It is hard for me to believe that it has been almost 17 years since my hero and mentor, Tom Moore left this world. For those of you who did not know ole Tom, he was a hero. He was stricken by polio but that did not stop him from going on in life. He raised a family and had a stellar career for Torrington Industries. Ole Tom taught me how to shoot basketball, how to bait a fishing hook, and how to play football without being what he called a “washwoman” Ole Tom taught me to love NASCAR and I imagine he and Dale Earnhardt have had some interesting conversations.
Ole Tom was a Democrat. He was skeptical of big government and big business. He believed the little man should get a break on health insurance and the like. Ole Tom would have cringed, if not threw up, at the idea of gay marriage. Ole Tom would have never supported anyone who undermined the sitting President in a time of war for political purposes.
You see, Tom Moore was a helluva man. He took the side of the little guy, but had solid values. I have often thought of how ole Tom would be lost in today’s political world.
For we live in times in which the Republicans champion the values of family but lack when it comes to standing up for the little man. The Democrats might claim to stand for the little man, but by and large, they are more worried about the gay man more than the little man. It is a world ole Tom would not understand, and one I have a hard time understanding.
On one hand, ole Tom would be damn proud, as I am of his grandson, and my friend, Marty, for serving his country. On the other hand, ole Tom would have a hard time understanding why basic healthcare costs so much. Ole Tom would never understand why we in
In short, ole Tom would never understand the political world we live in. It is one in which our Governor wishes our state legislature was a terrorist target. (Yes, I know the Governor tried to mitigate his remark in a column in the State, but it is what is is.) It is one in which both sides seem to be bought and paid for and the little man has to choose between his interests and his core values. There simply no longer is a place for the little man who believes in limited government and limited influence by big business.
I often wonder who among today’s top candidates for President Ole Tom would back. Ole Tom would like the brutal truth told by Ron Paul and the hard stand of Rudy. I think he would dismiss Fred Thompson as some actor. Ole Tom would probably like Mike Huckabee and his stand for a new kind of tax system. On the Democratic side, I could see Tom liking John Edwards as an old mill hill boy like himself, but never, ever, backing Hillary Clinton.
The gay rights issues would leave ole Tom in the lurch. But, I could see him saying that Bush and Cheney dealt with
Yet, he is still my hero. He dealt with adversity most of us will never see, and overcame it. Ole Tom did so without complaint. He raised his family and did his job, and somehow along the way taught his neighbors’ son how to fish, how to shoot the basketball and how to hold on to the football when hit. Ole Tom also taught me how to die with dignity.
What Ole Tom did not teach me was how to live and thrive in a political world so upside down as the one we live in. The honor and the courage Ole Tom spoke of is lost on today’s political operatives in both parties. Now things are about gamesmanship and money, not doing what one thinks is right. Every voice, right or left, seems to be bought and paid for.
That is why it is with pride that I comment without compensation. I might die broke, but I will die telling it like I see it without someone paying me for what I write. Ole Tom’s widow told me once that she has seen some of the things I put out on the internet and that Ole Tom would be proud. That is payment enough for me.
I am going to call them like I see them. You see, I don’t want to walk into the Pearly Gates with some old guy standing there calling me a piss ant or washwoman. Tom, thank you. You still keep me from being a piss ant.