There comes a time in every dog-owner’s life when certain differences of opinion with one’s long-standing companion arise. While it’s rare that these should be political in nature, occasionally they make themselves apparent.
I noticed the other day that my own dog, Bonnie, had stashed a half-chewed copy of Atlas Shrugged (borrowed from a public library, I should add) underneath her bed cushion. Moreover, although most dogs dream uneasily and murmur low growls, as they picture themselves heroically defeating stray socks, or cheerfully destroying something which you can’t afford to replace, my dog seemed to be emitting grumbles of a more philosophical kind.
In her own words, then, a confused dog on the whys and wherefores of modern life:
“I’m not prejudiced, but there are too many cats in Britain these days. It’s not racist to worry about this. Some of my best friends are cats, and even they agree”.
“One needs to earn things in life. I worked hard and earned my own twigs to chew – they don’t grow on trees, you know. Instead of expecting a paw-out, other dogs should learn to stand on their own four paws”.
“Some cats complain about other felines going hungry, when they themselves have stainless steel bowls. Besides, cats may be poorer than dogs in Britain, on average – but they’re still better off than cats in other countries”.
“The nation’s credit card is a lot like an economy”.
“Meritocracy is the key to a successful society. If you have done the right thing, you should be rewarded, not punished. It’s up to your owner to decide what the reward is”.
“Society is too permissive these days. Puppies have too many rights and not enough responsibilities, if you ask me. It wasn’t like that when I was their age. I had to fetch slippers; and it taught me the merits of a can-do attitude”.
“I don’t see why I should have to pay taxes to fund hospitals – it’s not like I’ve ever needed one”.
“If you ask me, the only real disability in life is a bad attitude”.
“Paycheques should come with a tickbox option: ‘would you like to pay taxes on your income – Yes/No’. Anything else is undemocratic; and nobody likes to be kept on a leash”.
“Poverty is a choice – I simply chose not to be born into a poor household”.
“We should all play by the same rules even if the playing field isn’t level. It’s the fairest way”.
“You’re not allowed to say it these days, thanks to the paw-litically correct brigade, but cats who are caught stealing from bins should be deported”.
“Patriotism means that we’re all in it together – it’s just that some of us are slightly more in it together than others”.
“If people didn’t have to pay tax on their hard-earned inheritance funds, then there wouldn’t be any need to avoid taxation in the first place. You know, it’s the accountants who I feel sorry for in all of this”.
“Why do we need a minimum wage? Employers are naturally altruistic; and will gladly pay whatever the market decides is an appropriate rate. People need a paw up, not a paw out, so that they may enjoy the trickle-down effects of prosperity’s rising tide”.
“Those of us who have made something of ourselves in life have written our own success stories, based upon market principles. Wealth is a reward for superior talent – and I can wag my tail better than any other dog I know”.
“The real key to making our country a fairer and more prosperous nation is to protect and celebrate the pursuit of success – not to pull down the high fliers, in the name of equality”.
“A bowl of water and a bowl of biscuits, not high-taxes and environmental protection laws, have proven to be the true foundations of canine progress throughout the ages”.
“People who complain about inequality ought to try living in the real world. Commonsense tells you that achievement is unequal, so equal is unfair. The politics of envy are no substitute for common sense and a winning mentality”.
“You can’t expect the state to run your life for you; and sort out the problems your life choices have created. The freedom of every individual to succeed or fail based on their ability is the true test of liberty. Therefore, the government should withdraw from every area of life – except the sphere of women’s reproductive rights”.
I would add as a final note here that I had to pay a fine on behalf of my dog when I returned her copy of Atlas Shrugged to the library, as it was a week overdue.