An elephant and a donkey walked into a bar and sat down at the counter. The bartender asked, "What may I do for you two?" The donkey stood up so all could hear and began to tell the bartender along with those in the bar how he had made it possible for the bartender to have a job. How he had made it possible for him have access to health care. How with his help, when it came time to sit on the front porch and retire, his house could be paid for and his social security check would be in the mail. He went on for over an hour telling how he had made it better for the man and his family in everyday life. Without him and his leadership, the man most certainly would not be better off. In fact the donkey proclaimed he was doing his job so well, he needed to continue four more years to complete the task.
After he had sat down, the elephant turned and looked at all the people sitting around the room. "My friends are you better off than you were four years ago when the donkey got his job?" I like the donkey, but he has greatly over estimated how he has helped you. With that the elephant stood and waved his trunk around the room and began to explain, if he was given the donkey's job he could bring change and put the country on the right path back to its greatness. "I want to make it easier for the bartender to own this small business. I also want to make sure your family has health care, not the kind my friend here has given you. Trust me; I will make sure you all have medical care and if you ever want to retire from this fine business, I can make it happen for not only you, but your children also. Remember, you all paid into social security and I will make sure you'll get what you have coming to you." The elephant went on for over an hour explaining how he was going to do a better job without giving any details. While the donkey and elephant talked the bar had become unusually quiet without the two noticing as they spoke.
All this time, the bartender stood patiently listening as they spoke for two hours. Now that they had finished, each looked at the bartender who had said nothing the whole time. They looked at each other and back to the bartender. "Barkeep, are you going to ask us what we want to drink?" the elephant asked. The bartender looked up at the TV on the wall as commercial after commercial ran telling why the donkey and then elephant should be elected president. The bartender, looking tired, turned back to the donkey and elephant sitting at the bar. "You two will have to leave now. You talked for so long that it is closing time." The two looked around at the now empty bar. It had become quiet; the customers had tired of their rhetoric and went home to watch a cable channel with no commercials. The elephant looked at the donkey, "People don't seem to care anymore what we have to say."
The bartender walked over, opened and the door, indicating it was time to leave. "My customers just want to hear the truth. You two talked so long and said nothing they got tired and quit listening. Joe, that guy that sat in the corner, lost his job last year in the steel mills and has not been able to find work and his unemployment has run out. Charlie, the guy with him, retired two years ago and had to take a job washing dishes to help make ends meet when his wife got sick and needed medicine not covered by his insurance. Bob and Millie that sat over by the window are trying to figure how to help their son pay for his college loan since he has graduated and has not been able to find work. William, the man in the suit jacket at the end of the bar, used to manage the power plant that shut down." The bartender once again motioned for the donkey and elephant to leave.
As the two passed, the bartender stopped them. "My daughter was killed fighting for her country and my son lost his job to a company that took tax breaks and went overseas." The man reached into his pocket and handed the donkey and elephant $10. The elephant asked the man, "What is this for? We didn't drink so we don't need a cab home."
The bartender smiled at the two standing in the doorway. "That's right, you didn't answer my question. I asked what I could do for you when you came in. You spent the next couple of hours telling me what you had done for me and my customers. But somehow, those words were about what we could do for you. All you really want is our vote. You both have good intentions, but Washington is full of people who say they have good intentions when it comes election time. Truth is, for people who own a business, have elder parents, have kids trying to find jobs, have someone in harm's way overseas, or just trying to make a living working hard in this country, it is Election Day every day in our lives. We have to make hard choices for families, our employees, our neighbors, and ourselves. We look into our wallets and in our families' faces and make those choices. If we blamed each other as much as you two do, when it comes to working out problems and making decisions, we would be lost. Washington is lost and needs to find what would make America great once again. It's time for whichever one of you gets the job to remember who you are working for and put the people first, your parties' political interests second. Whether you are an elephant or a donkey you are an American first. It's time to show it. Most likely after next Tuesday you will forget all about the problems of my customers and me."
The two stood looking at the door as the man closed it behind them. Walking to the curb, they hailed a passing taxi. The donkey turned to the elephant. "You know what, we went in for a drink and he never did serve us with one." The elephant laughed and patted the donkey on his back. "Yea, that's why they need us to lead; they don't know what they want." The two laughed as they got in the taxi and headed home to Washington.
Next Tuesday, we have the chance to exercise one of our most fundamental rights as American citizens, the right to vote. Ideas and opinions on whose political vision is correct are as varied as each of us. The fact is some of those that are elected into political offices think of themselves first and the voters second. They go into office saying they are representing us, but they spend more time making sure they will be ready for their next election. Politicians today spend a great amount of time raising funds for future campaigns. They become friends with those that represent special interest. After awhile, they are so far from us they can no longer hear the words of the average citizens. We speak and they smile and they only pretend to hear our words. Next Tuesday, the one word politicians can hear is your vote. Trouble is that sometimes that too can be altered by the political system; it is called the Electoral College. It is time we all speak for America once again, vote and help shape the future as we each look Thru the Lens.