I’ve realized that I’ve been wrong all along.
Let me explain. I was raised by well-meaning, but obviously deluded parents. They worked hard to instill in me the same misconceptions they themselves grew up with, and as a result I have been a victim of those misconceptions my entire life. Thus, when I saw that the most liberal-minded democratic candidate of all time was about to assume the presidency, those life-long, deeply ingrained misunderstandings led me to believe that this would be an awful, even frightening thing. “How is it,” I thought to myself, “That the majority of this country can fanatically support a man who represents the exact opposite of the ideals I was raised with?” And for the first time in my life, I asked a question that very few people ever honestly pose to themselves: Is it possible I am wrong and they are right?
It was an epiphany. I am shocked and amazed that it took me so long to realize how wrong I have been. And I have to tell you, it is extremely freeing to come over to the other side.
But I fear I am not being as specific as I should be. Like those who suffer from the disease of alcoholism, the first step to healing is admitting one’s specific problem. Let me take a deep breath and face this.
I was raised to believe in personal responsibility. It was, in fact, the cornerstone of my family’s belief system. I was taught that if I was ever to succeed, it was up to me to do the hard work of making it happen. I was told that no one would give me a free lunch. I was made to buy my own first car and pay my own way through college. As an adult, I have struggled and worked long, hard jobs, all because I believed it was my responsibility to take care of myself and my family. In short, my life view was summed up by the idea that I, and I alone, was responsible for my own health, success and family.
What a prison I had constructed for myself! To think of all the time I spent trying to work it out on my own, struggling to learn and grow, slaving through the days to hone my talents into marketable skills. How much time I wasted trying to create new products and valuable services, all to achieve my own success, to take care of myself and my family. In short, how very long I struggled to reach that elusive and teasing American Dream! Oh, what a fool I was! For now I see what the majority of the rest of this country sees, what the rest of you have apparently known all along: it ISN’T my job to take care of myself and my family. It’s the government’s!
WHAT a relief!
You know, I laugh now, looking back on how I felt during the election. I was so annoyed at people for not seeing the apparent folly of Obama’s statements about “being our brother’s keepers” when his own brother was living in a shack for twelve dollars a year and his aunt was living in a rat-infested slum in Boston. Now, of course, I see the real truth. Obama didn’t literally mean we should take care of our brothers. What he really meant was that the government should take care of our brothers (and aunts). This explains how he intended to help his slum-living Aunt, and I see now that it is a much more loving method than just sending her some of his own money. Instead, once he becomes president, he’ll just send her a bunch of everybody else’s money. I understand now that it wasn’t Obama’s job to help Aunt Zeituni specifically, since she is just one of the millions of children of the government, meant to be taken care of like chicks under a huge, federal wing. It makes sense to me now. I used to be so shamelessly literal.
Similarly, I used to labor under a delusion of ownership. I was plagued by what Congressman Jim Moran recently called “the simplistic notion that people who have wealth are entitled to keep it.” Never mind what Thomas Jefferson (the slave owner) meant when he said “a wise and frugal government… shall leave [men] otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it had earned”. It was quite the two-edged sword of heresy I lived under: the idea that I had to work hard for myself and my family, and the idea that what I earned by that hard word was mine. Only now do I see the folly of my ways, and now that I have rejected them, I feel such a sense of complete freedom.
Shall I describe it? Now I can finally- finally!- let it all go. No longer do I have to work hard day and night to make a way for myself and my family. No more will I have to struggle to create new products that the market may wish to enjoy. Finally, I can catch up on all that wonderful TV I’ve been missing because I’d been working so hard. Now, finally, it’s someone else’s duty to take care of me! How completely and utterly freeing! Here, all this time, I had resented the fact that the government takes away thirty percent of my income. Now, finally, I see that if I simply give up, lay back, and do nothing, that same government will give me chunks of someone else’s thirty percent! What a complete and unadulterated fool I have been, working so hard and trying to be self relient! Obama, and you, the rest of the country who figured this out a long time ago, have finally shown me the way.
It’s a new day. It’s a “what’s in it for me” day. This is the moment where I officially abandon the idea of personal responsibility and making it by myself. After all, I’m a victim. I was misled by my parents, taught a narrow-minded and probably racist litany of lies about character and hard work and wisdom and good choices. Now I see the truth: choices don’t matter, because if I make a mistake, I can abort it (even in the third month, and I won’t even have to pay for it). If I screw up, the government will take care of me anyway, so why even try? Why work so hard to be the one creating the income for everyone else, when I can be the one sponging it up? Let the Joe the Plumbers of the country be the schlubs to go out and work their butts off. They may be sucker enough to think its still worth it to be self-reliant, but I have seen the light. I have learned that it is better not to try, because trying just means having more and more taken away. I have learned that this is the “gimme” country. So gimme. I want mine. I don’t want to work for it anymore. Why should I? It wouldn’t be mine to keep even if I did. I want someone else’s, because they have too much and don’t deserve it, even if they worked for it.
I’m late coming to this party, I know. Most of the country is in line ahead of me. All of you who voted for Obama got here first, but I’m shouldering in with you, lining up outside the federal coffers for my chunk of the handout. The bank doors are open. We’ve finally gotten to that fabled point where we are voting in a president because of the free goodies he’s promising us. I know it means the end of the country is at hand, but it isn’t here yet. There’s still at least a few more years of good looting to be had before everything is completely broke and all the producers flee the country like rats from a sinking ship. Until then, at least for a little while, there will be plenty of wealth to spread around, so get outta my way. I want mine.
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Hallelujah, Reverend Wright, pass the collection plate.
and if no one else calls it…I got first dibs on 30% of Bill Gates bank accounts…