The Simmering Buzzing Poisoned Smothered Frogs
by Larry Pendarvis

Frog Speech

We frogs must roll back the sorry state of affairs that has overtaken us. Almost all of us are weak and ill. Our policy of gradualism must be more rigorously followed; we were brought to this misfortune gradually and incrementally, and therefore the only way to rectify it is through a gradual, step-by-step reversal of our oppression.

It started with the heat. The temperature of our lovely pond has increased by several degrees since we gathered here after our glorious democratic revolution. It was not a disaster, really, since only about one-fourth of us are sensitive to the change. In fact, it was a boon to most of us, since it was accompanied by an increase in our food supply. Therefore the bill to do something to lower the temperature was defeated by a vote of 75% to 25%.

Then the buzzing began. Again, there was an accompanying increase in the food supply, and only 25% of us were harmed by the vibrations, so we voted overwhelmingly not to stop the buzzing.

Then extra food was once more introduced into our pond, but this time the food contained a substance that disperses throughout the water and is slightly poisonous to a quarter of the population. These sickened frogs clamored for us to reject this new food supplement, but through our democratic institutions, and our enlightened self-interest, we naturally voted to continue having it as part of our food supply.

Now we have discovered that the latest new food supplement contains a chemical that reduces the oxygen level in the air above our pond. Fortunately, 75% of us are unaffected by the resulting mild anoxia, so the gasping frogs were resoundingly outvoted.

Today I come to plead with you to begin the process of stopping the madness. My own skin is beginning to split from the buzzing, although I am not bothered by the poison or the heat or the low oxygen level. So I implore you to join me in the first step to free ourselves from this menace. Vote to reject the food that is accompanied by the deadly vibrations!

Yes, I realize that voting to repeal any one of these menaces will mean that three-fourths of you will be badly inconvenienced. Each menace benefits three-fourths of us and only harms one-fourth of us, so most of us would have to vote against our own self-interest. What we have to keep in mind is that, when we finally, slowly, incrementally, step by step, gradually repeal ALL of the menaces, then every one of us will have been saved from a serious threat.

So I think the obvious thing to do is to start with the threat that is most harmful to me personally. We just can't do it all at once, can we? No, everyone knows that, pragmatically, a course of Gradualism and Incrementalism is the only true Democratic way to accomplish anything in the real world.
Our salvation has to start somewhere.