By Jesse Phillips
I was minding my own business one a calm Saturday afternoon, when out of the blue, I received a rude knock at the door. I set down my book The Light and the Glory, by Peter Marshall (which is a great read on our nation’s Christian heritage, by the way) and opened the door. As I looked out, what to my wondering eyes did appear, but two environmentalists bringing green cheer.
They handed me a flier labeled “Save the Planet” and lectured me on how I could protect the environment and lower my power bill 30-50%. The plan was simple. As a homeowner, I qualified for up to $4,000 in stimulus money if I would only do my part to help preserve our planet’s resources and reduce my power consumption. If I just sign on the dotted line, Uncle Sam comes and buys me some new windows and other fine products so that the earth won’t be gradually incinerated or depleted by my evil hot water heater.
In my mind, I couldn’t decide if I should play along or close the door. Oh, how tempting it was to push by them and run down my street, passing all my neighbors innocently carrying out their lives not knowing our planet was in immanent danger, yelling, “Hurry, everybody! We’ve got to save the planet now, and these two ladies know how we can do it!”
But rather than slamming the door or running down the street, I tried the polite approach. “I’m sorry, but I’m not very interested. You’re talking to the wrong person.”
That might have been the end of it, if only the sweet little lady had not asked “Really? Why aren’t you interested?” The bait was set. I had to answer. I’m not sure how it all came out, but it was something to the effect of, “Well, quite simply I don’t think it’s right to take someone else’s money to modify my house under the pretense of saving a planet that doesn’t need to be saved.” I hope it didn’t sound harsh. I was really trying to be nice.
Somewhere between her attempt to convince me I was “entitled to” (which in the liberal mindset actually means obligated to) take this money, and her more condescending remark that there a lot of people who think like me, her coworker saw that this relationship was not going to last and started to coax her away from my doorway.
It was amiable and fortunately I didn’t have to respond to her comment that because I was a taxpayer, I was entitled to free stuff. If I had been required to respond, it probably would have been something to the effect of, “Look, I didn’t pay a dime of taxes and I got a $7,000 check from Uncle Sam. My father-in-law, however, paid up $125,000 in taxes last year, simply because he had the audacity to make more money than I did. And you’re saying I should rob him another 4K to put in some new windows and $25 light bulbs that I could have bought for $1.25, while lying to myself that it’s to save the planet?” Like I said, it might have turned ugly.
They did leave me with a flier offering a free energy evaluation. It contained some bullet points, which I found especially provocative and compelled to respond to:
- DO your part to REDUCE our country’s dependency on foreign oil! Here’s a deal. I’ll start doing that when the government starts doing their part by drilling into our overflowing reserves in Alaska.
- Save our planet!! Protect our fragile environment!! If our environment is so fragile, how long until it dies? Are you concerned about global warming? If so, I just thawed out from our record cold winter last week, so my concern is actually at an all-time low. Sorry.
- Remember, this stimulus money comes from YOUR tax dollars, don’t let your family be the only ones that don’t benefit! Actually, it comes from someone else’s tax dollars, probably a business owner who could have hired 3-4 people like me had the tax rate been lower. I would benefit much more from having a job than a new french door.
- This is a FREE SERVICE; there is ZERO cost to you!! Unless you count unemployment as a cost.
It’s time for me to go now. I’m on my way to Kinko’s to make 5,000 copies of the “Save the Planet” flier on non-recycled paper. I’ll be taking ideas of where I can drop them off just for fun.
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