Bill Totten's Weblog

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Modest Proposal

For preventing the People of the United States from being a burden to their Government, and For Making Them Beneficial to The Public.

by Matt Hutaff

The Simon - Canon Fodder (August 07 2007)

I was at the grocery store the other day when I realized I didn't do enough to support the troops.

The epiphany came after I'd purchased a sandwich for lunch. Walking through the parking lot, I saw a sedan with a yellow ribbon stuck to the bumper. It radiated patriotism, encouragement, and love for the military - three things I'd thought impossible since American troops tried to assassinate an Italian journalist in 2005 {1}.

Seeing that mass-produced magnet struck a chord within me. Despite the apparent inhumanity of our armed forces, each face has a very human story behind it. It's a melancholy exercise to read stories about those with debilitating injuries or psychological problems, or the conditions of their hospital rooms and homes upon their return from a tour of duty. Our army is an all-volunteer force, and with that force spread thin in our war against whatever we're fighting against this week, it's time to relieve some of those burdens.

I think it's agreed by all parties that the number of men in arms is too small, while the number of obnoxious teens and dim-witted adults is too large. MySpace, text messaging, My Super Sweet 16, creation museums, blue collar comedy - it's an ongoing rape of our culture that's left the country in a deplorable state. But what can be done? Draft resolutions come and go, yet recruitment is down despite the latitude given the Army by public high schools!

I've turned my thoughts on this inwardly for some time and have a solution. Some might find it distasteful, even bourgeois, but desperate times call for desperate measures. If government can commit to charging ahead full steam with no regard for the consequences of its actions, it is incumbent upon its citizens to do the same. The advantages by the proposal which I have made are obvious and many, as well as of the highest importance.

First, the government must act on powers granted under the No Child Left Behind Act. Promised as a solution to public education problems, the legislation has instead debased curricula and turned schools into recruitment centers. Have they been efficient enough in doing so? No. While children are now far less educated than peers in other Western countries, they are still rebellious and petulant. And while petulance may prove useful when staring down the barrel of an enemy gun, it has no place in non-combat situations.

The education system was designed to keep youth uneducated and docile {2}. In its current state that mission has failed. As former Dean of Education at Stanford University Elwood Cubberly once said (and said rightly!), schools should be factories "in which raw products, children, are to be shaped and formed into finished products ... manufactured like nails, and the specifications for manufacturing will come from government and industry". It is not too late for students to fulfill this potential! The benefit is twofold; children provide something valuable of their own (fodder for the government machine), while the government can make manifest its destiny without the hindrance of a cognoscenti.

Children are by and large a drain on society, forcing parents to work harder for little return. I've seen poor mothers working several jobs just so their children can eat. They are stupid, lazy, helpless, and underachieving, and they do not appreciate the gift granted them by society (witness a pack at a store yelling at their parents for buying the wrong brand of shirt). Yet, if bred correctly, they are a vast, untapped renewable resource. Education, or lack thereof, is key in molding that resource.

Second, government must continue its goal of eliminating class barriers between Americans. We've seen great strides in that area, from the amnesty programs proposing citizenship for millions of undocumented and illegal aliens to the outsourcing of high-wage jobs to foreign lands. Nothing breeds superiority and resentment like castes, and leveling the playing field is integral to promoting homogeneity across our nation. Through aggressive campaigns to lower both quality of life and the dollar's worth, the United States will achieve parity. Granted, bouts of massive unemployment and homelessness will follow, but each of those souls can find a hot meal at their nearest army base.

Third, much mention has been made about declining standards in engineering throughout this country. The ravages of Katrina are a stark reminder that funding is simply not available for both war and infrastructure. But which is more important, the well-being of poor blacks or a god-inspired government mandate? That answer is obvious.

The decay of our bridges, roads, and levees is not just smart business, it's also good entertainment. There isn't a man alive who didn't tilt back his head in laughter when he heard about those fools who fell to their death in Minneapolis last week. And with six out of ten Americans worried about bridge safety {3}, we can all look forward to a riotous game of guessing which will be the next to collapse. Perhaps the Golden Gate? Or is it the Brooklyn Bridge? The answer is comedy no matter the outcome. And, of course, those eager to escape their rotting cities will be eager to sign up for our armed forces, where reconstruction efforts happen on a daily basis. There's a security in that.

The federal government works tirelessly to promote these programs, hoping their ranks will swell as the strength of the nation diminishes. We must support them all. The American people are a burden on their government, and making us as beneficial to its plans is the best for all concerned. With the number of souls in this country teetering around three hundred million, I calculate there may be about two hundred thousand whose lives would shift from civilian to soldier. Given that, our troop ranks will be replenished, and replenished easily.

This will allow for the merciful euthanization of our injured veterans, who do little more than tie up resources needed for new recruits headed to the front lines. Do we really want cripples and freaks sullying the panorama that is the United States? Do those troops really want to live in that condition? The answer to both is no.

Lowering the population while keeping America strong - Thomas Malthus would be proud. And if that doesn't support our troops, I'd like to hear your proposal.






Canon Fodder is a bi-weekly analysis of politics and society.

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Bill Totten


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