“We are a nation that has a government, not the other way around.”
I was an early baby-boomer. I grew up in a time of great struggle over huge issues like Civil Rights, an unpopular war in Vietnam that nearly tore the country apart, and a new generation searching for its freedom legs and determined to change the world. I lived through the deaths of John and Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King and the resignation of Richard Nixon.
For a year, I watched ABC News’ “NightLine” nearly every night as did much of the world praying for the release of our hostages in Iran. I voted for Democrats and Republicans. For me it was about who was the best person for the job.
Over the past several years I have become a student of early American History, especially our early Presidents. Make no mistake. The political and ideological battles our Founding Fathers fought were brutal as they struggled to establish this great land and a government to look after it. They were just as likely to challenge an opponent to a duel as a debate.
Whatever their differences, however, what I don’t remember is the hate, the vitriol, the violence and disrespect that our leaders, their parties, the media and even the general public have for each other in society today. The one absolute that our early politicians abided by was honor and mutual respect. They may have disagreed but they never disrespected. That isn’t the America we live in today.
I endeavor to read, learn, watch, listen and discuss the issues of the day so that I can do what I feel is right. Sadly, that would put me into a very small minority when it comes to informed decision-making. If you study the make-up of America today you will find two major classes of people who dominate the direction of the country. That wouldn’t be the wealthy and the middle class or the haves or have-nots or union versus non-union. It would be the bureaucrats (those on the government dole) and the dependent class (more of those on the government dole). These two together would comprise an electoral majority.
That scares the hell out of me.
Left unchecked, what you will end up with is an ever-increasing base of dependent people who have no incentive to vote for anything other than the status quo. What will be left in the wake will be loss of freedom, jobs, hope, small business and a reason to get out of bed. When your very existence depends on big government why would you vote for anyone opposed to it?
Think about this… in 2009, the average civilian employee of the United States government earned $81,238 in salary plus $41,791 benefits equaling $123,049. The average American employed in the private sector earned $50, 462 in salary plus $10,589 in benefits totaling $61,051.
Where would you want to work?
The world is in chaos and as close to the brink as is possible. If you don’t believe it you are just not paying attention. In Mark Steyn’s terrific book, “After America,” there is a chapter called “The New Athens.” I offer this only as an example of how connected the global economies are. This often hilarious (but deadly serious) book (I guess sometimes things are so bad that all you can do is laugh) breaks the chapter down to sub-chapters called “The Greek Bone Connected To The Kraut Bone (his word)”, “The Kraut Bone Connected To The Yank Bone,” “The Yank Bone Connected To The…?”
The buck stops (literally) here. If we fail, so goes the world! In 2010, Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, described current U.S. deficits as “unsustainable.” And we have added how many more trillions in debt since then? The global economy is unsustainable! Countries living way beyond their means cannot continue to prop up other countries doing the same.
It is a house of cards and if one falls the others will soon tumble.
America will soon be irrelevant! As of this writing over 20 countries around the world are staging violent protests and burning American flags. Israel and Iran are on the verge of war and our answer is to posture, apologize, appease, withdraw, slash military spending and wonder why we can’t all just get along.
Apparently the militants did get that memo and approve.
This administration and President have a very different view of where this country should be headed and how it should get there. It bears no resemblance to anything we have ever seen and could not be further from the vision of our Founders. Their weapon is debt and their vision is total government dependence. No one is advocating that we abandon anyone in need be it our seniors or those less fortunate who truly need help. Four more years under this President however, will result in something even worse. A devalued citizenry void of hope.
If you have read any Revolutionary War history you know of the almost inconceivable hardships endured by everyone involved. Imagine spending months in freezing cold and snow without shelter or so much as a shirt on your back or shoes on your feet. Yet, that is exactly what many of the militia at Valley Forge endured. The sacrifice we face today may be much different but in many ways just as important, maybe even more so. The sacrifice we make is to put aside personal wants and issues and make this election about ideology and getting our country back.
I would ask anyone reading this to please vote for the candidate of your choice but to do it with a clear understanding of what and who you are voting for. Don’t be swayed by partisan political speak, spinning, false and misleading ads. Do your own homework. Get engaged. Read Mark’s book or one of many others with opposing views. Go see “2016,” the movie.
Do something, anything. This is not your election. It is the inheritance you choose to leave your children and grandchildren. An America running out of ideas eventually gives up on the American idea.
“We are a nation that has a government, not the other way around.” Ronald Reagan. Choose wisely.
Jim Coulson is a resident of Fort Mill.