It was my first fall rush as an active member in my newly minted fraternity. We were a brand-new chapter on campus, having started as a colony only a few years back. As such, recruitment was always the number one priority for our burgeoning initiate since we didn’t have the luxury of a built-in reputation through our university’s social scene. Under the direction of our recruitment chair, there were a few specific points we were looking to hit during rush to attract new freshman into our ranks. Besides the old standards of partying and girls, we were told that nationals had promised that the first few pledge classes, along with my original brothers, would be memorialized as “Founding Fathers,” with a large ceremonial composite and special recognition in chapter history for all future pledge classes to learn and admire.
We turned this into a recruitment tool by essentially offering an opportunity that no other chapter could provide: the chance to truly make a new fraternity into anything you wanted. To shape an organization that would last for decades by stamping your own indelible mark as a founder. Essentially, to comment “First!” in the annals of fraternity history.
Another promise made to our new chapter from the overlords at nationals involved housing. We felt hamstrung trying to recruit without a lettered house. Nationals, for their part, argued that they wanted an assurance of chapter success before they committed to funding a house. And so, they cut us a “deal.” Reach a certain threshold of membership, and they’ll commit to some real estate.
And so, wielding these two declarations from the talking heads at nationals, we pursued rush with an unparalleled vigor that has scarcely been replicated since. We recruited our balls off that fall. Our numbers swelled, brotherhood was at an all-time high, and everyone was eager to get their space as a “Founding Father.”
The dicks at nationals had other thoughts, however. They informed us that, yes, we had done well, but they still didn’t see value in chipping in for a house. And their great new idea, replacing any physical evidence of our status, was instead for all of us to take active leadership roles in their conferences and seminars. Fuck. That.
So we did what any group of immature drunkards would do and withdrew into our own brotherhood. Never again would we believe any promises from nationals, never again would we blindly follow our inept leadership, never again would we be taken for chumps by an organization that, when push comes to shove, doesn’t really care about what’s best for us.
And so are my thoughts on “big government.” With this year’s political landscape forming up to one hell of an election, more promises about the future will be handed out than sack-taps in a middle school locker room. Every candidate has plans and guarantees about what he or she will do in office, what programs they will either cut or expand for the common man, how they’re the best person to serve you. But just like the nationals rep knocking on your door, it’s all bullshit.
Sure, every president has some say over the lives of everyday Americans. They are the leader of the country, in every sense of the word. But don’t blindly believe all the hype. Politicians make promises and they break promises, which is why you never trust someone gunning for a big government. All those programs sound wonderful in words, but when the time comes to implement, the charade will come out in truth. Your best candidate is the one who lets you do you, who is real about what they can accomplish, and stays off your back.
So the next time you see some old man guaranteeing you the world in a hand basket, maybe turn a more skeptical eye to what’s being said. Because, just like nationals, they just want your money. And isn’t that what it’s all about?.