Jewish World Review May 20, 2002 / 9 Sivan, 5762
Debra J. Saunders
A modern modest proposal
With insincere apologies to Jonathan Swift.
It is a melancholy Object to those who walk through the halls and watering holes of the Capital; when they see leagues of overworked Lobbyists forced to attend fund-raising breakfasts, lunches and golf weekends for His Lordship Gouvernor Davis, squeezing clients for large checks to win a meager contract from the State Department of Information Technology, badgering unions to scrape dues from hard-working sentries seeking a modest 34 percent raise and pushing tradesmens' guilds to proffer of a Quarter Million simply to keep a competitor's product from Publick use.
For my own part, I was heartened to learn that Berkeley students saw the Unfairness of their Honest Elders being pressed to raise Campaign Cash, while they are barely squeezed. When a Fair Steward in the service of Lord Davis presented a Scheme to the students, suggesting it was a "Great opportunity" for the "politically interested" to "interact" with His Gray Lordship for "a mere $100," I felt the stirrings of a Patriotic proposal.
It is a sad fact that California students numbering more than 6 Million enjoy heated school buildings, excellent nutritious meals, and a Free Inculcation without contributing their Faire Share to the Gray-Ter Goode. Nor do their Breeders send checks to His Lordship's coffers, even as they ride in his buses, speed on his highways, and force the state to spend on schools money that otherwise could go to prison guards, Oracle Softwaere and other loyal vassals.
I do therefore humbly offer it to publick Consideration that these 6 Million Students be Pressed into service for the Campaigne to Keep Gray On Toppe. It is an acknowledged fact that in their years before school, children are virtually useless in Publick life. They cannot dial for dollars; they do not contribute to political parties; they can't even hold up banners at conventions; indeed their Useless Existence at times keepes Publick Men who have fathered a Selfish Brood demanding Attention from squeezing associations, threatening employers and proposing laws that will prompt scared businesses to cough up campaign cashe.
Thus, years of devouring baby food and adult time should be set right as soon as young savages enter Publick School. Thus the state should embark on a scheme to encourage kindergarten students to contribute one day's lunch money each week to the His Grayness, or risk losing their nap mats. After a year's compliance, they would win a group audience with her Ladyship Sharon Davis, as she is less likely to scare the little savages.
In grades 1-12, Publick Educators should Press students to tithe their allowances -- a Bargaine for a free education.
The true patriot is aware that some Publick students are poor, and a quarter does not speak English. In keeping with many Shires' Publick Service graduation requirements, schools could require non-donor students to campaign for His Grayness. Penning addresses on envelopes containing fund-raising invitations could improve the penmanship and Manners of young Lads and Maidens, many of who only know how to type. Exceptional students could write letters to the editor telling all newspapers what Davis told the San Diego Union Tribune, that during the energy crisis: "I saved this friggin' paper. I kept the lights on in the state."
Children who do not speak Englishe could go door to door telling their neighbors how The Gray Lord deserves applause, votes and contributions because he "kept the lights on."
Some purists might argue that it is wrong to use Publick students as political tools. Ha! Just this month, Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco sent students in buses to Sacramento to lobby for school funding. Who are they to complain?
Think of the Publick Goode. Lobbyists would be freed from their Servitude to one master. Better, with an army of youths crusading to keep his Lordship in the Manor, His Grayness would have time to review no-bid contracts, find a friend somewhere in the Legislature and attend more editorial board meetings.
Comment JWR contributor Debra J. Saunders's column by clicking here.
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