Commentary

Members of Congress who oppose a bridge loan to save the Detroit Three auto makers are wrong.

They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe, except (what) they see.

They think nothing of that which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little.

In this great universe of ours, Congress is a mere insect, an ant in its intellect, as compared with the boundless world outside Washington as measured by the intelligence of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen of the House and Senate, there is a U.S. auto industry. It exists as certainly as jobs and taxes and cars and trucks exist, and you know it abounds and gives vital sustenance to the gross domestic product and national security.

Alas, how dreary would the nation be with 3 million jobs lost if there were no domestic auto makers? There would be bankrupt dealers, bankrupt suppliers, bankrupt retailers and gutted towns and cities that once made tolerable this existence.

We should have no cars except Japanese, Korean and European. The bright light that has fueled the American middle-class would be extinguished.

Not believe in the U.S. auto industry? You might as well not believe in Walmart.

You might watch as the Detroit Three’s chimneys are torn down and the unemployment lines stretch from New York to San Francisco.

But what would that prove? Nobody sees the Detroit Three making hybrids and high-quality vehicles, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. The real things in the world are what Congress never sees outside the Beltway.

Did you ever see Rick Wagoner, Alan Mulally and Bob Nardelli dancing on the Capitol’s steps? Of course not, but that doesn’t mean there’s no proof they deserve a chance to survive.

Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders that are unseen and un-seeable. Harry Reid can’t see greed, but he knows it exists on Wall Street.

You may tear apart the greatest industrial machine ever built, but there is a veil covering your actions that will come back to haunt you when unemployment soars and more billions than you can count are spent as the nation’s economy enters into a chaotic tailspin.

Only faith and compassion can push aside the stubborn cackling of Shelby, Corker and their cohorts to reveal the supernal common sense it makes to assure the existence of the domestic auto industry.

Oh, Congress, in all the world there is nothing else more real and abiding.

No U.S. auto industry? Thank God it has lived for 100 years and may it flourish in the 21st century to make glad the can-do spirit of the United States of America.

(With thanks to Writer Francis Pharcellus Church, 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon and the Sept. 20, 1897, edition of The New York Sun)

David C. Smith is Editor-at-Large of Ward’s AutoWorld Magazine.