Listening to Rush Limbaugh the past week in the wake of the presidential election, he makes an interesting point: it’s hard to compete with Santa Claus. And he’s right.
People vote how they live. Improving the country by having political parties change is the tail wagging the dog. We need to change how people live. Give people tools to be independent, give them resources and encouragement so that they can say, “I don’t need the government, I can do a better job myself”, and they will. And while they will still vote how they live, how they live will be more in line with the founding principles of this nation: rugged individualism. American exceptionalism. Divine providence.
What is needed is to give people resources on how to pay off debt and manage money, how to garden (organic!), save money on utility bills (green!), hunt and fish (free range!), prepare for natural disasters, save money by doing routine maintenance on their own car and home, create their own financial safety net in case of job loss, etc. In reality, many things associated with liberals (“free range”!) if spun in a different context appeal to conservatives (“hunting! guns!”), and in the end are truly libertarian (“I can feed myself! guns = freedom!”) in nature. Independence and personal freedom is by its very nature libertarian. The politics of division have made the two sides come to hate each other so much that people can’t seem to see past party affiliation and realize that down deep, most Americans agree on most issues, and it’s misinformation from the two parties that have skewed their views on various topics. (“Guns are evil!”)
If this common ground is embraced, all the divisive issues are left behind, and suddenly people are agreeing on 85% of topics, leaving only a little disagreement that can be rationally and logically dealt with since no one is accusing the other for hating children and old people. The only way to save the nation is to change how people live and that means changing their relationship with government by changing how they think.
Only then will Americans change the way they vote, and only then will we be able to save our Republic. Only then will we grow up and stop believing in Santa Claus.
In 2008, Barack Obama ran on the motto “Yes we can!” It’s a nice-sounding motivational uplifting sort of message, albeit a blank one. But almost immediately after taking office, he changed his tune to “No we can’t!”
On October 3, 2009, in his weekly address, Obama was saying that our economy cannot create jobs unless we “fix” healthcare. (Despite the fact that our economy has been through numerous recessions with “broken” healthcare and even no healthcare and recovered every time, always creating more new jobs.)
In April of 2009, Obama’s science czar John Holdren told students that “We can’t expect to be number one in everything indefinitely.” (Inspiring!)
On June 2, 2010, Obama said that “We can’t afford to go back to the pre-crisis status quo,” even though prior to the recession the economy was creating jobs and unemployment was under 5% — less than half what it was when Obama made the remark..
In remarks about comprehensive immigration reform on July 1, 2010, Obama said that “our borders are just too vast for us to be able to solve the problem only with fences and border patrols. It won’t work.” (History has shown that fences, walls, and border patrols have been successful at securing borders for thousands of years, regardless of the vastness of borders in question.)
On July 5, 2010 NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said the United States is not going to travel beyond low-Earth orbit on its own and that no country is going to make it to Mars without international help. (Aren’t we the country that sent men to the moon and back multiple times, with computing power a fraction of what can be found in your average cellphone?)
In August of 2011, Obama told automakers that “You can’t just make money on SUVs and trucks.” (So automakers should listen to words of wisdom from a man who has never run so much as a lemonade stand about what is profitable? Following his advice, Government Motors has given us the colossal flop called the Chevy Volt, which is costing taxpayers $250,000 per car.)
In September 2011, Obama said that “You can’t have a modern industrial economy” with lower taxes. (Currently the United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the world, and countries like Ireland with low corporate tax rates are seeing economic growth while we are still wallowing in recession.)
And back in July of this year, the Obama White House has recanted on its previous statements that with ObamaCare “if you like your health insurance plan, you can keep it.” Turns out that “a majority of group health plans will lose their grandfather status by 2013.” Whoops
Now the latest evolution of “yes we can” is “no you can’t”:
“I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
Translation: “You can’t be successful without the government.”
Isn’t this quite the opposite of “Yes you can”? Oh wait. His message wasn’t “Yes you can” it was “Yes we can”. Yes the government can. According to Obama, you, the individual, are powerless and helpless without the government. And successful people? There’s nothing special about successful people. They didn’t get there without government help.
