Monday, May 02, 2005


Great Radicalizing Rant

I have a financially successful friend who's thinking about buying a second home on a lake, who recently told me that he's becoming "re-radicalized." Just to tweak his tail, I replied:

I'm not sure real radicals own lakefront vacation homes, but I promise not to give you too much grief about it.... :-)

And here's the great rant I got in return.

Ignore smiley. Press button. Cue Rant...

You are probably right. Only the radicals who can actually get something done about anything do. I suppose it would be better for the world if I were not successful financially and intellectually. Then I could be a "real radical" and just whine about what is wrong instead of giving my abilities and money to help actually change things. Every battle that I have ever joined in which the "good guys" prevailed has been won by having a bunch of very smart people with a proven track record of actually being able to accomplish things (and who have and/or know how to attract money to the cause) involved at high levels. Things don't get changed very often just because it is the right thing to do. Here in my State we have improved and protected our rivers by steadily filing lawsuits against the government and other private interests to force the right things to happen. It takes years, lots of money, and some very smart, sympathetic lawyers (most of whom own houses on the rivers up north) to get it done. Same thing out West. I don't think we will ever get national health insurance because of the immorality of allowing 40 million men, women, and children to go without health care in the richest nation on earth. We will achieve reform because GM is going bankrupt because of how much it pays for health care. You know what? I don't give a crap about why it happens, just that it happens. Once the door opens a crack some smart people with the right attitude to go along with their money and influence need to get in there and lead the effort to shape the policy that eventually emerges.

This actually led me to vote for W the first time around (obviously a huge error on my part). I was all set to vote for Gore until he opened his mouth in the debates and the old class warfare stuff started pouring out. As if anyone who is successful in this country ipso facto must have stolen their money somehow and that is why we need to raise taxes and take it back. I have never stolen a single nickel of anything I have ever earned. I have worked my butt off to earn it and helped a few people along the way (as did my father and grandfather who came here without a penny to his name a century ago). I am perfectly willing to take out my checkbook and pay more for the things that need to be done because they need to be done. But, I would appreciate it if some jerk politician would not call me a thief while asking me to write the check.

I wish more guys that own lakeshore vacation homes would become more radicalized. Then more might actually get done.

Right on, Brother.

The Quotidian Meander

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