Kristian Caulder
July 17, 2009

In Kurt Vonnegut’s short story entitled: Harrison Bergeron – on which a 1972 screenplay, “Between Time & Timbuktu” was based – we are introduced to a world where human creativity and true equality are squashed in the name of fairness… “THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.”

Vonnegut’s “Handicapper General” is a most appropriate image to consider when we look at the spineless scum we’ve relied on to defend our beloved Constitutional Republic.

Like many other Patriots, I have found myself to be a lone ranger in the Info-War from time to time.  After all, we are not always joined together – marching, waving signs or distributing materials with our fellow lovers of liberty.  We are often left to defend liberty alone – on random message boards, or at work, or in the homes of our friends and families.  In these moments where I have been forced to stand alone against one, two, sometimes ten [pathetically unknowing] fans of Big Government – more times than not, after presenting the visions and values of true economic freedom and true individual liberty – I am made out to be an enemy of the “little man.”

Vonnegut’s “Handicapper General” is a most appropriate image to consider when we look at the spineless scum we’ve relied on to defend our beloved Constitutional Republic.  When our elected officials spend more time trying to create an illusion of fairness with back-assward legislation – from Hate Crime Laws, Cyber-Bullying and Fairness Doctrines to No Child Left Behind and runaway entitlements – they are throwing shackles around the ankles and necks of American ingenuity.

Vonnegut describes his title character, Harrison Bergeron, as such:

“He is a genius and an athlete, is under–handicapped, and should be regarded as extremely dangerous.”

“Nobody had ever worn heavier handicaps. He had outgrown hindrances faster than the H–G men could think them up. Instead of a little ear radio for a mental handicap, he wore a tremendous pair of earphones, and spectacles with thick wavy lenses. The spectacles were intended to make him not only half blind, but to give him whanging headaches besides.”

“Scrap metal was hung all over him. Ordinarily, there was a certain symmetry, a military neatness to the handicaps issued to strong people, but Harrison looked like a walking junkyard. In the race of life, Harrison carried three hundred pounds. And to offset his good looks, the H–G men required that he wear at all times a red rubber ball for a nose, keep his eyebrows shaved off, and cover his even white teeth with black caps at snaggle–tooth random.”

Ironically, we defend liberty as our peers support Big Government handicapping, and somehow we are accused of stepping on the little man.  “Libertarians believe you should let big business do whatever the hell they want – everyone else be damned” I often hear… and this same premise can be applied to a myriad of other sutations in which so many believe they are creating more opportunity where in fact they are limiting it.  Yet these types of arguments clearly marginalize the little man rather than defend him.

[efoods]Big-Gov proponents assume that free individuals can not be trusted to make decisions for themselves – that they can not be trusted to defend themselves – that they are not capable of experiencing the ups and downs, the gains and losses without nanny-state oversight and regulation safety nets to break their fall if things should not turn out the way the expected.  But this is not preschool… this is life… this is AMERICAN LIFE.

It’s tough sometimes… you bet your ass it is.  But when a free man or woman is left to explore their creativity and their passion for life without the overabundant interference of Handicapper Generals – even with some stumbles and falls along the way – the reward is so valuable and so fulfilling that all of the blood, sweat and tears are worth it.  We should all be so lucky to enjoy that raw sense of self-respect after a job well done… when we set our minds to something and plow through the obstacles – no matter how big or how small – and we achieve.

There is something special inside all of us.  We must identify it… we must harness it… and we must capitalize on it.  But most importantly, this pseudo-intellectual opinion that everyone must be made “equal” must be abandoned.  Lovers of liberty far and wide will agree that all People, no matter the color of their skin or the number of zeros on their paycheck, should be treated fairly under the law.  All People should enjoy the same opportunity to pursue happiness.  But those who have set out and achieved their goals – those who have natural talents and natural gifts that lead them to success – should not be penalized or held back by a bunch of Handicapper Generals in Washington, DC.  Competition is a natural driving force of success and no other place but the United States has proven that so explicitly.  So let’s be fair.  Break the shackles and chains of Big Government – let creativity and ingenuity flourish again – set the human spirit free again.

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