Note that he didn’t say anything about a great parent, just a great teacher (paid for by the government, steeped in progressive ideologies, and a member of the teachers union, of course.) Note also that he didn’t say anything about “anyone can be successful if they work hard enough and study hard enough.” In so doing, he is devaluing hard work, implying that successful people are just lucky and that they don’t deserve the fruits of their own labor. I thought that the American dream was that if you work hard enough, you can have a good life. Is he not replacing “work hard enough” with “rely on the government enough”? And if the government is responsible for your success, then of course they are entitled to take a portion of it. This ideology is contrary to the very libertarian principles that founded this nation.
So I posit this: if government is solely responsible for all entrepreneurial success as the president claims, then logic holds that it is also solely responsible for all of people’s failures. Reason, however, says that both of these statements are false, and fact and history prove it so.
During the frontier days of the wild west, there were no roads on the Oregon trail. There were no government programs developing infrastructure. Government wasn’t involved in education and there was no Federal Reserve monkeying with the economy. There was no minimum wage, no EPA, no OSHA, no EEOC or affirmative action. There was nothing more than free people and their search for the American Dream. They battled dysentery, hunger, wild animals, Indians, thieves, snake oil salesmen, and wild extremes of weather. And whether they settled in Oregon, California, Nevada, or other areas, the result was the same: they worked hard and were able to build a good life for themselves and their families. Some died on the path, some struck it rich by finding veins of gold, copper, iron, or lead, and most were able to find the happiness that they pursued through all the adversity along the way. Would they have been able to do it if they were told from birth that they needed to rely upon someone else? Would as many have even set out on the journey if they were told that “you can’t be successful on your own”? What if they were told that “if you go out there and make it, and after nearly dying on the journey you find a huge nugget of gold or start selling pants to the miners and build a big company that will last for generations, you’re going to have to give some of your wealth to the government”? I think that if someone from the government came onto a settler’s land demanding a share of their wealth, they would have been run off at the end of a rifle.
Cities like Nevada City, Deadwood, Laramie, Bingham, Nicodemus, Guthrie, and other frontier towns were not built by people waiting for the government to come along and help them out. The First Transcontinental Railroad wasn’t built by the government… it was advocated by the federal government and money was loaned by the federal government, but it was four wealthy businessmen from San Francisco that got it done.
The men and women of the frontier were a truly different breed. When faced with adversity, they didn’t demand a government agency be created to fix things. They didn’t go running for a lawyer. They just tried harder. They got more determined and strengthened their resolve. A perfect example is Jesse Stahl. A black cowboy and rodeo star, in the early 1900’s he competed in a rodeo in Oregon. After a ride that was clearly better than his competitors, the judges gave him second place, and it was clear that it was because he was black. On his next ride, Jesse rode backwards. With a suitcase in one hand.
The United States has given more than ample opportunity to all who seek to follow the American Dream. You can make it on your own, without help from the government or anyone else, but only if you have the courage to make the difficult decisions and face adversity head-on. People who fail to succeed have a failure within themselves, and no amount of government spending can overcome that. As Henry Ford said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”
Everything was going so well. He almost pulled it off.
Unemployment benefits were running out, dropping people from the unemployment rolls, making the unemployment figures begin to artificially dip. The liberal media did what they did best, and failed to report the fact that while the number of those on unemployment dropped, the number of people re-entering the workforce hadn’t risen. But you wouldn’t know this listening to the evening news.
Speaking of the liberal media, they also are doing a good job keeping mum about Operation Fast & Furious. Obama’s Department of Justice and BATFE had willingly allowed guns to be purchased from US gun shops by people known or suspected to be supplying arms to Mexican drug cartels. These are people who the gun shops or the instant background check would have typically denied. The stated purpose was to “follow the guns” to catch the drug lords. But there was no effort to actually follow the guns; instead, the Obama DoJ was setting the stage for an all-out assault on the 2nd Amendment. Since taking office, Obama’s White House and its staff — including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — have been talking about how the US is “an arms bazaar for drug lords and terrorists”. Operation Fast & Furious was engineered to create evidence where none existed, and the liberal media lap dogs have been doing an excellent job of not reporting the details of this scandal.
The Republican field was narrowed and Mitt Romney had become the front-runner. His past included passing RomneyCare as governor of Massachusetts, and a history with Wall Street venture capital firm Bain Capital. This was an ideal situation for Obama, because RomneyCare bears more than a passing resemblance to ObamaCare. And the Occupy Wall Street “movement” (and I use that term lightly because more than a little evidence shows that it was promoted and paid for by some of the people on Obama’s sideline) could be used to attack Romney’s Wall Street past. And of course, the media was doing an excellent job of already painting Romney as the “Wall Street” candidate, while at the same time calling the GOP presidential nominee race for Mitt before the race had even begun.
The bailouts of the auto industry and “stimulus” programs gave the Democrats an easy way to launder taxpayer dollars and turn them into campaign contributions. Taxpayer dollars flowed into GM and Chrysler, which means it went straight to the auto unions, which in turn donated massive amounts back to Democrat fundraising coffers. Similarly, the “stimulus” programs served to primarily “stimulate” government jobs and other union jobs, which again poured money straight back to the Democrat party and the Obama reelection campaign.
And ObamaCare was jammed down our throats, with its tyrannical shackles set to fully close around our wrists and ankles only after the 2012 election. The full damage of ObamaCare wouldn’t be realized until it was too late.
Everything was perfect. Obama was heading for a liberty-crushing second term.
Tie game. Just minutes left on the clock. Third down and long from midfield. The ball was snapped, Obama went downfield, gained separation from the defenders, a perfect pass was thrown to him. And, like happens every Sunday during football season, he turned upfield to run in the winning touchdown before he had full control of the ball. And he dropped the pass.
He thought everything was all sewn up. He thought he had had it. And, drunk on his own power, already seeing his face on the cover of Socialist Illustrated, he rushed to flex his self-appointed power rather than waiting until after the election. He decided push ahead with his pro-choice agenda, thinking that the Catholic Church — many of whom had come out and supported him in 2008 — would just sit idly by. And he thought that other religions (who weren’t so strict on contraceptives and sterilization and abortifacients) would just roll their eyes at the few Catholics who would make a fuss about the unconstitutional mandate he shoved through. He thought he had it. And he turned upfield before fully catching the ball.
Now there are some self-proclaimed Catholics who aren’t upset by his mandate. You know the ones… the “Chreasters”, the “Catholic Reservists”, the “CINOs”, or whatever you want to call the Nancy Pelosi-Joe Biden-Ted Kennedy sect of people who call themselves Catholics but who come to Church only on Christmas and Easter and who proudly display a “Pro Choice” bumper sticker on their car… they’re not upset at all. They don’t see what the big fuss is about. But they’re the only ones. Catholics everywhere who, for whatever reason, had turned a blind eye to Obama’s past where he said that a baby born alive after a botched late-term abortion should have no medical care and left to die, are finally realizing just who Obama really is. And it’s not just the Catholics. People of all faiths are standing with the Catholics because they are realizing that if Obama is willing to bulldoze the Catholic Church, he’s willing to bulldoze any faith. And any right. We Americans are finally realizing that if he’s so flippant about attacking an important tenant of someone’s faith and belief in God, something as deep and important as how someone chooses to worship God, what rights guaranteed by the Constitution and Bill of Rights won’t he attack?
But here’s the unintended consequence to Obama’s mis-timed turn upfield: Mitt Romney’s support is beginning to wane. The attack machine had set up Romney to be the candidate so that they could easily tear him down, and Obama’s dropped pass has actually generated a swell of support for Rick Santorum, the unlikely unknown staunch “I live what I say I believe” Catholic from a suburb of Pittsburgh. And Rick doesn’t have the RomneyCare and Wall Street baggage that Romney does. While I still have some reservations about Santorum, in light of Obama’s dropped pass, his ability to harness the recent anti-Obama furor and win the game is beginning to overshadow Romney.
So it’s fourth and long. And with his non-compromising “compromise”, Obama’s going for it. We need a strong defensive stand to turn the ball over on downs. And then we need to put the ball in the hands of someone who can put it in the end zone, even if his end zone dance involves a sweater vest.