Thursday, November 20, 2008

Who Pays for Nice?

Driving time seems to be a time for my mind to wander. When my mind does wander, its unleashed proclivity is to latch onto random thoughts and build. I’m not sure that when I drive, I do my best thinking, but at least I do some thinking. Good: The machine is still in running order.


On the road the other day, I stopped at a light, awaiting my chance to make a left turn. It so happened that this was a day shortly after the election (OK, at least two weeks after the election), well after the time when all campaign litter was required to be cleared from the landscape. Looking around, I noticed a car with a prominent round window decal for the victorious presidential candidate. Sore loser, I looked away—and what should catch my eye on the other side of the road but a bumper sticker hawking the same gentleman’s surname?!


“What is going on here?” I griped to myself; am I sentenced to have my nose rubbed into the election results for the next four—or eight—years?


I searched for some different bumper-d├ęcor. Thankfully, I found something oblong-shaped in my flight from the round emblem. Not thankfully: just as the light changed, I realized it was another left-turn insigne. Hardly able to commit the pithy jingle to memory, suffice it to say it basically implied that the “billions” spent on the war in Iraq would better be committed to instituting nationalized health care coverage here at home. Aside from the fact that “If This” does not necessarily force “Not That,” that bumper sticker stole my afternoon’s thought process.


Who pays for our food? Who pays for our cars? Who pays for our home loans, for that matter? Or, more to the point, who should be responsible for providing those things? Lately, it seems we have been hit, in this country, with a tsunami of opinion that those things are solely within the purview of government to provide.


But how does government provide, when government is supposed to grow out of “We The People”? We seem to have become a people that sees reason in compelling Peter to pay Paul to pay Peter.

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