CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The Cheers television sitcom star who played the ditsy postman Cliff Claven didn't mail it in. At a Townhall meeting in Columbus, John Ratzenberger delivered a powerful message that was deeply critical of cultural and economic thinking that denigrates and writes off people who make things in factories while glorifying those who push pencils, manipulate capital and send jobs overseas. Lisa Renee Ward at Glass City Jungle witnessed Ratzenberger's evangelizing for blue collar Ohioans and reported he scolded the media for too often portraying them as "idiots."
Here's a portion of her account:
Several times over the course of the Town Hall he mentioned how the media has done manufacturing a disservice by giving our children the impression that those who work with their hands are idiots asking, “why would a child want to be an electrician or a stone mason when they’ve been fed this message”. He said this has been happening for quite some time pointing out shows like Gomer Pyle. He shared a story of when he went to Europe then to Holland and saw a cop smoking a joint, “I wondered if this was their police then how screwed up was their army? Oh, they are eating cheese and getting stoned…the only reason they could be this way was because the US was strong.”
Ratzenberger was concerned about our national security, stating that “when we have to go toe to toe with someone, and we will eventually, we will have to turn to our industrial base." He continued, “Right now there are talks to have China make the propellant for some of our guided missile systems, we have Republicans and Democrats (in office) who are not doing anything about it.”
Some other concerns he addressed was the fact that shop classes were not being taught in America, that our children are not even taught how to read a ruler, that there are no OSHA or EPA regulations in China and that some police departments are waiting 6 months for ammunition because it’s not made here in our country, and he speculated what would happen if one of these countries decided they did not like us.
He further shared that if the Golden Gate Bridge needed to be re-cabled there is no one in this country that could do it, and that the twin towers would have to be re-built with foreign steel, that there is a disparity in wages between what workers make in China and the US but there is also a disparity in the environment. Ratzenberger continued with his belief that the Chinese think in terms of 50 years and we think about one fiscal year at a time, “don’t the CEO’s have children? Once we have squeezed our middle class out of existence you’ll have the very rich and the very poor.” He gave the example of buying a three dollar t-shirt but how much more it cost from a stand point of job loss.
John Ratzenberger took serious issue with the lack of answers from presidential candidates, “Hillary, Rudy, anybody, answer the question and don’t tell me its going to be a service based economy, there is no such thing, what are we going to service?” He felt people were not angry enough or paid enough attention, “we’re going to vote for this one because he has a nice hair cut or oh, that guy has a really nice smile. I gotta tell you Ross Perot predicted this so why didn’t he get elected? Oh, he’s got big ears and stuff”. He felt that before someone should be president that they should have had to have built a business, that a “poor many never gave anybody a job”. It was then stated that we need companies who treat people like human beings not numbers, that there was a loss of common sense in America . . . "