“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men
are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of
Happiness.” – The American Declaration of Independence
This spring we took a family vacation to Disney World.
We spent a day at Typhoon Lagoon. At this amazing water park, there’s a 3′ deep
lazy river that winds around the perimeter of the heart of the park. Most
people use the river to casually float along on big yellow inner tubes to enjoy the landscape,
music, water and people. There are several entry-points into the river where people wait patiently for other floaters to hand off their inner
tubes as they get out of the river. This particular day, there
was this guy – a hulking 20-something man – who spotted an empty inner tube
floating by. He then decided to push people out of the way, jump into the river, grab the tube and hold it up above his head while yelling back to his constituency “I Got Mine!”
Indeed he did. Of course he got his at the expense of everyone else standing there waiting patiently for a
tube. But this one man decided it was better for him to enforce
his will upon the rest of us and push people out of the way to ensure that
‘He Got His.’ The 30-second wait for a tube was out of the question to him.
He wanted His. And he wanted it now. And he got it. He was quite proud.
Meanwhile, one of the older ladies who he nearly pushed down the steps while he got his, was attempting to find her sea legs while a few others helped her
into a tube.
This one statement – I Got Mine – resonated with me for
months. And the more the US presidential election heated up over the summer,
the more I realized that this self-serving ideology is exactly what I’m voting
against in this election. Over the past 8 years, we’ve been conditioned to
accept people like the guy at Typhoon Lagoon who ‘Got His.’ The Bush
administration, and indeed the Republican Party in general with what appears to be a steadfast belief that somehow the Bush/McCain direction for America is the right one, outwardly promotes “I Got Mine.’
As they see it, yes, this is a free country. You’re free to pursue your dreams and must be willing to sacrifice yourself to being assertive at any cost. The bigger your muscles, the louder your voice, the more
willing you are to step on people to get what you want – that’s their American way.
I Got Mine. How else do you explain the greed and corruption of big businesses in every corner of this country the past 8 years?
And this self-serving ideology is exactly what motivates me
to vote for a change in America. Not just to help the poor and under-served, but
because in MY America, we care about each other. We look out for those who are
weaker. We don’t step on the backs of others to promote our self interests.
This United compassion is what used to make America a beacon of hope for
oppressed people around the globe. We fought tyranny and dictatorships as a way
to promote freedom and prosperity for all. We recognized that all people are
created equal – old, young, black, white, rich, poor – it didn’t matter. What mattered was that we all have a
birthright as humans to freely pursue happiness in life.
Over the past 8 years, much of this universal compassion has
been buried by an administration that promotes the pursuit of happiness IF you enforce your will upon others who may be in your way.
I Got Mine.
While checking out at the vet yesterday, I overheard a
counter clerk say to another counter clerk that – “If you’re going to vote for
Obama, and he wins, don’t complain when you’re taxes go up.” Sure, if Obama wins, about 5% of the
population in America (those who make more than a quarter million dollars a
year) will see their taxes increase by about 3% as a way to help other Americans
who are less fortunate and who don’t have health insurance, or a house to live
in, or a shot at college, or a job, or even food to eat. Is that spreading wealth? Yes. Is it necessary? Yes. If we
don’t help people who have fallen too far to pursue happiness, we fail as a
nation. And while even though these clerks more than likely don’t qualify for a
tax increase, at least one of them truly believed in her heart that its American to grab everything you can and protect what you have at any cost. It’s scary to know so many people really feel this way. What
happened to America? What happened to compassion? Where’s the Unity?
Unfortunately, it’s floating along in a yellow inner tube at
Typhoon Lagoon. I Got Mine.
It’s time for change. For the better. If we vote Republican next week, I hope these
same people who vote for McCain don’t bitch about the forthcoming revolution.
We are the UNITED STATES of AMERICA. If you don’t like that we care about each other – move to The Congo where selfishness is the rule of law. God bless America. God bless the humble. God bless people who care about other people.
Jim Mitchem is a copywriter, father, husband, American and founder of smashcommunications, llc.