Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Trophies All Around

Trophies. Awards. Citations. There was a time when such things had special meaning, that being, they were designed to recognize achievement; they were intended to reward excellence, never to denote mere participation. Once upon a time, acknowledgement of nothing more than presence was evidenced by the team photograph. Once upon a time, there was healthy envy exhibited by those simply in the photo towards those who had kudos heaped upon them, and for good reason; the kudo-reapers were celebrated for performance exceeding that of their peers. What a concept.

At some point, psychological super-performers began to write theses disparaging the concept of performance rewards lest they render the less talented insignificant and, subsequently, damage their self esteem. The consensus thus became that the elimination of the concept of winners and losers would also remove the stigma attached to such terms. No hard feelings, no harm done. Everyone would be happy.

Wrong. Kids always want to know if they're winning the baseball game that they have been playing for that very purpose, and when allegedly well-meaning parents and coaches lie and tell them that they don't need to know the answer, they seek it out from parents in the bleachers, or friends with counters who have been observing. To the "combatants", it does matter.

Just as it matters to a worker who, by some miracle, has been instilled with a pride in his worth, and wants to know that his efforts are appreciated, only to learn that the Union will not allow him to ever earn more than his co-workers, many of whom he has witnessed shirking their duties simply because they can. They have been not only in the team photo, but they have also been given the trophy for what was once deemed excellence.

No matter the strength of character of the man, it will be whittled down with time and well-placed charges by a government bent on eroding that will. It is what the founders of this great nation warned, and the means to seize an iron grip on the soul of America.

The final salvo fired in this war, the final blow to the spinal chord of the average American individualist, is the IRS relaxing its policy of the lien on tax-evaders. If they are serious about forgiving homeowners - not all of which are bad people, true - of past delinquencies, it will send the message to every honest person who feared the prospect of a lien, and therefore payed with blood, that their actions were in vain.

Finally successful, our government will have broken our collective will, and we will once and for all become slaves to our leaders. God forbid.

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