Politics: America chooses free ice cream
Published by: Herman Cain on Friday November 23rd, 2012
By HERMAN CAIN - Adults can vote because they are more responsible than children. So goes the theory anyway.
A commenter on our CainTV web site shared an interesting story last week in response to one of our commentaries. She is a teacher in Tennessee, and her class held an election for class president. One of the two candidates promised that if he won, everyone in the class would get free ice cream.
He didn’t say where he would get the ice cream. He didn’t say how it would be paid for. He just said everyone would get it.
Guess what. He won! Well of course. Who doesn’t want free ice cream? Children will go for a promise like that every time, and you know what? Children deserve free ice cream! Unless they’re bad, but let’s not dwell on that.
There is a reason, however, that we don’t allow children to vote in real elections. Adults understand that government doesn’t have the resources to give everyone what they want for free. Adults understand that it’s not good for people when you simply give them everything they want for free. Adults understand that to breed dependency saps the individual of dignity and self-worth.
Adults also understand that to govern is to choose, and that governing well doesn’t mean just giving people free stuff because they want it and it will make you popular. Rather, it means making good decisions about the available resources and how they should be used to keep the country strong, and to facilitate growth, prosperity and productivity.
Adults can vote, and children cannot, because adults have a mature understanding of what should be expected of government, and of themselves, rather than just wanting free stuff. At least I thought they did.