So this morning, Autumn wanted to watch a movie and after talking her out of WALL*E for the hundredth time, we agreed on A Bug’s Life.
It’s a retelling of the classic story of the grasshopper and the ants, with a slight tweak. If you don’t know the story, here’s a quick summary: a colony of ants spends the entire harvest season collecting food to give as an offering to a gang of grasshoppers, leaving them very little time to get food for themselves. One year, an ant named Flik suggests they do something different–use his harvesting invention to double the amount of food they collect, enabling them to pay off the grasshoppers and still have enough for themselves. He inadvertently destroys the offering, causing the leader of the grasshoppers, Hopper, to make his own demands. He tells the ants they have until the last leaf falls to double the amount of food they collect. Flik sets off on a journey, recruits some circus bugs to help fight off the grasshoppers, and everyone believes in him. They decide to not collect food for Hopper’s gang and instead decide to fight back. At the end, the ants come to realize that Hopper is actually afraid of them–there are more ants than grasshoppers, and if just one ant starts them thinking this way, eventually, Hopper and his gang will be powerless.
We, the American people, are the ants in this story–particularly those Americans who work hard and do everything they can to provide for their families, believe in personal responsibility, and want to succeed in life. We work hard–a lot of us in multiple jobs (I myself have one full time job and three part time jobs in addition to being a father and husband)–and we scrimp and save to provide food, clothing, homes, you name it, for our families. And yet, no matter how hard we work, it seems to be getting harder and hard to make enough to get ahead.
That’s because a large portion of what we earn each year has to be set aside to feed a ravenous hungry group of people who don’t work for a living. I put Congressional leaders and our new president are Hopper and his gang. They show up, take whatever they want from the hardworking people, and tell them to expect it. The ants live with the mantra, “They come, they eat, they leave.” They have resigned themselves to the yearly rip-off, and are just glad to be done with them. Yes, it isn’t fun, but Hopper and the gang are tough, they sound scary, and they seem to be in charge–so the ants just do what Hopper wants.
Hopper intimidates and uses his gift of language to convince the ants that this is the way its supposed to be. And anyone who thinks or acts differently needs to be crushed. This is the way discourse is currently happening around the $800 billion “stimulus” package being pushed through Congress. The American people, in almost every poll (Gallup, Rassmussen, etc.) are against the stimulus in its current form. They see that it’s just another grab of money and power by the government. But how do Obama, Schumer, Pelosi, Reid, et al, respond to this?
They surround themselves with yes men and congratulate themselves on the fact that “they won.” They call anyone who disagrees with them (to quote Schumer) “the chattering classes,” and say that we don’t really care. Obama ensures that the language of the debate is tweaked–if you disagree with the plan he is doing his best to scare Americans into accepting, you are being “partisan” or an “idealogue,” content with doing things the same, “tired ways.” Why do they do this? Because they know that all it takes is one ant, then another, and if enough suddenly stand up and say, “ENOUGH,” they will be crushed. Hopper explains this beautifully in this scene:
The powergrab being foisted upon the American people in the name of “stimulus” is actually just one more way for those in power to continue to expand their power. This bill, in addition to the prevous stimulus, the bailouts, the upcoming bailouts, etc., will amount to more than $8 trillion when all is said and done. This will entrench those in power for generations and ensure that my grandchildren will still be paying the cost. So what can we do? What can we do to ensure we hold the President to his campaign promises of more tax cuts, across the board spending cuts (remember the debate where he promised to do this item by item), and a new era in Washington, DC? How can we stop Pelosi and Reid in their mad rush to exclude open debate, to crush anyone who voices an opinion that differs from theirs (see the current push to reinstate the “Fairness Doctrine” to silence folks like Limbaugh, Hannity, and maybe, one day, this blog)? How do we stop them?
We fight back:
Make your voice heard. Do not allow Congress and the President to take away the rights that are ours, to take more money out of our pockets, out of the pockets of our children and grandchildren. It takes one ant. Then another. Then another. And then, maybe, we will link arms and stand together and say, “Enough!”
Join me. There are far more of us than there are of them. And they know it.