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The fat man sings about entitlements; is America ready?

I didn’t get to watch Chris Christie’s keynote address to the Republican National Convention until this morning. And as I watched it, I thought, “why isn’t this guy at the top of the ticket?”

The autobiographical sketch was too long for my taste, but overall, I liked the message: America has a problem, and we need to own up to it.

Christie said, “We’ve never been a country to shy away from the truth.” I’d like to think that, but is this really true? To paraphrase Brother Payne, do Americans really want a Mr. FixIt?

After all, we’ve buried our heads in the sand when it comes to Social Security and Medicare–and then two years ago, a majority of our elected officials on the federal level endorsed myth over math when they voted in ObamaCare. Even now, institutional support for that Frankenstein’s Monster of health care is growing.

Christie also said, “We know seniors not only want these programs to survive, but they just as badly want them secured for their grandchildren.” I’d like to believe it, but I’m not convinced. Sure, securing the future for the grandchildren is nice, but seniors–even tea party, conservative Republican seniors–live in the here and now.

“Seniors are not selfish,” intoned the governor of New Jersey. True, aging does give a person time to acquire virtue, but it’s no guarantee. And again, the problem with our entitlement state is not just the people who receive the “free” health care or monthly checks, but the people whose professional livelihood depends on it, and the rest of us, who, to borrow Christie’s words, have feared necessary change and assuaged ourselves with creature comforts.

It’s no wonder then, that with few exceptions, our politicians have been content to “whistle a happy tune while driving us off the fiscal cliff.”

Will Americans, enough of them, be willing to wrest control of the steering wheel and put on the brakes? Stay tuned.

First published at The Michigan View