I was reading Atlas Shrugged when the power went out. That's when the roof collapsed, and my cell went dark, and I could hear the weirdly high-pitched screams of those trapped people that sounded like music from hell itself. Anyway, it gave me some time to think about things.
You know what? I believe America is great, because we fight for individual liberty. But we're also great when we pull together and help each other out. That's an important aspect of our national character too. It's what I just realized three or four hours ago, when I ran out of potable water.
An expression of this sense of community is our government. It's one thing to be critical of it, but it's quite another to say that government is always the enemy. I for one would be really, really happy to see some federal workers right about now. Especially if they brought antibiotics.
A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take it all away - that's what Ronald Reagan said, and it's true. But having a government big enough to buy some rescue helicopters wouldn't be so bad, would it?
Many of my fellow Republicans have been saying we should roll back regulations, and let businesses make money so they can power our economy. I get that. But some regulations are necessary. Like that contractor who offered the lowest bid on the storm water drainage system. The government definitely should have regulated him. It should have regulated the hell out of him.
I still think we needed to make those budget cuts Paul Ryan wanted. We did that for our kids. But I've been doing some soul-searching after standing in my own urine for most of the night, and I've come to the conclusion that maybe raising some of those tax rates could have helped us cut a bit less of the important stuff, like funds for FEMA and equipment for first responders. It could be the hypothermia talking here, but maybe we should have let the Democrats have that one.
I guess I'm just rethinking my whole philosophy about the relationship between the individual and society as a whole. We don't just create every opportunity for ourselves by hard work and sheer willpower. We exist as part of an interdependent network of people - real human beings whose basic needs should be our concern, if we want to be a part of a society. That's why I truly believe we have to move beyond the selfishness of pure capitalism, and why I think you all should let me on your raft so I don't die.
(NOTE: This is dedicated to DMH, mostly because I stole the idea from him.)
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