You cannot strengthen the weak by
weakening the strong.
You cannot help small men by
tearing down big men.
You cannot help the poor by
destroying the rich.
You cannot lift the wage earner by
pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot keep out of trouble by
spending more than your income.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by
inciting class hatreds.
You cannot establish security on
You cannot build character and courage by
taking away a man’s initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by
doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.
I ask, what are we doing to America with all the social programs and the entitlement mentality of the American people? What happened to our fierce independence and the self-reliance that built and fostered the American dream?
As I have watched the news and the policies of the current administration, I have groaned at the utter nonsense and social program theories that spew from politicians’ mouths, especially during the pandemic. Mask mandates, vaccine mandates, higher taxes and governmental control of education. What’s next, online dating control?
Tongue in cheek, here’s how it would work. The compassionate politician goes to visit the high school. He notices the dating scene isn’t going well for some teens. They never get asked out. Wallflowers line the walls at dances. What a tragedy. Just image how demoralized they feel. Imagine how their self-esteem suffers when they see others becoming prom king or queen and the football hero while they sit on the sidelines of life. Something must be done. The government needs to step in and equalize the dating scene.
At the think tank he devises a marvelous plan, reveals it to his colleagues and they applaud his efforts. They present it to committee and on to the floor of the House. It is so important that it takes first place on the agenda. Mrs. Speaker makes sure of that. Gas prices, national security, defense spending and even trade rulings take a seat behind high school student suffering with low self-esteem. It passes the House, the Senate and the president proudly wields his pen.
The plan unfolds in full glory. The government takes over the dating scene and rolls into the educational system like a steamroller. They confiscate the most successful online company. Every student across the nation submits a profile by the time they are 14 listing all their hobbies, preferences and gender choice. Debates break out about the submitter. Due to television conditioning, some children start dating as early as six or seven. It is suggested that the young don’t have the reading capacity or the comprehension skills to fill out the form. Someone suggests that the parents should do it. “Oh no, no! Not the parents! They have too much control already. We must create another plan.”
The other side of the aisle suggest that at the end of the kindergarten year, the teacher should help the child fill out the form. There is an outcry. “Not the teachers! They are still trying to figure out how to implement our latest mandate. Besides, if we left it to the teacher, the states might try to assume control of the program. They might delegate control to the local school board, and school boards might turn to the parents. That would be too close to local control. We can’t let that happen. Parents might think they have rights again. Besides, if the state handles the program, we wouldn’t be able to charge federal taxes for the plan. The only right and logical thing to do is to create another agency. It will only take a billion dollars. What is a billion dollars between friends.”
We will package the whole deal in such a way that it will look like the American people will only have a 10% tax increase.
By hook or by crook, the online dating bill becomes law. There are a few bugs the first year. Older students complain about the paperwork. Teachers complain about more government regulations, the local Joe down the street blames the new taxes on the oil companies and the working man just puts his shoulder to the wheel and works and works and works.
At the high school, everyone becomes prom king or queen. The football hero is no better than the bench warmer. No one wins or loses because the scoreboard was removed from the football field because of a rider on the online dating bill. Everyone has a date, like it or not. Every complaint is met with, “You filled out the paperwork! You go with the computer’s choice! You will be happy because Uncle Sam says you are happy!”
The next year, the government wonders why no one wants to be on the football team and why the student body opts to watch television rather than host a prom. They wonder why the wallflowers still go around long faced and feel ridiculed even when they have a date every weekend.
The government doesn’t look back and say, “The program was a failure.” Oh no! Instead they say, “We must do some long-range studies to see why the football team no longer plays and the students don’t want to have a prom. There must be some underlying psychological reasons. Perhaps we need to pour more money into our online dating company. Let them advertise like they used to when they owned the company. Maybe solutions lie in nutrition. We’ll need more regulation in the cafeteria. They are serving too many carbs. The latest diet trend shows that more saturated fats will level out the carb intake. We’ll mandate a few more fats. Perhaps more fried foods would do the trick. Perhaps we need more school counselors so students will be more comfortable talking about their problems. Perhaps couches in each classroom with a live-in counselor. Sure, it will take another billion or so. Who’s counting? The taxpayer won’t notice if we make just a tiny tax increase, say 10% or so. They won’t notice. If they do, we will blame it on the rich online dating competitors.”
All joking aside, the men and women who founded America were fiercely independent. They cut down trees with their axes and handsaws. They dug foundations to their homes in untamed forests. They yanked up stumps and built the American dream one backbreaking brick at a time. They forded rivers and buried loved ones on the prairies in shallow graves. They held the American flag aloft over the dead and dying soldiers who loved independence and freedom enough to die for it. They lived by the work ethic: “If I didn’t earn it, I will not take it.” Charity was given, not expected. The idler was shunned, and the worker was revered.
What has happened to America? No, what has happened to the American government? What will happen if all Americans decide to allow the government to solve their problems? Who will pay the taxes to fund the programs? Wake up! Fishing is hard when you must feed thousands who have never learned to fish. Take away the entitlement programs and give the American people back their money. Teach them correct principles of management, and it will surprise you how great America will become.
It is not the ease of the flat trail that makes the mountain climber great. It is the Everests of life that train reflexes, tone muscles and make a person grateful to look back on the ledges and caverns with reverence and respect.
No one really wants a handout. Deep inside, people are looking for a hand up, so one day they will be able to reach back and give a hand to someone else. That is where self-esteem lies. The government can never mandate the feelings of the heart. A person can have all the trappings of success and still not be successful. Real success is the triumph in a toddler’s eyes as he climbs to the top of the couch for the first time. He looks back and his expression says it all, “I did it on my own!”
Yevet Crandell Tenney is a Christian columnist who loves American values and traditions. She writes about faith, family and freedom.