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May 5, 2008

A Political Speech: Troubling Times


My fellow Americans.

May I first say that all of you are the most intelligent, beautiful, clear thinking, generous, patriotic, and deserving people that I have met, along with all of the other great people of your town, city, and state.

I am sorry to bring you bad news, and I hope you don't shoot the messenger (smiles). We live in troubling and difficult times.

The details don't really matter. If you must have something specific to focus your thoughts, then one or more of these may do: global warming, gasoline prices, college tuition, colder winters, home mortgages, unemployment, bridge collapses, earthquakes, medical costs, fatty foods, terrorists, equine encephalitis, hurricanes, cable TV rates, ozone holes, flu epidemics, cigarette smoke, rich neighbors, day care, retirement funding, melting glaciers, potholes, demanding employers, and taxes.

I could go on. My staff has compiled a list of 463 of life's difficulties, and I am not convinced that we have listed them all. I haven't published this list, it is too depressing.

The good news is that I am ready to roll up my sleeves, sit down with the very best people who will work with the government, and deliver to you a better life. If we organize things in a different way, and all come together in support of this common good, we can finally get a grip on the situation and prosper in ways that are not even imaginable today.

Honestly, this will cost some money, and there will be higher taxes, but isn't it worth it? I promise that we will not raise much more tax from you, but only from those fortunate few that have money in the bank and an income that you find hard to imagine. And from the highest paid basketball and football players, and lottery winners. I think that you agree, that they should not overly benefit from their luck and ability, when there is so much need among you all.

It is clear to me, and I hope to you, that the difference between a world of need and a world of plenty, the difference between a world of want and a world of happiness, is the excess profit of that elite. So what if they haven't stolen their wealth from you; they haven't shared it with you either. They have paid a small one-third of their income in tax, and it certainly could be a bit more.

I want to be realistic. My time in political office, and possibly the service of my wife, in-laws, cousins, and children, may not be enough to complete all of the changes that are needed. I can set the government onto a new path, and it will be the work of others from my family and party to continue on that path.

Even after I leave office, after serving for as long as humanly and legally possible, the fruit of these efforts may not be realized. I will then work tirelessly to publish books, give lectures, and attend tedious but necessary events and dinners to continue the work of helping you all. I will convert a large portion of my Connecticut residence to be the offices of the Committee for the Future, so that this work can go on.

That is the dream. First, I must be elected. With your help, support, and votes, I will gain high office and be the embodiment of change and prosperity. If not now, then when?

Harrison Bergeron
01/27/10 - A short story by the late Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1961) - Online

Current governments want to solve life's problems by soaking the rich. There is another way to achieve equality and lower envy between people.

Vonnegut wrote about forcing equality by making people equal in everything by handicapping them physically and mentally. Very funny, and spot on about the politically correct view of equality. An excerpt:

It was tragic, all right, but George and Hazel couldn't think about it very hard. Hazel had a perfectly average intelligence, which meant she couldn't think about anything except in short bursts. And George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times. It was tuned to a government transmitter. Every twenty seconds or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains.

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