I'm a part-time adjunct instructor at the Ozarka College facility in Ash Flat. The other day, one of my students asked me what the difference was between Democrats and Republicans and regular people. This seemed like a strange sort of question, especially since I only teach computer courses.
I don't quite remember my answer, but it was short and got a laugh from the rest of the class.
Of course, there really is a difference between Democrats and Republicans and regular people.
Democrats depend on government to care for them from cradle to grave. They think of government as a charitable welfare organization and feel they are entitled to a redistribution of wealth, which includes plundering those who prosper and rewarding those who don't (through a progressive income tax, estate taxes, etc.).
Republicans believe government's main purpose is to stimulate economic growth (by supporting corporate interests), and anyone not contributing to the economy should be rebuked or incarcerated. They also believe in maintaining a superior (expensive) military force to protect their global economic interests, by force if necessary.
Democrats think of Republicans as greedy money-grubbers who don't care about the welfare of others. They see themselves as champions of the common people and don't consider stealing from the rich to be stealing.
Republicans think of Democrats as a drain on economic resources. They see themselves as champions of the greater good, by prospering from the labor of others and by being a self-appointed global police force.
Between them, the Democrats and Republicans have continually spent more money than they have taken in and have driven this country into near bankruptcy. We now have a national debt exceeding $7 trillion that keeps growing with no end in sight. Future generations will be required to pay for our current exorbitant spending habits.
Regular people try hard to ignore Democrats and Republicans, but every four years they're forced to endure months and months of campaigning by the two political parties that have each selected one of their own to be one of two choices they will bestow on the public to become our next president.
To regular people, a choice between two candidates doesn't seem like much of a choice but they go along with it because they understand they're only one voice in a country of several hundred million people and assume their voice will not be heard.
So the Democrats and Republicans fight it out while masses of regular people bang their heads against the wall and wonder if there isn't a better way of doing things rather than being overpowered by those in control. Most regular people figure there probably is a better way of doing things, but they also realize that the Democrats and Republicans have a stranglehold on a power structure that they will never relinquish.
Some regular people take a more realistic approach. They don't bother to bang their heads against the wall because they don't allow themselves to be affected by the system.
They've resigned themselves to the notion that the world isn't exactly fair and probably never will be fair, so they'll just try to make the best of it without getting involved. If you mess with it, it will mess on you -- if you ignore it, maybe it will go away.
Democrats and Republicans don't respect regular people. They believe everyone should be involved in the political process and fail to understand that excessive government is often the problem rather than the solution.
Regular people don't respect Democrats and Republicans either. They would rather go through life without being monitored by a gaggle of lawmakers (mostly lawyers) in Washington; most of whom are so far out of touch with regular people that they actually believe they deserve every salary increase they vote for themselves.
Regular people just want to go through life without too many hassles. Getting an education, earning a living, raising a family and putting food on the table is hard enough without interference from a system that seems to be dominated by special interests and maintained by people who create more problems than they're able to solve.
If it weren't for regular people, I'd move to another planet.
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Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels, which are available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at email@example.com.