Feature:Opinion

Thank you, road

She is beautiful and virginal, the freshly paved road guiding me to my office this morning. She lies there immobile, flat and black as the American coal industry. She stretches out before me like our debt.

Tears of gratitude, impervious to my windshield wipers, overwhelm me. I’m sure these other drivers, rising to work while others snooze, feel the same.

We drive quietly and respectfully, following each other, in orderly lanes like parishioners in church pews. Our thoughts hum together in mental chorus, a social symphony of appreciation. My pious commute is a privilege, a pilgrimage of thankfulness. The tar-like smell of newly poured asphalt is the perfume of our profit, soon to be re-distributed.

This street is more than pavement and car horns and the lady one Nissan over doing her makeup in the rearview mirror. This is our autobahn of accomplishment. This is the road to American success.

Who needs to work harder or be smarter than their competitors when they have a road like this? Hallelujah. I tune my XM radio to MSNBC to hear a hymn of appreciation for government’s work.

My president is smart. He has read many books about work. He has consulted academic experts. He is as bright as the sun that shines on this idle road-crew. Their neon-orange vests, stained by sandwiches from Subway, reflect his undimmed brilliance. He sees what we cannot, beyond our own meager inventiveness and effort.

He understands, as lesser beings don’t, that we are part of a greater whole, a community that has enabled good fortune to come to me, though it is I who will lose everything if the business tanks.

I am smart. I have worked hard. So have others, my president reminds me. My weakness, I must admit, then shames me.

My contribution is not what makes the difference. I forget it is others who are responsible for our triumphs, the same way government won our gold medals at the Olympics. I must thank this road crew, now leaning on their shovels. And my teachers, though they were notoriously absent those decades I labored in editing rooms until 3 a.m.

My fellow drivers and I, queued like cows on this lane of luxury, we are not worthy. We are undeserving.

After all, we did not build this road. Government did.

We only paid for it.

Alex Castellanos is a Republican media consultant and co-founder of Purple Strategies. Follow him on Twitter at @alexcast.