Last December I noticed the children’s animated film “A Bug’s Life” was on cable TV. I remembered when I took my daughters to see A Bug’s Life in the late 1990’s, I thought the movie could have a real message for political conservatives. I’m sure this film, was written and produced by liberals, but to me, a conservative message just jumped out. But back then, in those primitive days, without an internet forum, I had no way of commenting on the film. But, times have changed and an average person can voice his/her opinions, despite the liberal media monopoly. The political implications I saw in the 1990’s are even more pertinent today than then.
I wrote most of this blog last winter, but never posted it. I couldn’t think of how to end this. The Wisconsin recall fight was revving up. We could have been a public employee/teachers union ruled state by the end of June. On the national level, the Republican challengers to Obama, in their marathon primary fight, were formed up in the usual Republican circular firing squad. So, I delayed finishing this blog.
The computer animated film “A Bug’s Life” was produced by Pixar and released by Disney Films in late 1998. It was a good children’s film, but it never reached the popularity of some other animated films of that decade. A colony of ants is forced by a band of grasshoppers to provide food for the grasshoppers. Year after year the ants spend most of the summer gathering food for the grasshoppers and then have to hurry to find and store enough food for themselves, to survive the winter. The ants have accepted this as their way of life.
But then everything changed. One enterprising, entrepreneurial, but rather clumsy ant “Flik,” while trying to find a way to automate the harvesting process, accidently dumped the whole summer’s worth of food gathered for the grasshoppers into the nearby stream. Angry that there is no food for them, the grasshoppers break into the underground ant colony. The grasshopper’s leader tells the Queen, in no uncertain terms, that failure to produce food for the grasshoppers before winter sets in was not an option. To save their lives, the ants will need to gather food for the rest of the summer for the grasshoppers and not for their winter survival.
The ants decide to revolt and trick the Grasshoppers into fleeing. But of course, their complex plan goes awry. During the ensuing confrontation with the grasshoppers, the ant colony learned that whether the grasshoppers had received their food or not, they had planned to squish their queen. The ants, after all, needed to be taught a lesson. But as the leader of the Grasshoppers was about to kill Flik for organizing this transgression against the established order, the ants’ anger finally prompts them to find the courage they previously lacked. They join arms and the hoard of ants advance. The grasshopper band takes flight, never to return. The ants had all they needed to defeat the adversaries who lived off their labor within themselves, but until then had not realized it. They didn’t need smoke and mirrors. American patriots, that’s us.
Now, it’s over a dozen years after this film was made. Wisconsin had 20 months of strife until Governor Walker’s decisive win. We saw the grip the liberals have on the taxpayers. The public employee unions, the public school teachers union and their left wing supporters did their best to suppress conservatives’ freedom of expression. It was worse, of course, in leftist controlled areas like Dane County. The unionized police and county sheriffs’ deputies and the local liberal District Attorney were very selective in their enforcement of the law. A conservative Madison talk show host said she received a call from a “friend” in the Madison police department who warned her it might be best to remove her Scott Walker bumper sticker. The caller meant safety from the police, not the liberals! An angry mob of union members and supporters did their best to disrupt, shout down and harass speakers at a Tea Party rally at the capitol in April, 2011 while the Madison police and sheriff’s deputies looked on and pretended to see nothing. The district attorney delayed an indictment against a school teacher who had sent death threats to Republican legislators. Only when the Wisconsin Attorney General went public with the DA’s delay was an indictment was issued.
In contrast, a man fed up with the demonstrators’ loud, obnoxious singing and shouting at the state capitol, popped a red balloon held by a demonstrator and was promptly arrested. The district attorney announced plans to prosecute him with as great a criminal charge as he could possibly file. (No, I am not kidding. If you live here a while, this will seem perfectly normal).
The left expanded their harassment statewide. Statewide boycotts were ongoing against business owners who dared to use their freedom of expression to contribute to Scott Walker’s 2010 campaign. The organizers of Democrat Senator Holperin’s recall effort in northern Wisconsin were constantly harassed by union supporters. In Rhinelander, Wisconsin, Holperin recall petitions were destroyed while a city unionized police officer looked on and did nothing. But, if you had destroyed a petition to recall Scott Walker in Dane County, you’d assuredly get a chance to meet new friends in the county jail!
Where does A Bug’s Life come in? How does it relate? The taxpayers, business owners, non-government workers and entrepreneurs are the producers of wealth in our country. There is a long and growing line of takers in our society. The public employee unions and other leftist groups such as the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) crowd provide the muscle and intimidation while many others provide the votes and the financing. But what if the taxpayers could actually unite and fight back? What if they said “no more” to generations who’ve lived on welfare? What if we started to say “no” to the crony capitalists who make their money from tax breaks and lucrative government contracts? What if we said “no more” to the congressional representatives who go to Washington D.C. with modest incomes and become multi-millionaires in a few short years, as they exempt themselves from the same insider trading laws they pass to govern us. This was what I was thought when I watched this film again.
