Last week, I was in a car with my brother and his fiancee, driving through their upscale neighborhood on a hot summer day. At the corner, we all noticed three little girls sitting at a homemade lemonade stand.
We follow the same rules in our family, and one of them is: Always stop to buy lemonade from kids who are entrepreneurial enough to open up a little business. My brother immediately pulled over to the side of the road and asked about the choices.
The three young girls -- under the watchful eye of a nanny, sitting on the grass with them -- explained that they had regular lemonade, raspberry lemonade, and small chocolate candy bars. Then my brother asked how much each item cost.
"Oh, no," they replied in unison, "they're all free!"
I sat in the back seat in shock. Free? My brother questioned them again: "But you have to charge something? What should I pay for a lemonade? I'm really thirsty!"
His fiancee smiled and commented, "Isn't that cute. They have the spirit of giving." That really set me off, as my regular readers can imagine.
"No!" I exclaimed from the back seat. "That's not the spirit of giving. You can only really give when you give something you own. They're giving away their parents' things -- the lemonade, cups, candy. It's not theirs to give."
I pushed the button to roll down the window and stuck my head out to set them straight.
"You must charge something for the lemonade," I explained. "That's the whole point of a lemonade stand. You figure out your costs -- how much the lemonade costs, and the cups -- and then you charge a little more than what it costs you, so you can make money. Then you can buy more stuff, and make more lemonade, and sell it and make more money."
I was confident I had explained it clearly. Until my brother, breaking the tension, ordered a raspberry lemonade. As they handed it to him, he again asked: "So how much is it?"
And the girls once again replied: "It's free!" And the nanny looked on contentedly.
No wonder America is getting it all wrong when it comes to government, and taxes, and policy. We all act as if the "lemonade" or benefits we're "giving away" is free.
Growing up in rural Western Kentucky, the idea of the iconic lemonade stand wasn't a practical one from my perspective, as the traffic past our house was limited to the few residents in our area leaving very early in the morning for work and returning at dinner-time; but there was the occasional tractor that passed by during the early afternoon hours. To me, this was something more akin to suburban life that I thankfully didn't have to deal with.
But more to the point of this post, even if Savage is making this story up - which she likely is - it is a clear and unvarnished signifier that she ( and virtually all modern conservatives ) have a hatred of many children in America simply because they don't pantomime the behaviors they think are acceptable.
There is, however, one moment in Savage's blithering tirade that showcased a conservative trait that I'm sure he didn't intend to. She mentioned that she would prefer that children charge for the lemonade and snacks rather than give away something that wasn't there's to begin with. She's advocating taking what isn't yours in order to turn a profit from it. And this isn't really a stretch of logic, as Savage made a very stern point in chastising the children for giving away what's not theirs to begin with. She's openly admitting that theft and profit are acceptable to him.
This story, no matter how true or false it is, should make almost anyone with a fully functioning brainstem stand back and consider the very reality that people like Savage have children. As I've asked before, what is it like to be the child of a hate-filled shell of a human? I'm almost certain it's a horrifying experience.