Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Vonnegut's Premonition

Recent events have caused Mr. Quarter to recall a Kurt Vonnegut short story entitled Harrison Bergeron that he read in high school. Wickipedia summarizes the plot as follows:

The story is set in the year 2081. Due to the 211th, 212th and 213th Amendments to the Constitution of America, all Americans are mandated equal. “They were not only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way." In America no one is more intelligent than anyone else, no one is better looking or more athletic than anyone else. In order to stop any sort of competition in society these measures are enforced by the United States Handicapper General. The current Handicapper General and her team of agents have developed several forms of "handicaps." Beautiful people are forced to wear masks, athletic people have to carry weights, and intelligent people have to wear radios in their ears that interrupt thoughts with loud noises.

Sound familiar? Sounds a lot like the world that Obama would like to create. His speech in Kansas last week certainly bespoke of a world dominated by "fairness." Mr. Obama insisted that "unfairness" could only be rectified by handicapping the wealthy with higher taxes. It is not a great stretch to imagine how he would create equality and fairness in all other areas of endeavor in this country

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