Examples from the film: The grasshoppers’ leader said to the ants when the grasshoppers first discovered their food had not been gathered for them: “Now let me tell you how things are supposed to work: The sun grows the food, the ants pick the food and the grasshoppers eat the food…” Substitute “taxpayers” for ants and all the “takers” in America for “grasshoppers” and it sounds all too much like today’s mainstream news.
It gets better: Midway through the film, at a bar with lots of food, several grasshoppers suggest to their leader that they had it good where they are at and there is no reason to fly back to the ant colony to get more food. Their leader however did not take kindly to their suggestion. He very persuasively said: “You let one ant stand up to us, then they all might stand up! Those puny little ants outnumber us a hundred to one and if they ever figure that out there goes our way of life! It’s not about food, it’s about keeping those ants in line. That’s why we’re going back.” Substitute “taxpayers” for ants and it is all too realistic for Obama’s America in 2012.
A few public school teachers appeared in ads supporting Governor Walker. They were subsequently harassed mercilessly by the teachers union and the union controlled school boards. I wondered why the unions would act this way when the negative publicity hurt their cause more than it helped. But the fictional leader of the grasshoppers helps us understand why. The harassment will keep other teachers in line. In the Madison, WI school district one-third of the school teachers did not call in sick during the union sponsored “sick-in.” Others called in sick out of peer pressure. But, as far as I know, not one teacher was ever quoted opposing the “sick-in.” They knew better. If one union member gets out of line, others may get courage and speak out too. The good teachers who get the same or less pay than the poor ones might get restless. They might start standing up to the collective. That is very dangerous indeed to the public employee union bosses. Regardless of any temporary public relations damage, it is in the union’s best long term interest to silence any members who might disagree. If one taxpayer stands up to the government and gets away with it, they all might!
Towards the end of A Bug’s Life, as the rebellion’s leader was about to be killed because he led the failed rebellion, the grasshoppers’ leader says to the crowd of ants “Let this be a lesson to all you ants! Ideas are very dangerous things! You are mindless, soil-shoving losers, put on this Earth to serve us!” This sounds lot like the leftwing propaganda media today when they talk about the Tea Party.
But one ant (taxpayer) with courage can stand up. As the ants unite in anger, Flik says: “You’re wrong. Ants are not meant to serve grasshoppers. I’ve seen these ants do great things, and year after year they somehow manage to pick food for themselves and you. So who is the weaker species? Ants don’t serve grasshoppers! It’s you who need us! We’re a lot stronger than you say we are… And you know it, don’t you?” Again substitute taxpayers or business owners or entrepreneurs” for ants and “takers” (or moochers) for grasshoppers and it’s a powerful statement to today’s America.
We do not need to tolerate our present state of events. We are the majority. We saw in the Wisconsin recall election what happens when people can go into the privacy of the voting booth, away from pressure and intimidation and vote their convictions away from leftist pressure.
The “takers” along with the government employee unions and unionized police forces, could easily morph into our own version of the European aristocracy that ruled almost a thousand years, while peasants (taxpayers) worked and starved to feed them. You may say we’ll never accept that, but in nearly a thousand years of European history, no peasant rebellion was ever successful. Servitude can last a very long time.
But there still is time, the progressives know they are weak, that’s why they bluff and bluster, intimidate and threaten (see MSNBC for examples). People in a position of strength do not have to act that way. If you value your freedom get active in politics, stand up for other conservatives who are being harassed, stop being an ant and be an active citizen. You can become politically active, join a Tea Party, write letters to the editor or just get on social media and spread your message. Know that there may be a cost, but that in the end the cost is worth it. We have our home grown moochers wanting to control our lives and expropriate our money. You can stop them.
The ending that eluded me earlier – it turned out to be easy to write. There is no ending. In Wisconsin, we took the first steps to throw off the leftist yoke in 2010. This June, with record voter turnouts all over Wisconsin, Governor Walker, despite Democrat voter fraud, won by a larger margin than in 2010. It can happen again. America can do it this November. But it doesn’t stop there. The money you earn should be yours, but if you want to keep it, you will always have to fight for it. Unfortunately, unlike the movie, your oppressors won’t fly away.
A late addition to this: Am I “off the wall” with these serfdom fears? A liberal county judge ruled on September 14th the Wisconsin collective bargaining changes were unconstitutional. In the union legal brief: “The taxpayer-as-servant-to-unions concept was actually advanced as a legal theory by the labor union plaintiffs in the case… Judge Colas summarily reviewed the union’s argument that the reform took away the property of labor unions in Milwaukee… That property would have been the contract backed up by taxpayer’s wallets.”[i] 
This is a real threat, it has happened before. The road to serfdom is always open. To go there, you do not have to do anything; serfdom will come to you.