I’ve been having a consistent debate with my brother Mike over a central question: Who contributes more to society, me or him?
Since we can’t seem to come to agreement, I’m asking readers to intervene. In this column, I will describe briefly our respective lives, and you guys can go on The Signal website and leave a comment explaining who you think is a more productive citizen. Or if it suits you, a letter to the editor is fine as well.
So here goes nothing. First, my politics: I believe that the relationship of government to the citizen should reflect that of a Jewish mother to her child.
The job of the state is to overprotect the people. That means new laws banning jawbreakers on Halloween and swimming alone, while mandating drivers travel 10 mph below the speed limit. In school, the education system should regularly guilt students with endless curriculum about our country’s past sins. Courses on these subjects would ideally replace time spent on math and science.
Food stamps must be greatly expanded, so citizens can afford more than just the bare essentials for nutrition, but seconds, with sauce on the side; lox and bagels, a good brisket, and some Lactaid for when that brisket runs through you, if you know what I’m saying.
As for what I like to do: My main hobby is writing columns in The Signal that tell people who are older and more successful than me how to live their lives. Predictably, this has led to readers sending me some angry messages, like:
“I was having a great morning, Doof, drinking my coffee, eating my eggs, until I opened up my paper and read another one of your BLEATS.”
“This is UCLA-level writing? Are you kidding? What are you majoring in? Milking Guinea pigs?”
“This is the laziest piece of work I’ve ever read.”
And sometimes readers respond with, “Get a real job, then write some columns,” which is something I don’t understand. I’ve had real jobs. I once was Bugs Bunny at Six Flags. Then another summer, I made $250 participating in a 12-week study centering on young men with chronic bunions.
During my time at UCLA, I also spent much time engaging in extracurricular activities on campus. For example, during my senior year I participated in goat yoga, a campus event where we did yoga with goats. (It was almost as enjoyable as my other favorite: hula hoop with pigeons). Those kinds of enriching activities allowed me to develop myself and craft word-perfect columns, full of insight, for the readers of our paper.
My brother Mike lives a markedly different life. For years, he’s been an important manager at two different local companies, where he oversaw staffs of more than 100 people and made sure key products were sent to their destinations. This is tough, essential work, the kind of job that ensures the world around us keeps turning.
For his labors, he’s able to make a great income, own his own home, provide for his woman and young son, and have no student loan debt. He’s a self-sufficient, law-abiding taxpayer.
Politically, he’s a rock-ribbed, bold Reagan conservative and a supporter of President Donald Trump, who believes that Trump’s combination of tax cuts and deregulation has juiced the economy, including the company he works for. His support of the GOP is so deep he has taught his 7-year old child to identify CNN as fake news when it comes on the TV.
He is also a proud gun owner, enjoys a good ribeye, barbecues and cures his beef, subscribes to Guns and Ammo, and freely takes that extra shift at work so he can keep his family supplied with the fruits of the American dream.
Yet despite all of these accomplishments, modern America presents Mike with unique difficulties, being openly conservative. Radical snowflakes like myself have laid out a series of traps for him, which if he doesn’t pass, may cause serious difficulties.
For example, he will be called evil if he does not acknowledge the toxicity of his whiteness, which according to the Godless Gluten Free Elites running our culture, is responsible for all human suffering, the breakup of the Beatles, ’80s hairstyles, pineapple on Pizza, hunger, poverty, earthquakes and hurricanes.
Of course my brother is anything but. Quite the contrary. There are few people I know who are kinder, more solid individuals. From the very beginning, he has always taken such great pleasure in the people he loves.
When we were kids, I would be upstairs playing PlayStation with Brian, my other sibling, when Mike would barge in, baseball bat in hand, demanding we go outside for an afternoon of true childhood fun. And he wouldn’t take no for an answer.
On other occasions, he would sit us down in front of a white board, and teach us everything he’d learned in school — reading, writin’, ’rithemtic, even the bloody Civil War. Now mind you, at 7 years old, half the time I didn’t have the slightest idea of what he was talking about. To my mind, there was little difference between Abraham Lincoln and my friendly, fat, old Uncle Abie.
What I did know as a little boy, however, was that Mike was more fun to be around than just about anyone else. And if he had something to teach me, then I had something to learn.
Years later, those precious days long gone, little has changed. Except instead of summoning his brothers to play outside, he paces up the stairs when he gets off work, excited to share a coffee and some laughs with us before driving home to his family.
His son needs him for baseball games now.
Only a deranged Antifa, frothing at the mouth, with armpits that smell like asparagus and a brain poisoned by Che Guevara quotes, couldn’t love someone like that.
Yet it seems, to be a good little revolutionary on the left nowadays, you are required to scorn people like Mike, who are clearly the best of us. Well if that’s true, then my message to the hippies is: Get your government hands off my brother!
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With that being said, as impressive as he is, I’m still an ex-Bugs Bunny turned UCLA graduate who regularly spouts off on subjects he does not have the life experience to write about. It is simply hard to decide — who contributes more to our great country?
Joshua Heath is a Santa Clarita resident. “Democratic Voices” appears Tuesdays, and rotates among local Democrats.