Sunday, August 02, 2009

Tip me over...

Right after high school, I worked at a little factory in Hagerstown that made centrifugal clutches for mini-bikes and go-carts, trying to make enough money so I could get through my first year of college. I didn’t make it on either count. Although I didn’t much care for the tedious work, I did meet some interesting people who also worked there.

One was a young man who had just completed a tour of duty in Viet Nam. He wasn’t much older than me in some ways. In some ways he was a lot older. He had a lot of stories. Some were funny, and some were scary. I asked him once if he ever got scared enough to run when the Viet Cong were shooting at him. He said he didn’t, but then he added that he had already decided that if he was ever in a fire fight, and the lieutenant gave the order to “affix bayonets”, he was heading for the back of the line, and beyond, as fast as he could go.

We all have our tipping points. Apparently his was an affixed bayonet.

When I was a kid, my old buddy Stinky Wilmont had a billy goat that we would tie to a little wagon so that he could pull us around the chicken yard. For some reason he got tired of the game sooner than we did, and he would run through the fence or under the lilac bush until we fell out of the wagon, and then he would jump and carry on until the wagon came loose. Different tipping points, I guess. Maybe that’s why it kept getting harder and harder to tie that goat to the wagon.

Moms and Dads usually have different tipping points. Most children figure out where that point is early on, although the point is subject to change depending upon the circumstances, and the most successful children figure that out, also. Grandparents, of course, often seem to lose the tipping point gene, at least in relationship to their grandchildren. I think that probably helps to shorten the tipping point of the parents.

Tipping points are affected by a lot of factors. Sometimes it depends on who is doing the tipping. A lot of Republicans who didn’t have a problem when President Bush was bailing out private businesses, have rediscovered their conservative streak now that President Obama is in charge of the handouts. And for some reason, Second Amendment restrictions seem to be easier to accept when a supposed Second Amendment advocate endorses them.

President Obama’s trillion dollar plan for a national health care program naturally met with opposition from the GOP members of Congress, but even some from his own party objected to the ultimate cost. Sometimes reality can be a contributing factor to reaching a tipping point.

Although I haven’t seen a lot of evidence of it yet, I figure that sooner or later the increased cost of running the government and its ever increasing programs will push voters to their tipping point. Especially the ones that are pulling the wagon. And especially as more and more people get in the wagon to ride.

Sooner or later that’s bound to get your goat.



Anonymous Emily said...

I wish your blog had a "Like" button like Facebook does!

2:48 PM  

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