While running a few errands today I saw a bumper sticker that said I *Heart* Equality. Whenever I hear or see that sentiment I am reminded of the Rush song “The Forest,” which explores a scenario where smaller trees rebel against the oaks for being too tall and taking too much light. The song concludes with the lyric:
For they passed a noble law,
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe, and saw.
Equality is a fantasy. Even if we lived in a world where every single person was born with the same abilities and mental capacity, the geography of the planet will create unequal results. Are we going to bulldoze the entire planet? Drain the oceans? Flood the landscape? It’s complete stupidity.
The only way to achieve “equality” is to force everyone to the same level, to shove us all into the same mold. Equality through control. And therein lies the problem.
Since equality is not natural, it must be made. But who does the making?
In a world where all are equal,
there is still one above all,
the one who wields the axe.
The emotion is overwhelming.
I’m working to build a dream, my own company, a thing I can call my own, while men in thousand dollar suits sit around planning how to crush it all. They eat filet for lunch while I have a cold cut sandwich and they have the gall to think they fight for the little man.
Our warriors are dying in strange places, trying to keep us safe. From what?! From those who mean us harm? Does it not harm us to have others tell us we don’t deserve what we have? That we must have it taken from us to be given to others? That we don’t deserve the freedom to protect ourselves, to defend our homes, to worship what we want to, and to speak freely?
Does it not harm us to have people deny IRS applications because they don’t like a name?
To leave soldiers to die because it wouldn’t be good for an election?
To have a reporter fraudulently called a criminal co-conspirator so you can spy on him?
What is happening to us? What is happening to me? What is happening to America?
I try to let it all pass me by, but it eats at my soul, hurts my heart.
Can it be stopped?
Will there be anything left?
And so we weep.
As we still find ourselves wading through anti-gun legislation, primarily at the state level at least for the moment, I thought it would be good to share my take on an interesting conversation I recently had with an anti-gun young man. He was quite confirmed in his belief that guns are stupid to have generally available and that they should be banned from public use. So I made the usual argument regarding gun bans and their lack of influence on criminal gun possession and use, effectively making the law abiding subject to the now physically more powerful criminal. He still stuck to his guns (see what I did there).
So rather than giving up the argument, I switched strategies. I conceded the gun ban angle and had us imagine a world without guns at all, none, zero. And I asked him if bad people would still exist in that world. Yes. And those bad people will still want to do bad things. Yes. And now that guns don’t exist, what do you think those bad people will use to do bad things? Sticks maybe?
So. Now guns are banned. No one has guns. But now bad people are beating people with big sticks so they can take their money. What should we do now?
Ok, let’s ban sticks. Tell you what, let’s ban everything. Nobody has anything. Do bad people still exist? Yes. And those bad people will still do bad things? Yes. And now that everything is banned, what will those bad people use to do bad things?
I put my hands in front of me and made two fists.
On April 8th I posted my thoughts following an exchange between my wife and a friend regarding Republican vs Democrat party affiliation where the Democrat supporter summarized her position along the lines of, “The government’s going to take my money anyway, and I’d rather support the party that gives some back to the poor.”
In my April 8th article, I countered that position by asking why giving someone money is so noble. It erodes self worth and fosters bitterness toward one’s own situation and resentment toward those who perpetuate that situation by subsidizing it.
But later I had another revelation about support of the party that claims to care, it’s one thing to vote to give and quite another to vote to take. I think if I were faced with this discussion, I would congratulate the Democrat supporter on their desire to give to those in need, but I would ask how they feel about people voting for Democrats because they get something out of the deal. They don’t cast that vote because they care. They cast it because they want. It’s an entirely different paradigm.
Then, faced with this perspective, I would ask the Democrat supporter if they’re as enthusiastic about a Democrat vote knowing that many Democrat supporters only do so because they are given things, not because of a moral high ground.
Further I would reiterate to the Democrat supporter that while they feel they are doing the right thing by voting to give to those who need, they are also voting to take from those who have. It’s one thing to give voluntarily and quite another to be forced to do so. The argument can be made that the people who don’t voluntarily give are morally inferior to those who do, but that doesn’t excuse giving license to the government to take.
It’s all about give. And take.