By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

My garbage disposal, after twelve years of faithful service, began to struggle months ago. Rather than replace it right away we would unstick it, and then when it began to leak we put a bucket under it. Now, the thing gushes water and spins no more. So, my wife and I went down to the local Lowe’s to pick up a new one. I put in the last one, so it never crossed my mind to hire someone to do it (nor would I want to spend that kind of money), but with my health issues of late, my son volunteered to do the unpleasant task.

As we eyeballed the various choices, my wife and I did what we usually do, and went for the least expensive.  We are a fairly frugal pair, which I think is one of the reasons we have weathered various economic storms in our lives.  We are not exactly flush with funds, anyway.  We are not necessarily struggling financially, but we’ve never been able to fill our coffers with much treasure except for a short period when I was running construction crews and the housing market was going gang-busters.  Otherwise, money has always been fairly tight, and we budget very carefully as a result.

When it was our turn at Lowe’s to work with the cashier, she asked me if I wanted a military discount.  As a Navy Veteran who served in the mid-eighties under Ronald Reagan, I was glad to agree to such an opportunity.  Considering this was an expense we pulled from savings for, any help was good help.  So, the lady asked me to enter my phone number, but nothing came up.  “I’ll try my old landline number,” I said.  Still, nothing.
“Oh,” she said.  “You must not have registered for it, yet.”
I wish she would have told me that to start with.
“You do it online.”
“Can’t I just show you my Veteran’s Administration card?”  I asked.  Having possession of such a card reveals I am either retired, or a disabled veteran, the latter of which I am labeled as.
“No, you need to register for this online.”
“I see,” I said, likely with a dejected tone in my voice.  “Just so I know, what is the discount for military?”
“10%,” she replied.
“I see.”
At that point a man who was behind me with another cashier turned around and said, “He can use my phone number for the discount.”
The woman tilted her head as she acknowledged the new member of the conversation.  She said, “You can’t do that, the phone number has to be for the person buying the product.”
“Fine,” he said, pulling out his red debit card from his wallet, “I will pay for it, then.”
My wife gave me a “what is happening?” look.
The man, looking like he was about a decade younger than I, wore a U.S. Marines gray T-Shirt.  “Thank you, Marine,” I said.  “I served in the Navy.”
“I was Navy too,” he said.
He was a Marine, and a sailor?  This was a guy who probably retired from the military.
“You’re Welcome,” he continued.  “I shop here like five times a week.”
Then, as the receipt was printing, he vanished as quickly as he had appeared.
“Did he?” my wife began.
“Yeah,” I said.  “He just paid for our garbage disposal.  Veteran helping a veteran.  Very cool.”
As we walked outside with our newly purchased appliance, we saw the man getting into his car.  A BMW.  Blue, with rap music coming from the speakers.  I waved, he waved back, and then the black patriot who once served in the Marine Corps and U.S. Navy drove off without a word.
I quipped to my wife, “I am going to guess he’s not in agreement with the Black Lives Matter stuff.”
She quipped back, “and I am willing to bet he’s a Trump voter.”
This was important, not only because it revealed that not all blacks are Black Lives Matter supporters, but how people who are not necessarily left-wing, collectivist, socialist radicals believe in looking out for each other.
The narrative by the liberal left Democrats is that they are all about giving, helping, community, and a “we are all in this together” attitude.  In addition to holding themselves up as the saviors of the impoverished and the down-trodden, they also preach that their Republican counterparts are a bunch of racist individualists who believe you are all in this on your own, and don’t believe in community where everyone collectively looks out for each other.  The GOP rejects the mantras that it takes a village to raise a child, and a community to make things work in a fair and equitable manner.
Conservatives believe in community, and we believe in looking out for each other.  We do not believe those things should be engineered through government, nor that individuals should be coerced to do so through government mandate, or the redistribution of wealth through taxation.
It all comes down to liberty, and that means it all comes down to choice, and the rule of law.
The Rule of Law, or the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God (as the Declaration of Independence puts it), includes the biblical command that we know as The Golden Rule.  Treat others as we would have them treat us.  Included in that is the idea that we should do right by each other, look out for each other, and that we should do so as individuals on a case by case basis, voluntarily.  In other words, it must be our choice.
The gentleman who helped me out at Lowe’s with the purchase of my garbage disposal unit didn’t do so because some government mandate said it was his obligation, or because he wanted to reach a point of economic equality between us by redistributing some of his wealth.  He did so because he saw a fellow human being in need, he had the resources to provide for that need, and then he made the choice to do so as in individual.
That’s the American way of doing things.  We look out for each other because, understanding the rule of law, we know it’s the right thing to do, and because we choose to do so.
Some people don’t, and that’s okay.  They made that choice.  Liberty means that you not only have the freedom to do the right thing, but sometimes you may actually decide not to.
It’s all about Liberty.
Now, if I can just get this dang disposal unit to install properly …
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