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January 31, 2012

On the Right Side: 'Robin Hood' can teach us a thing or two this election


Daily Star

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A few nights ago, we needed to make a decision. Should we watch another heart-stopping Republican presidential candidate debate or the swashbuckling movie "Robin Hood," starring Russell Crowe?

To me, there is nothing more exciting than a bunch of politicians making promises they'll never keep, while at the same instant-labeling everyone else "untrustworthy." Heaven help us!

One of these men is destined to be the next president of the United States, and _ although not the best hope for our country -- considering what we have now, he will be a huge step in the right direction.

However, after weighing all the ramifications, we chose a night filled with brave heroes, stories of human conflict, damsels in distress and juicy villains. The Republican debate? Close, but no way! "Robin Hood" and his band of merry men won the night.

It's a great, timeless story. Evil King John, lovely Maid Marian, the sinister Sheriff of Nottingham, beautiful Maid Marian, brave Robin of Locksley, gorgeous Maid Marian, Little John, Will Scarlett and sexy Maid Marian are familiar to us all.

Near the end of the movie, the French are poised to invade England, and King John is having trouble rallying the nobles and commoners to the country's defense. The British are meeting on a hillside and demanding a charter from King Obam ... ah, King John.

The British king is reluctant to give up any power. He has a divine right to rule!

Sound familiar? At that point, Robin of Locksley addresses the gathering and simply asks the king that "men be allowed to prosper by the sweat of their own brow and keep the fruits of that labor."

King John exclaims, "Should we then build each man a castle?" To which Robin replies, "A man's home IS his castle!" The Englishmen shout and cheer, and King John promises to sign such a charter, which he later refuses to do. Some things never change.

However, the nobles and commoners believe their king. He called it "hope and change." They unite to defeat the French, ride to the beach with banners flowing in the breeze, and rout the invaders.

Heck, even Maid Marian, played by the lovely Cate Blanchett, dons armor, mounts her steed and slays many French soldiers. Hmm, I wonder how many medieval gals looked like Ms. Blanchett? Anyway, the French army surrenders in mere minutes. Why does that sound so familiar?

Let us imagine this happening today. Oppressed Americans meeting on a hillside with their king _ aka our president _ during a time of national crisis. An invading French army is poised for landing on our shores.

First, we must have an environmental impact study to ensure that no endangered rodents are inhabiting the hillside. Then, the appropriate permits must be issued, "porta-potties" put into place and liability insurance obtained.

Then, would a Robin of Locksley step forward, rally men to arms and demand that the crown _ aka Washington _ treat us as free men and simply leave us alone to prosper through our own efforts and sweat? I would hope so, but I have my doubts.

A more-likely scenario would be some college professor or Hollywood liberal calling for deep cuts in military spending and channeling the funds into social projects. They think we should meet with the invaders, profusely apologize for everything we may have done to make them mad, and simply give them whatever they want.

Probably others would complain that prospering by hard work is "unfair." After all, some are smarter, stronger and better-equipped to work than others. Certainly, we should all share in the fruits of THEIR labors. Some would call it "Spreading the wealth around."

While we're at it, if the "feel their pain" plan doesn't convince the invaders to love us, then those same smart, strong and better-equipped will be tasked with defeating the French invaders. Truth be known, probably the Delhi Pistol Club could send them running.

As the king ... ah ... president exclaims, "Should we then build each man a castle?" The crowd roars. "We are the 99 percent, and you'd better build them all the same and as quickly as possible. Winter is coming, and don't forget, we need wood to keep us warm. Make sure that it is well-seasoned. We want to minimize our carbon footprint."

Chuck Pinkey is the owner of River Valley New Holland Inc. in Otego. He can be reached at chuck.rvnewholland@gmail.com. The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of The Daily Star and its editorial board.