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From the Kitchen Table


A Tale of Two Viewpoints

by Peg Luksik
 

There was going to be a political rally. The speaker was a leading conservative. The event was to be held at sports arena. Thousands were expected to attend.

Since it was a political event, other conservative candidates were planning to be present. So were representatives of organizations that opposed the speaker's positions.

The morning of the event dawned with the promise of an extremely hot and cloudless afternoon. So one of the conservative candidates brought pavilion-style tents and chairs for his workers, and decided to purchase, and then freely distribute, bottles of cold water. He arranged for coolers filled with ice to chill the water, and attached stickers with his name and web site to each bottle.

As attendees came past, his volunteers, all wearing his T-shirts, handed each one a bottle of cold water with the compliments of the candidate.

At the beginning of the afternoon, a group of protesters arrived with drums and horns. They stood along the path the attendees would have to walk, shouting and chanting and using their instruments as loudly as possible.

After about an hour in the hot sun, one of the protesters approached the volunteers of the conservative candidate and asked for a bottle of water. Since the water was being freely distributed, the volunteer handed the protester a bottle. Soon there was a stream of protesters visiting the tent to get water.

Then one of the candidate's volunteers noticed that the protesters were stripping the stickers with the candidate's name off of the bottles and handing them to attendees as if they had come from the protesters. So the coordinator of the candidate's event informed the protesters that the water had been paid for by the candidate for a purpose. That purpose did not include having someone else pretend that they were supplying water to the event attendees, so from that point forward a protester could only have one bottle of water, to be drunk while in sight of a campaign volunteer.

The protesters were not embarrassed by their actions, but they accepted the conditions.

But now they stood directly in front of the candidate's pavilion, blocking his access to the attendees. They continued their shouts and chants while doing so.

So the event coordinator spoke to the protesters again, telling them that to get water, they had to remain behind the candidate's tents and refrain from protesting while they were drinking it. Again, the protesters showed no embarrassment about their conduct, but they agreed to the conditions.

After exactly three hours, every protester gathered his belongings. By that point, there had been multiple conversations between the conservative volunteers and the protesters. The protesters had been paid to protest for exactly three hours. They were unhappy that they had not been provided with a tent, chairs, or any refreshments by their employer. They were only there because they were being paid, so when the pay stopped, they left.

The day was a microcosm of the two world views competing for dominance in America.

The conservatives planned ahead, brought the correct equipment for themselves, and with their own money, purchased the supplies they needed. They were there because they believed in the conservative values of their candidate, and they stayed the entire day. They had enough to share with others, and they did so.

The liberals arrived with no supplies. They had to ask the conservatives to give them what they lacked. To receive it, they accepted a growing list of conditions, imposed because they did not respect the property the conservatives were providing to them.
The event painted a clear picture of what a conservative, or a liberal, America would look like because world views always result in societal realities.

So, the question before us is, which America do we want our children to inherit?


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