Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Stump Speech

Today, ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to talk to you about the promises of America.

Over the past few weeks, the attention of our country has turned to the protests of the "Occupy" movement.  We've seen people, young and old, from all races and creeds, from across the country, come together to say, with one voice:
Give us your stuff!  We were promised more stuff!  We want more stuff!
You see, they are mistaking the promise of America with a promise to get everything they wish for.  They believe that showing up entitles them to support from the rest of us.  They believe that an ethos that dictates hard work, dedication, and self-reliance above all else is evil.  Some of them are merely mouthing the words of their rhetoric for the cameras.  Others are actively plotting and agitating for violence aimed at what they mistakenly call 'justice'.

Folks, we know they're misguided.  America doesn't promise you any outcome.  The freedom to choose your own path is also the freedom to starve.  Nowhere is it written that America will protect you from the consequences of bad choices.  No-one will stand in your way if you choose to study a subject that has a low chance of helping you find gainful employment.  But no-one should be forced to make sure you don't end up sleeping on a sewer grate after you get your degree in navel gazing.

What America promises is an equal opportunity, not an equal outcome.  America promises that the government won't impede you as you try to be the best you possible.  It promises that if you want to be a teacher, or an investor, or a programmer, or whatever, your government won't try to stop you as long as you don't hurt anyone doing it and play by the rules.

But no-one is going to catch you if you fall due to your own stupidity or just sheer bad luck.  Feel free to study whatever you want, but don't ask for anyone else to be forced to feed you when you can't use it to feed yourself.  Act as irresponsibly with your body as you want, but be prepared to pay for the repairs yourself.  Blow your entire life's earnings on fun and gadgets, but don't look to us to make sure you're OK when you start looking old age in the face.

What America promises us is that we will be left alone to live our own lives, stand on our own two feet, and be responsible for ourselves, to ourselves.  Yes I am my brother's keeper, but it's because I choose to be, not because the faceless mob forces me to be.

So to you, my fellow Americans, I promise this:  When Candidate X and I take our oaths of office, we will do our best to make sure that America fulfills those promises.  We will make sure that everything we do is within the boundaries of the Constitution, and that we do nothing to impede your ability to live your life as you see fit.  We will also make sure that we will do nothing that will perpetuate the myth that America promises a free lunch to anyone.  Because, friends and neighbors, a wise man once wrote that there ain't no such thing as  a free lunch, and we all need to remember that.

1 comment:

Raindog said...

I find it is like the grasshopper railing against the ants.

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