2018-07-13 / Commentary

Can carrots save America?

It’s not a criticism; It’s an observation

Nick and I go back to junior high. We searched for the meaning of life when we were too stupid to recognize it if we saw it. We bonded on rock and roll, fell in love a lot, and spent many nights considering how our lives would evolve. We even made a bet about marital status ten years in the future. We both lost.

I bring Nick up because of carrots. Americans are now fighting over whether carrots are suitable filler for hot dogs. And as we’ve done with most everything in the last ten years, we’re being nasty about it.

Nick eschews meat in his diet. Not sure for how long; it doesn’t matter. I respect his decision. Not because he and I have a long history of shared memories and experiences and we can relate to so much that has happened to us in the 50 plus years we’ve known each other, but because he’s a fellow human being and deserves respect.

I like meat. Have for as long as I can remember. This doesn’t mean I feel anyone who removes meat from his diet is contemptible. But that is where we are now. Normal humans have allowed politicians and TV bloviators to convince us anyone who disagrees with us on anything is dangerous, and deserves only our disdain. And now we’re fighting over substituting carrots for wieners.

I’m not a big fan of substituting anything for something else. We can blame the internet for this, I’m pretty sure. Alcohol-free beer, veggie burgers, sugar-free desserts; pointless, unnecessary gyrations designed to make eating healthy easy.

Eating healthy is like getting enough exercise, improving one’s intellect, and practicing civility. It’s a habit one must work at. Gimmicks, shortcuts, and fool-proof solutions don’t help. As one of our corporate overlords is fond of saying, Just Do It. I’m much more concerned about the attitude we have toward one another on the anniversary of this country’s founding. The men and women responsible for establishing this nation were smart guys. But they were not infallible, or perfect.

They refused women the right to vote, allowed some people to own other people, and bickered like ten year old kids over nearly every aspect of America’s creation. But they respected each others’ opinion and realized freedom for everyone was more important than winning. Look closely and you will realize there are no references to “triggering Libs” in the lead up to the Declaration of Independence.

American Liberty is a powerful, but also fragile concept. Every time we allow someone’s rights to be reduced or eliminated, regardless of their position in life, overall freedom is diminished a little bit. A recent poll placed Kim Jong-un above Nancy Pelosi. Think about that. Permitting politicians and their boot licking lackeys to sway our personal beliefs is a dangerous precedent.

Regardless of our opinion of vegan hot dogs, anyone has the right to consume them. Its important, during our country’s birth date, to recognize that. We celebrate Joey Chestnut eating 74 hot dogs. Seems like we can accept someone else eating one carrot dog without whining.

I realize it isn’t Thomas Paine, but it’s a start.

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