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The Moral Minority

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

“Beware the people who moralize about great issues; moralizing is easier than facing hard facts.” - John Corry

There is a well-worn path by the side of my garage that leads to the back yard where I spend a good bit of my free time. Recently, I decided to lay brick to cover the path so I wouldn’t track dirt into the house on my way back inside. This required about 500 bricks and a long afternoon’s work.

Unfortunately, as I started working on the brick path, I made a frustrating discovery. About 450 of the bricks I bought were bright red but about fifty were of a lighter yellowish hue. So I loaded up the fifty lighter bricks and took them back to the place where I bought them.

If you think I should have instead taken back the 450 bright red bricks, you may want to consider voting for Barack Obama.

The week after I finished laying my brick path I hopped on a plane heading to Colorado Springs, Colorado (to speak at Summit Christian Ministries After the flight attendant made her initial announcements, a young couple called her over to complain that she was speaking too loudly into the microphone. Her voice, they said, was hurting their ears. The flight attendant said she was talking into the microphone no louder than she was at that moment. The couple still protested – although no one else on board seemed to have a problem. Eventually, the flight attendant agreed to let someone else with a quieter voice make the rest of the announcements.

As soon as the plane took off, the small child of the couple with the sensitive ears began screaming. And, eventually, the father began yelling at the child. This went on for the duration of the flight. When the flight attendant with the soft voice announced the connecting gate information I could not hear her at all. Neither could the male half of the couple with sensitive ears. He was yelling at his son who was screaming at the top of his little lungs, which at least partially explained the fact that no one on board the flight was able to hear his connecting information.

If you think that Delta handled this situation properly, you may want to consider voting for Barack Obama.

On the way back from my wonderful trip to Colorado, I hopped on another Delta flight – this one heading to Atlanta. As we were being served our beverages, two of the flight attendants stopped to have a conference in the aisle just next to my seat. It seems that the woman seated in 6A was allergic to peanuts. She therefore decided that she wanted cookies, not peanuts, as a snack to accompany her beverage.

But the woman wanted more than just her cookies. She wanted everyone else on the plane to have cookies, too. It seems that the woman’s allergy was so great that refraining from the consumption of peanuts was not enough. She could not be around others consuming peanuts, lest she become physically ill. She wanted no peanuts to be served to any passenger on the flight.

The flight attendants struck a compromise. The people on aisles five through seven would be served cookies, not peanuts. Everyone else was free to choose one or the other. I tapped one of the flight attendants on the shoulder to inform her that I was allergic to cookies. I also told her I was allergic to people who are allergic to peanuts. She understood my joke and we shared a laugh as she handed me an extra bag of peanuts.

If you thought my joke was insensitive, you’re probably already voting for Barack Obama.

After I got back from Colorado, I checked my email. I was surprised to hear from an old friend from Clear Lake High School. He had been a staunch conservative in the 1980s but, now, he is an outspoken liberal. He dropped out of college in the 1980s and never went back. He’d held a few jobs but had not had any steady employment over the last twenty-four years.

One of my old friend’s reasons for supporting Obama is his position on universal health care. He once had a health plan but he quit the job that had provided it. It would be easy for him to get another job as he is both able-bodied and intelligent. But he says he’s burned out and fatigued. So, instead, he’ll vote for the candidate that’ll make sure he gets his health care regardless of whether he ever gets another job with benefits.

If you think my analysis too harsh, you are probably actively campaigning for Barack Obama.

I know it isn’t always easy for those in the minority to force those in the majority to conform to their needs. After all, it rarely makes logical sense. But, when they do succeed, it is usually an argument won on emotion, rather than logic. There’s just something about those who’ve suffered greatly that gives them an air of moral superiority. And there’s something about helping them that makes us really great people, too.

After another day’s work as a writer I’m off to the back yard to take in the sun in my favorite hammock. If I weren’t such a pragmatist I’d be getting there following a yellow brick road.

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