One day my youngest son eagerly greeted me at the front door as I arrived home from work. He was very excited to show me his latest LEGO creation. He led me to our family room where he unveiled a quite elaborate house that he built from his vast supply of LEGOs. It was multicolored, had stairs, a chimney, plus a pool in the yard. It even included Luke Skywalker perched on the roof, as if on guard.
“See, Daddy, I made this all by myself,” he exclaimed. Although I was quite pleased with what he had constructed and the creativity he showed, following President Obama’s lead, I knew it was time for a frank and uncomfortable discussion.
“Son, this is great,” I began. “But, you know, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
“Nuh-uh,” my son protested, “I did it myself.”
“No, you don’t understand,” I explained. “It was your time, effort and ingenuity that you used to successfully complete this fine LEGO house. But there were lots of other people, government people, that made it happen. Like teachers.”
“Dad, I’m only four, I haven’t started school yet,” he said in a bit of a huff.
“Or people who built the roads,” I continued.
“I didn’t have any road LEGOs, just house LEGOs,” he retorted.
“Without government, this could not have happened,” I said.
“What’s government?” he asked, scratching his head.
“Remember last spring when Mommy was crying a lot and Daddy was really upset?” I began.
“You mean when the Suns missed the playoffs again?” he responded.
“Well, yes, I said, “but that isn’t what I’m referring to. That was when we had to file our income tax returns. That is money we have to send to the government every year – and we had to send them a whole bunch. The government then uses that money to pay for teachers, road builders and to send to companies like Solyndra.”
“I like that movie, Daddy,” he said. “At midnight the carriage goes poof and turns back into a pumpkin.”
“No, not Cinderella, Solyndra,” I said. Although, Solyndra also went poof, as did a half a billion in tax dollars. Clearly, my son was not grasping the whole “somebody else built it” concept. I decided to forgo any further discussion until after dinner. As we finished dinner, I complimented my wife on the meal. “Dinner was great, honey,” I said. “But you didn’t make it. Somebody else…”
“Don’t’ go there”, she said sternly.
Right then I decided I would no longer disparage hard work, creativity and individual initiative around the house. Although it is not in his nature, President Obama ought to do the same.
Curtice Mang is the author of the new book, The Constitution – I’m Not Kidding and Other Tales of Liberal Folly. He can be contacted at www.mangwrites.com, where one can also purchase his book; or contact Curtice at mangwrites at cox.net.