Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

3 AM in the morning

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Sep 30, 2008

Back in the 1980s I lived through a campaign season during which candidates of both major parties questioned the seriousness of their opponents' proposals by asking: "Where's the beef?" The line drew chuckles the first few times it was used, since it echoed a popular television ad. That seemed appropriate to me, somehow. American political rhetoric had slipped down from the heights of the Lincoln-Douglas debates to the level of hamburger commercials.

Twenty years later, political rhetoric has reached a new low. I refer to the question that is being asked frequently-- again by politicians of both parties-- as to which candidate is better suited to answer that ominous phone call that comes "at 3 AM in the morning."

This is a non-partisan blog, so I don't propose to answer the question. Actually, I want everyone to stop asking it. 

Can we all agree that if a call comes at 3 AM, we can take the "in the morning" part for granted? And if it's "3 in the morning," that means 3 AM? 

If you get a frightening phone call at 3 in the morning, and you notice that your clock reads 3:00 PM, it's time to adjust your clock. If you find yourself talking about that call "at 3 AM in the morning"-- in a prepared speech, even!-- it's time to adjust your rhetoric.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach five million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our April expenses ($17,660 to go):
$35,000.00 $17,340.48
50% 50%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Faith of the Fatherless: The Psychology of Atheism 10 hours ago
Relax; the Pope didn't change Church teaching with a phone call 11 hours ago
Round Trip to the present moment: a Catholic jazz artist's latest offering April 22
Easter with the Pope April 21
Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline April 17

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Easter Vigil homily (full text) CWN - April 20
Pope Francis's Easter Message 'Urbi et Orbi' (To the City and the World): full text, link to video CWN - April 20