim clan and cronies live life in opulent fashion. This is typical for communist controlled utopias.
In 1993, not long after the fall of the Soviet Union, I was able to take a drive with my wife and some friends into the Czech Republic. It was one of the formerly Soviet controlled countries living in communist utopia. The roads were narrow, two lanes with mud a few steps from the asphalt. Trees along the roadway had white painted trunks some with reflectors nailed on them. There was practically no traffic on the road way. Arriving from West Germany, it was like driving back into 1940. I contrast those images with the images from my weekend excursion to the world’s freedom capital and realize that the trip I made in a few hours would likely not have been possible in a communist utopia.
I grow more hardened against freedom’s enemies each day that I watch what is happening to our country. Freedom is not guaranteed to us just because we were blessed with birth in America. With West Virginia’s beauty right outside my windshield, a super-sized sugar and caffeine laced Bloomberg in the cup holder, God Bless the USA playing on the satellite radio and with executive orders be damned, I vow to live free.
Communism sucks Joe. Even with pretty airports.