October 27, 2012

The Fairytale

There is a princess of a girl – pretty, polite and pure – who is good at heart, but powerless and poor until a rich, handsome man sweeps her away to his gigantic castle to live happily ever after.

The Reality

Boys and girls get horny after puberty and it takes us many years to learn to build the skills to maintain logical thinking in the face of biological urges.  But life does not wait.  We fall in love.  We get laid.  For some of us it happens in that order, and for the lucky few, it leads to some version of the fairytale.  And the rest of us just try and find our way.  God forbid we fall in love with someone of our same gender.  That can’t be right – that relationship can’t procreate.

The Disconnect

We live in a culture of entitlement.  Many of us feel entitled to some version of the fairytale.  We define success as having a big home, lavish meals, a big chariot, and never getting sick, disabled, divorced, unemployed and never having children with development delays or disabilities.

Then some of those whose lives look an awful lot like the fairytale – by some mix of luck and hard work – feel their achievement of the fairytale qualifies them to determine how the rest of us should live.  Because some of us see their lives as some version of our ideal, we believe them.

And this is how we come to have a lot of rich, white men feeling entitled to dictate what a woman should and can do with her body.  We should keep our legs locked at the knees, regardless of the urge or force that ends up parting them.  We should be strong enough to bear the morality of sexual choices, but not responsible or smart enough the make choices in dealing with the consequences.  If we get pregnant, we absolutely must bear that child (and associated medical bills), regardless of whether we are emotionally or financially able to do so.  And then we should either say goodbye to that baby forever, or need to become to maternal model of Cinderella’s Fairy to our children – perfectly patient and wise and able to provide for them.  If we have a male partner in parenting, we better can our career ambitions. And if there is no man in the picture, well we need to get off our asses and hold a job, too.

The Fairytale Class

These folks have toiled so hard like saints and their wealth makes them benefactors to society because their lavish spending trickles down to the masses.  Therefore they are entitled to only pay 17% tax, or some version of that.  They get a tax break, a lesser percentage, by virtue of their wealth and well-paid tax professionals.  But the struggling citizens for whom the fairytale will likely never happen, they can’t have a break on their taxes.  They might come to feel entitled to it.

If the Fairy-talers need to make a long-term investment in their business, say a large building or stadium, the government should also give them a tax break.  They are entitled to assistance because the project creates work for others.  They are not expected to plan the project around what their business can afford or whether it is a good strategic choice.  They need extra incentive from the government.

They preach small government and personal freedoms while they spend millions trying to pass laws to limit freedom and expand government mandates on personal choices.  They claim they are the ones who can “get things done”, but things they spend their energy on benefit the fairy-talers and not the masses.

Many associates of the fairytale-based politicians also believe their fairytale is a gift from God.  And well, since that has worked so well for them, they believe the rules of their faith should dictate the law of our society.  No abortion and no same sex marriage.  Same sex unions are outside the fairytale box, so they must be vile.  They can’t possibly be about love or partnership or human connection.

Only fairytale success entitles you to choice and decision-making power in your own life.  Only fairytale success entitles you to a break from funding your share of society.

A lot of important decisions will be made in this election, only some of which are covered by my little analogy. But in terms of the politically charged word ENTITLEMENT, we are all guilty to some of degree.

In this election for President, we are not deciding whether to give out entitlements, but to whom.