After the financial meltdown, everyone in the media and virtually all politicians of both parties told the rest of us how we should be glad to give hundreds of billions of dollars to Wall Street investment firms and insurance companies. After all, these were the media men and ladies of the night who were friends and neighbors of those we bailed out; these were the public servants who were provided with financial security, dinner at fancy restaurants the rest of us cannot afford, and other pleasures provided by the wealthy to gain the perpetual gratitude of paunchy, balding, unethical politicians.

It mattered not a whit to any of them that these were the same people who caused the economic freefall. It mattered not a whit that these individuals would never consider encouraging or even permitting their children to serve in the armed forces (of the USA), or get a job as a cop or a firefighter. It mattered not a whit that these people made their money betting against the future of our nation, and are now threatening to bring down much of Europe. They must serve their masters.

But when GM wanted a loan to stay afloat, the media rose up, and the same politicians who eagerly provided funds for their friends now could find their voice in opposition. My guess is not a single media news figure can actually name one person who works in a car plant, or a steel mill, or a coal mine. I understand that GM messed a lot of stuff up, my point is that that has nothing to do with the air of disapproval that surrounded these loans. When did anyone say, after the Toyota mess, how lucky we were to still have a number of choices of cars to purchase? When GM paid back their loan, it merited merely a short mention on the news. When one of the banks paid back one-tenth of their gift, so that they could resume their multimillion dollar bonuses, they were met with hosannas from their friends. Yeah, because we’re too stupid to know what they did, and who aided and abetted them.

But it is the spirit of the Rust Belt that makes our nation strong. These are the people who still value honesty, and hard work, and loyalty, and patriotism, and love of family. These values are something that the movers and shakers in DC and New York laugh at cynically. Today was a fine example of this. If you read Shannon’s piece yesterday, you saw a stand-up guy admitting that he messed up the biggest event he will ever be part of, against the home team. He made no excuses, even though the press corps gave him numerous opportunities to do so. Then the people who were most affected by the decision said they appreciated his sincerity about what he had done, and that they harbored no ill will.

So today, as this umpire, Jim Joyce, approached home plate to begin the game, the fans gave him, this umpire who had committed such an egregious error against their team, a standing ovation. Obviously, they didn’t approve of the mistake, what they did appreciate was someone who was stand up enough to acknowledge that he did something wrong. He was different than the politicians who claim to fight in wars, and then say they misspoke when caught in a lie. He was different than BP executives saying that they weren’t at fault for the quagmire the Gulf region is turning into. He was different from all of these miscreants who see no harm in using our treasury as booty to be looted, or the politicians who are only too eager to assist them in their theft of our nation’s future. Heck, he was different than the politicians in the middle of our new oil field that gets ever closer to my back yard who still want deep water drilling, even though it’s sort of obvious that there is no failsafe mechanism. In short, he is different than virtually everyone who either feeds us the nightly news, or is in public office.