Bernie Sanders and the Magical Taco

We’re in the heat of the campaign season and sure enough the election is all the talk. A friend of mine posted a funny meme video on Facebook regarding Bernie Sanders, I thought it was spot on. It’s a clip with the title, “Your Average Bernie Sanders Supporter” and the woman on the clip wants stuff. Where is her stuff? For stupid political poking, it’s spot on. So, tongue in cheek, I left a comment, “Where is my stuff?”. Sure enough I get a response back from someone, “Eh, You say “Free stuff’, the rest of the world says “human right”. Tomato, Tom-ah-to right?”

Right.

While this comes from the pit of useless banter and trolls,  I think this quote actually represents a problem that we have. While I can’t blame this person for shooting off a dumb line in a Facebook comment section on a silly clip, I see this as a frequent theme from Bernie supporters. Instead of saying, “Hey I want someone else to pay for this,” they will call whatever they want a “right” therefore it should be provided. At least you can’t blame the former for being dishonest.

I’d love to see where it is actually written that a Free College Education or Healthcare is a right, because it’s not. Not in the U.S. Constitution or Universal Declaration of Human Rights. You don’t have the right for someone else to pay for your right. No one is going to pay for your right to free speech by purchasing your newspaper or publishing your book. No one will pay for your gun but you do have the right to buy one for yourself. The same way, you can certainly go ahead and purchase health insurance and invest in a college degree. No-one is telling you that you don’t have the right to receive either one of those things.

Even for those who struggle, there are safety nets and opportunities to achieve through Medicare and Medicaid for health and scholarships and grants for college.

Like a genie however, they are in the business of making wishes, I mean progress, *ahem* rights. So in the spirit of feeling the Bern, I shall write a new rights platform. I nearby decree that all persons living are entitled to free tacos.

Better yet, I believe someone else should make them for us. Because we have none and I don’t want the responsibility of going to the store, buying ingredients, learning the recipe or taking the time and effort to actually make one myself. It takes time, effort, and I would have to buy the tools to make it. Added expense that just isn’t fair. And I want the best.

Chipotle makes the best tacos and as a corporation they can afford to give them away. They are in the business to make a profit and that isn’t fair to us. Why should they develop the recipe, invest in the talent, and plan out success just to charge us? They should be sharing the wealth not make us pay an incredible $8. I mean, the pizza place down the street charges $3 for theirs. This is just greed.

And one more thing since we’re in the dream, I mean progress, I mean rights business, why don’t we get that extra guacamole that makes them even better.. that everyone charges extra for because of cost… free. Pile it on thick and no big deal if you waste some by dropping it on the floor. Why? Cause we have no vested interest and we want the freedom from responsibility! *enter some European millennial anthem and wave the flag of social equality*

Bernie Sanders represents an unhealthy growing strain in America, separate from the usual corruption and complaints that breaks up our faith in government. Uncle Bernie authentically believes what he says and I do believe that he wants the best for people. What he and his supporters don’t realize, is their socialism kills the freedom to success and failure, which are both linked at the hip and leads to just failure. It leads to theft, jealousy, and tyranny. Where true capitalism expresses free will. The problem with Bernie is not that he wants to help people, the problem is he is wrong on how and he’s especially wrong for America.

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Part 3: Happiness vs Joy

This is the third and last of a three part series on Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness, wrapping up with happiness. Coming from the first line of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, these inalienable rights for all make up the foundation of our society. Not to be viewed as an ancient scroll but a living manifesto of the U.S., it is something that any shade of American can hold as their own. Left or Right, all people in the melting pot can subscribe to this. The Constitution is what sets it in practice. While the Constitution has mechanisms to adapt to the times, its strength comes from being nearly timeless. It’s important to note that these rights are not given by man but by the Creator or for you atheists out there, nature. The point is still sound; the Founders recognized a truth, a truth that mankind’s basic rights are not subject to the will of those who hold power. These are your rights. You own them. The original entitlement. This is what makes us, U.S.. Don’t throw them away. Embrace them for yourself and those around you.

I’ve been chewing on happiness for a while. This has been the most difficult of the three rights to write upon. What is happiness? Merriam-Webster defines it as “feeling pleasure and enjoyment of life, situation, etc,”.  Ok, that’s easy to grasp. Happiness is a vague and general term that can change from one person to another. There is no doubt when you feel it. If I were to ask you if you could recognize when you feel happy, you wouldn’t hesitate to answer, “yes”. You know what it is.

Ask yourself this, are you happy now? When was the last time you felt happy? Are you happy often? Don’t you deserve to be happy?

Now seriously, think about that for a second. Really. How often do you think about the happiness in your life? Do you lack happiness or are you overflowing with it? Why is that for you? Do you know why? Do you know the root cause of your happiness or lack of?

Defining what happiness is, is the easy part. Finding and maintaining it is difficult. I would like to define happiness into two categories. The first is what I think many confuse with the second, and that is a shallow, self serving, “happy”. A materialistic and consuming happiness. It’s the feeling you get when you go shopping and grab a new pair of shoes, get likes on Instagram for that cute selfie, or even a first date. When I say shallow, I don’t mean it in a deragatory way, just simply, that it lacks depth. It’s fleeting, circumstantial, and momentary.

The second, is a profound, selfless, purpose driven joy. It’s Love or service to others without repayment. This one is expensive however. Not in money of course, it’s a different kind of currency. A currency of the soul. It requires that you pay in time, attention, and dedication. It requires growth and perseverance.

Happiness is something that has been written about since the start of time for us. We the people though have been losing sight of what that means and have been confusing the selfie happiness for selfless joy. American’s are notorious for consuming. We consume materials, things, money, time, and people.

An abundance of likes is not equal to abundant joy. This isn’t a tirade on the shallow happiness and by no means seek to avoid it. It happens all the time. Just recognize it for what it is. What I am advocating, is the pursuit of joy. Dive deeper than the whimsical happy. Get your hands dirty. Commit your heart. Suffer the pain that can come from the risk of opening your soul.

As a man of faith, I draw unending joy from the pursuit of the power of God and the blessings put upon me, like my family and fiancé. I highly recommend it but if you’re not there, simply looking up from the phone or beyond the mall could be a great step for you.

The Forefathers knew that happiness is different for all. You have the right to pursue it anyway you choose. Free will is an awesome thing. However as a man who has chased the cheap and moved towards the deep, I recommend taking the dive.