Ice Cream v. Cow Pies

A third-grade teacher from Nashville wrote:

Who worries about “the cow” when it is all about the “Ice Cream”? The most eye-opening civics lesson I ever had was while teaching third grade this year. The presidential election was heating up and some of the children showed an interest. I decided we would have an election for a class president. We would choose our nominees. They would make a campaign speech and the class would vote. To simplify the process, candidates were nominated by other class members. We discussed what kinds of characteristics these students should have.

We got many nominations and from those, Jamie and Olivia were picked to run for the top spot. The class had done a great job in their selections. Both candidates were good kids. I thought Jamie might have an advantage because he got lots of parental support. I had never seen Olivia’s mother.

The day arrived when they were to make their speeches. Jamie went first. He had specific ideas about how to make our class a better place. He ended by promising to do his very best. Everyone applauded.

He sat down and Olivia came to the podium. Her speech was concise. She said, “If you will vote for me, I will give you ice cream.” She sat down. The class went wild. “Yes! Yes! We want ice cream.” She surely could say more. She did not have to.

A discussion followed. How did she plan to pay for the ice cream? She wasn’t sure. Would her parents buy it or would the class pay for it? She didn’t know. The class really didn’t care. All they were thinking about was ice cream. Jamie was forgotten. Olivia won by a landslide.

Every time Barack Obama opened his mouth he offered ice cream and fifty-two percent of the people reacted like nine year olds. They want ice cream. The other forty-eight percent of us know we’re going to have to feed the cow and clean up the mess.

Are we truly this transparent? I know from experience that most viewers on this site are in the 48, and understand the consequences of the choice we’ve made as America.

Most of us see the inconsistencies, the fallacies, and the downright hypocrisy of the rhetoric. Most of us understand that we need to find a cogent message, and a clear way of explaining it to “the People.” A message that will communicate the need for strength in our foreign policy – for limits on both the size of government and on it’s purse – and for morals and values that should be representative of our country.

But in this election (and in how many ones in the future???) it was all about ice cream – it was all about “I want, I want” and not about “we need” or “What is right”. It reminds me of the pronouncement made long ago by a king some claim was a prophet:

26 Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; . . .

27 And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.

I suppose we’ll have to see whether those of us who must “feed the cow and clean up the mess” will continue to allow the ice cream mad crowd all the benefits of the United States while owning none of the responsibility.