Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Road Less Taken...


  "If you come to a fork in the road, take it."...Yogi Berra.  

  Mr. Berra  offered a lot of fractured advice over the years. Most of his advice was  entertaining, even if it wasn't always what we would consider "sound". I thought about Yogi's "fork in the road" quote a couple of days ago when my wife Susan and I were driving around searching for a friend's house in southern Owen County. Our Global Positioning System device, who I call Maggie, was shouting  road numbers at me, while all of the roads in the area were marked with names like "Goose Creek Run" or "Stump Ridge".

  At one point, after traveling a few miles down a one lane gravel road, we came upon the proverbial fork. Maggie, whose usual advice in situations such as this is to "make a U-turn at the first available opportunity", instead blurted out something about not having any idea where we were, followed by an obscenity, then glowed bright orange for a second and then turned herself off.

  Striking out on our own, Susan and I traveled the right fork until it dead ended at a big pile of rocks and a clump of metal which I suspect might have been a tractor at one time. We managed to get turned around and drove back to the left fork, which was longer and a little more crooked than our first choice, but there was at least a house alongside the road, and a fellow sitting in the driveway working on what appeared to be a pick-up truck.

  When we stopped and asked him where this road would take us, he explained that there were only two more houses on it up the way. One was his brother-in-law's, and no one had lived in the other one since that tree fell on it and knocked the chimney over.  He said after that the road just kind of quit. He also said he hadn't ever heard of the friend that we were looking for, or the road that he lived on. He did offer to holler for his brother to come over so we could all go in the house and have a cool drink, but we said "No thanks", opting instead to go back to the fork in the road and discuss other options, such as not taking either fork. Options like maybe going back a ways and starting over, and getting headed in the right direction, because sometimes when you come to come to a fork in the road, both of them are going the wrong way.

  There's an election coming up this November, and there are a lot of people who have convinced themselves that there are only two paths available, in the form of the older political parties. I talk to folks every day  who feel that government spends too much, and gives too much of our tax money to businesses, or gives to much of our tax money to other people. Sometimes they feel government is too involved in our personal lives, or sometimes they feel the government is too involved in the affairs of other countries around the world.

  While they might not always agree on where government needs to be reduced, most people would agree that it needs to be reduced somewhere. The problem with limiting their choices to just Republicans and Democrats  is that each of those parties has, does, and will increase the size and cost of government. Maybe not always  in the same areas, or by the same amount, but history has proved time and again that taking either right or left path is going to result in an  increase in the scope of government.

  This fall, there is another option on the ballot in the Libertarian Party. It's not an option for making the government a lot bigger, or a little bigger. It's not simply an option for simply not allowing government to get any bigger. It's about allowing people the chance to vote for making the government a lot smaller than it is today.

  There are other paths available to us. We just have to take them.

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