You might recall the case of Walter Polovchak, a Russian boy who came to our country in the 1980’s. His parents tried to force him to return to what was then the Soviet Union, but Walter resisted. He’s now a 32-year-old office manager in Chicago, and says he’s living the American Dream.
Now comes the case of the Cuban boy, Elian Gonzales. His relatives in the U.S. say his father has privately told them he wants his son to stay in freedom, but he cannot publicly say so in Castro’s totalitarian paradise. This case, when it first hit the news, saw Republican congressional leaders flex their vocal muscles and state with what appeared to be some sort of sincere conviction that they would take action to protect him and keep him in this country.
But after all their tough talk and posturing, Republican congressional leaders backed off. What happened? Well, they took a poll. In polls, most Americans want the child reunited with the father.
The point here isn’t one’s stand on this issue. We can respect those with whom we disagree. But how can we respect our so-called leaders who throw their convictions out the window based on the latest tea-leaf reading of the American psyche? If our leaders make decisions that affect our lives not on the basis of strongly held beliefs, but rather on their desire to cover their political hineys, who needs ’em? We deserve better and so does Elian.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.