by Doug Knickrehmis
Many upon a time, in the years after Lyndon Johnson’s creation of the Welfare state in America two cousins were born. These two are related figuratively and quite possibly, literally. Each grew up in a working class neighborhood. During their early years these two cousins saw the world as they knew it falling apart.
Drugs, violence, sex, and sloth infiltrated their once promising neighborhood. As their parents and grandparents aged, the attitudes of responsibility faded from the area as a new era of entitlement was ushered in with help from The Great Society.
These cousins knew better than to rely on the government. They understood America as a nation of social mobility and rejected the notion of statically remaining a part of their crumbling surroundings. One cousin took to books and writing.
The other, who never was fond of school but had a mind for business, decided entrepreneurship was his path to success. Due to his outstanding record in school and enthralling essays the scholar won acceptance at a prestigious university where he majored in political science. Mr. Entrepreneur used his business sense and ruthless temperament to abolish competition on his rise to power.
By age 22 each cousin had reached what seemed to be the pinnacle of success with respect to his field. The scholar graduated with a degree in political science summa cum laude. Concurrently the entrepreneur’s company expanded due to the rapid sales of a new product.
At this point the entrepreneur began to have legal troubles due to a new government program intended to curb his field of business. The political science major was rising steadily in his career as a politician.
In his run for city council, he railed on the effort to imprison those engaged in the business in which his cousin was affiliated. He called the government’s war on drugs racist and detrimental to the community he represented.
However, he never called for drugs to be legalized-because that would thwart his cousin’s business operation. Instead, he rallied the community to petition for more funding. The funding could be for anything. It mattered not, because in his city all that was needed for election was a promise and enough substance on that promise to get by. The 80’s were coming to a close and the drug dealer was finally released from prison after a three year stint.
He still managed to run his operation from his cell, and therefore had his throne ready upon return. The streets changed during his time incarcerated. A usually business first drug world, in which the best product sold, turned into a violent pursuit of the same customers. Always cold-hearted, this troubled him in the least bit. With carefully planned executions of rivals, his crew maintained their prowess.
Rampant violence alarmed the public, and the politician knew he had to call for action. He conceived the idea of banning handguns from his city. With his pitch of social justice, which always seemed to be government dependent, he easily obtained passage of the law. Contrary to his belief that reducing law abiding citizen’s right to defend themselves would quell the violence, murders continued to occur at alarming rates in his city. The drug dealer’s operation felt no pressure from the law because he ran an illegal business and never felt the need to arm his crew with legal firearms.
By the late 90s the cousins decided to get together at the politician’s beach house. They reminisced on their childhood and paths to success relative to their interests. At this point the crack epidemic cooled, so the dealer decided to retire a multi-millionaire. His cousin, however, felt the city council awarded him too little power and was plotting his run for the House of Representatives.
They were enjoying two premium filet steaks, and engaged in a dialogue that had never occurred in their lifetime. Similarities between each cousin’s rise to power, wealth, etc were discussed at length. Overall they concluded both held the same view of their community, success, and work. Both rejected the government’s attempt to hold them static as members of the proletariat. They employed their strengths to earn success. Neither felt bad about their acquired wealth, but agreed not many from the neighborhood could accomplish half of their achievements.
Therefore, government aide was needed for the less fortunate stated the politician. The dealer retorted he was expected to meddle in a dead end job and depend on the government his whole life, but chose a different road and if he could do it anyone could as long as they use their God given talents to the fullest.
Finally, they realized the system they rejected on their roads to success was the same one the politician championed in every single election and the dealer took advantage of to earn millions. Like a sign from Above they felt a feeling in their chest that told the same thing: “I left my community only to ruin it with the same system I rejected.”
A sip of wine, a puff from cigars, and the conversation turned to the upcoming election……..
Doug Knickrehmis is a contributor to HipHopRepublican.com he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org