When the number of kids exceeded the number of toys, there was going to be some howling.

Toddlers who knew little else had mastered the word “mine,” and the most aggressive weren’t shy about grabbing the most banal toy with a death grip, despite weeping protestations from other children.

Most kids and parents tend to naturally shy away from these conflicts; most parents want their children to believe in sharing, and our desire to be part of a group generally trumps individual greed.

But there are always a few Darwinian parents who live out the “survival of the fittest” theory through their kids. They see the desire to “play nice” as a weakness to be exploited. And they make it abundantly clear what they really think: Their kid is smarter than ours, couldn’t possibly have done anything wrong, and ultimately deserves the toy.

In my observation, many of these rudderless, rude and me-first kids seem to grow up to become politicians.

Which in a very round-about way brings us to the ongoing Trinity River Corridor controversy.

On one side is our mayor and most of the City Council, who loudly and defiantly are demanding that the rest of us spend a still unknown amount of our tax dollars for a super highway toll road in the Trinity River floodplain. On the other side is a group comparatively devoid of politicians that believes if we have to pay for something, we should have a right to vote on whether we want it or not.

We’re publishing one side’s perspective in this month’s magazine (see page 48) because they asked nicely, and because we believe their message won’t find its way to you any other way. They don’t seem to have much money, and their stance is clearly out of favor with the bullies running the city, who are wallowing in the “the Trinity is my toy, so beat it” philosophy.

All the TrinityVote people are asking for is an up-or-down vote on the toll road, with the assumption that putting the measure on the November ballot will stimulate discussion, both pro and con, and make all of us better informed and in a better position to decide the road’s future. They need 50,000 signatures on petitions from city of Dallas voters to make that happen, and they’re going to be at polling places this month looking for help.

In the playgroup days, even the most aggressive future politico was no match for a protective mom or dad. But now that we’re old enough to pay taxes, we need to stand up for ourselves.

The bullies have had their way with the Trinity long enough. I’m going to sign TrinityVote’s petition, and I hope you will, too.

VISIT trinityvote.com for one perspective; visit trinityrivercorridor.org for the other perspective.