Monday, April 19, 1999

Week of 04/19/1999

The Myth Of Mandatory Volunteerism
Involuntary Servitude Is More Like It
- by David Matthews 2

My best friend from my high school days in New Hampshire wrote to me recently. He had planned on going online, and I had spent a lot of time sending him information about different online services, and which ones I would recommend. I had hoped that the next letter I got from him would come through e-mail.

Then, suddenly, he changed his mind and said he wouldn’t go online. He explained to me that in setting up for one of the online services, he’d have to pay an additional two dollars per month for Vice President Al Gore’s plan to wire the schools to the Internet, otherwise known as the infamous "Gore Tax." I was a bit surprised that the phone company would be so blunt as to mention the "Gore Tax" by name, especially since the Clinton Administration hates having the public know they’re paying yet another tax.

But worse yet was how this tax was being explained to my best friend. The phone company called it a "contribution." A "contribution." Isn’t that nice? As if you have a choice whether or not you could "contribute" to Al Gore’s not-so-secret tax.

This once again brings up the myth that taxes are somehow "voluntary." Folks, that’s just what it is - a myth. There is no such thing as a "voluntary" tax system when it involves the government. It doesn’t exist. You either pay your taxes, or have them taken from you by force. If you don’t believe me, just try it yourself… but do so at your own risk.

There are many words that the Clinton Administration can take credit for bastardizing. Words like "freedom," "honesty," "truth," and "tax cut" have all been transformed into concepts so alien that you wouldn’t know what they mean anymore. But perhaps one of the most bastardized words of the Clinton Administration is the word "voluntary."

One of the Clinton Administration’s pet programs is mandatory "Volunteer Corps," based in large part on the Peace Corps. Bill Clinton wants an army of people who could do good deeds in America, not just overseas. After all, why send people out to third-world countries while the infrastructure of the inner cities is collapsing?

But there is a difference to what Bill Clinton’s inner-Peace Corps would consist of compared to President John Kennedy’s global version. Namely, the difference is in the word "voluntary." Kennedy’s pet army envisioned young people willingly and unselfishly dedicating their lives in order to better society. Clinton’s pet army operates on the presumption that we are all self-centered bastards who will only work for the betterment of society when compelled to.

Following Clinton’s "Volunteer" rally, several school administrators began toying with the idea of mandatory volunteer programs for all students as a condition for graduation. Their rationality being that students should think about society first and themselves second.

You know, I can understand the frustrations of getting people to volunteer for anything. It’s not like I’ve spent my life sitting in front of the television set watching football and griping about the problems of the world. First of all, I don’t like watching football on TV. Give me a live stadium any day (preferably box seating). Second, I’ve done my bit "for king and country," as it were, many times over. Everything from concerts to conventions to cleaning up Lake Lanier, I’ve sacrificed my time, money, and effort, to do it. Probably the most frustrating experience of my volunteering time was helping the break-down of a .38 Special concert, smashing my fingers and toes on mobile instrument cases while slackers were munching all the pizza reserved for those of us who worked. So, yes, I know the anger organizers have when they wonder why people seemingly don’t give a care.

At the same time, however, I know that those people who volunteer their services do so because they WANT to, not out of some obligation. And because of that, they tend to do their best effort in getting the job done.

Think about it for a minute. How was the quality of work you did when you were compelled to do something versus something you wanted to do? How many of you have worked dead-end jobs simply for a paycheck? Your work wasn’t top-notch was it? How about compared to something you really wanted to do? Far better work, right?

Let’s get brutally honest here.. Contrary to the delusions of socialists like Bill and Hillary Clinton, there is no such word as "mandatory volunteerism." It is an oxymoron, which a heavy emphasis on the moron part. Volunteerism is done freely and willingly. Clinton’s definition of volunteerism is neither. It is coercion. In many circles, it could even be considered slavery. Not exactly the image liberals would want to be associated with, don’t you think?

It is also very hypocritical of Bill Clinton to push for any kind of forced servitude, especially since he did his damnedest to get out of his own forced servitude in the 60’s - namely the military draft. Oh yeah, great to push the notion of a social draft when YOU aren’t the one being compelled to serve in it.

Perhaps the best way to show the only way "mandatory volunteerism" can work would be to use an old joke told by Hungarian-born pianist Baliant Vazsonyi in his book "America’s 30 Year War."

President Harry Truman, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet leader Josef Stalin had several meetings to discuss the aftermath of World War II. On their third meeting, they tried to sort out their differences, but to no avail. After two days of trying, Stalin suggested a new approach.

"Comrades, we know that cats hate mustard. Let’s us each see who would get a cat to eat some mustard, and whomever gets the cat to eat it will have their way in these talks."

The three agree, and a cat and some mustard were brought into the room.

Truman, ever the straightforward man, grabbed the cat and the mustard, pried open the jaws of the cat and feeds the whole jar into his mouth. The cat then promptly spit out every ounce of mustard all over Truman, much to the chagrin of his associates.

Churchill went next. He promptly ordered a vast platter of foods that he knew that the cat would eat, each of them with a drop of mustard in the middle. The cat ate bit of food presented to him, until he got to the middle where the mustard was, which he sternly avoided.

Stalin shook his head. "You have no idea how to do this," he said with a laugh. And with that, he grabbed the cat and an handful of mustard. He then smeared the handful of mustard on the rear end of the cat and set the cat down on the floor. The cat meowed furiously and chased his tail until he was able to lick each and every ounce of mustard off his rear.

"And you’ll note," Stalin boomed triumphantly, "that he did so of his own free will!"

All one has to do is look at Clinton’s plan to see which of those three leaders he emulates.

No comments: