Thursday, November 23, 2006

About Apple Pie

As American as apple pie.

For decades, apple was the top-selling pie. But then bakeries scaled down the size. They offered an 8" pie.

And apple was no longer the most popular pie.

It turns out apple is America's most popular compromise pie. When you had to buy a big pie, everyone could agree on apple. But when it was possible to buy two smaller pies, other flavors edged out apple.

And thus it always is. People want choices. The complacent conclusion, "Apple is America's favorite pie," is now open to consideration of other factors. Did apple reach the peak because apples keep much better than other fruits? Thus allowing them to be accessible pie material more months of the year? Or was it just the compromise factor?

Before Bill O'Reilly gets wind of this and starts with the "War on Apple Pie," I must say apple is a fine pie. It is simply not my favorite. All it means is, after years of compromising, people want to enjoy other pies.

When they have the means, people make choices.

What I'm getting at is a celebration of diversity. Freedom is the ability to make choices. Yet, sadly, there are always elements in society who fear and reject choices. It arises out of a reluctance to actually take the responsibility for one's choices. What if no one likes your choice? And, so what?

There's no comfort in the fact that we are pretending.

The recent mid-term elections were a clear indication of how people act when given the choice. For years we have been told that "All Americans agree" on recent policies, and those who do not are a small minority who shouldn't be listened to. And so some Democratic strategists fell for that, and encouraged candidates to be more like the majority party. Which is stupid.

It's like giving people a choice between apple, apple crumb, and apple raisin. In this election, it was candidates who were clearly different that had the competitive advantage. Because people wanted a change in policy. If it isn't offered to them, they cannot choose it.

Because when you offer apple, apple crumb, apple raisin, and strawberry rhubarb, all the people who are tired of apple go for the strawberry rhubarb.

So on this Thanksgiving, let's be thankful we have choices. As you choose turkey breast or the drumstick, mashed potato or yams, or all of the above, remember:

It's not a feast if there's no choices.

No comments:

Post a Comment