For most of my adult life, I have only claimed two celebrities as heroes – Pat Buchanan and Ric Flair. It’s never been a secret that I’m a huge pro wrestling fan and in admiring the world’s greatest pro wrestler, I suppose Flair’s character has always been the perfect extension of my own shallow male fantasies. What red-blooded American male would not want to jet-set across the country, donning custom suits, eating gourmet food, drinking fine wines and enjoying even finer women? The clichéd concepts of the “world as your oyster” and having your cake and eating it too, were reflected perfectly and persistently by the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Oh, and how did Flair earn his reputation and achieve his god-like, superstar status? He beat the crap out of any man who dared cross his path. Yep. Sign me up.
Of course, while the kid in me still admires Flair’s cartoon-caricature of lavish living, the seemingly unsustainable concept of “unlimited growth” is a fantasy many Americans have long considered their birthright. Writes my other hero, Pat Buchanan, “For years, we Americans have spent more than we earned. We save nothing. Credit card debt, consumer debt, auto debt, mortgage debt, corporate debt-all are at record levels… Our standard of living is inevitably going to fall… We are going to have to learn to live again without our means. The party’s over.”