You Want Fries With That?

Sarah Taylor
Rightgrrl Contributor
May 21, 2000

Last Sunday, as my family and I were leaving our house of worship, my husband and I began discussing the sermon, as is our habit. The Mother's Day message had been an especially stirring one, challenging moms to pray for their children and show them by example the way to live. I was especially struck by our pastor's statement that what our world needs now, more than anything else, is praying mothers. "Just think," I mused to my husband, "what kind of world this would be if the Million Moms marching to Washington would stop right where they are and PRAY for their kids and their kids' schools, instead of begging the government for more gun control legislation!"

"Begging the government" has become the new national pasttime. It may even replace whining, because even if Washington can't fix a particular problem, it can at least make us feel like something has been done. So now we have the Million Moms marching up to McClinton's, ordering more goodies from the Golden Government.

When did we cease to be a self-sufficient people? Where are the "self-made men" so acclaimed years ago? Nowadays, anyone can become famous, if only for an hour or two. Just pick a cause, and go on Montel or Oprah and whine about how the government needs to change whatever it is that's making you unhappy.

During the recent primary season, a pollster asked the following question: "Which candidate do you feel would best meet your needs?" Excuse me? Meet my needs for what, exactly? Food, shelter, clothing? When the Founding Father's included the phrase "promote the general welfare" in the Preamble of the Constitution, the word 'welfare' meant an entirely different thing than it does today. Welfare today means handouts, not enabling people to achieve their full potential.

Before moms were begging for stiffer gun laws, they were begging for government-subsidized daycare and longer maternity leave. Gays were begging to be given the same privileges afforded to 'straight' couples. Prisoners were begging for Maxwell House coffee instead of 'bargain' brands. McClinton does his best to fill all orders as quickly as possible, but while we are waiting, we can be comforted by the knowledge that he feels our pain.

My purpose here is not to lay the blame for our collective pity-party on Bill Clinton. He is simply a product of our sue-happy, pork-barrel culture. As long as "We the People" choose not to take responsiblity for our own lives and our own problems, our government will continue to try to fix things for us. As long as we are willing to fork over our paychecks (and our freedoms) for fast-food, quick-fix solutions instead of doing what we know is right, we'll see more and more government interference in our lives and new government agencies popping up on every corner like so many burger joints.

Apple pie, anyone?

This article copyright © 2000 by Sarah Taylor and may not be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of its author. All rights reserved.