Having been witness to me studying a lot about many different things over the years, my wife is always after me to put the things I learn into some practical context. Something we can use. Maybe someday you can tell me if I was successful on this particular subject. So here goes!
I don’t know how many of you have given any thought to the practical difference between the liberal and the conservative points of view but to sort of give you a handle on it I think you can look at it this way:
The liberals seem to be in favor of a FOURTH branch of Government. That unelected fourth branch is made up of all the alphabet soup of departments and bureaucracies that have sprung up since about 1900. Some of the more familiar are the FED, the IRS, the SEC, the ATF, the NTSB, the FAA, the EPA, the FDA, OSHA, MSHA, GSA, HSA, TSA, DOE, DOEd, FEMA, EEOC, and the list goes on, and on, and ON! Each and every one of these bureaucracies was established to “fill a need” or a perceived need of government to protect US from whatever seemed necessary at the time. Or to help US through all the tough times and politically convenient injustice that can happen in a free society, free market economy, natural disaster, or whatever. Never let a crisis go to waste!
Arguably, none of these listed and virtually none of those I haven’t, have any Constitutional mandate whatsoever. They set up their own regulations under the authority they are given by Congress, the President, or Supreme Court. Those regulations are not directly bound by the Constitution or Bill of Rights and at this point in time their regulations consume forests to print. Once set in motion they seem to grow far beyond their original scope and mandate. It seems the FDA now has armed enforcement agents! No matter who we elect to office, this Mostly Unaccountable, Unelected Fourth Branch just seems to keep growing and getting more and more intrusive into our daily lives and their funding and the cost of complying with their regulations consumes more and more of our gross domestic product and daily reduces more and more of our individual freedom.
Conservatives, on the other hand, seem to want to return to a much more self-regulated, self-governing society. Conservatives would like to know what it is about LIMITED government that liberals find so hard to swallow. They would like to know why liberals seem to think personal freedom is such an unacceptable concept when applied to anyone but themselves. Perhaps we should ask our liberal friends why that is, or maybe not. I know I haven’t had much luck with that! They seem to get very defensive! I have been told that I sometimes lack sensitivity. But this fourth branch of government is absorbing America’s prosperity through the fact that WE THE PEOPLE still have to pay for them and their growth as well as the cost of their seemingly endless streams of regulations, through higher prices for everything we buy, and higher taxes to support their expansion! There seems to be no end in sight! So, here it is in a practical nutshell:
Essentially, Conservatives think that America can’t continue to exist WITH all of this excess bureaucracy and regulation and want it scaled way down, we must count the cost; while Liberals think we just can’t get along WITHOUT it and we need far more of the same, no matter what it costs!
WE the PEOPLE who are footing the BILL for all of this, need representatives in Washington D.C., and in our state and local governments, who are not trying to buy our votes with promises our posterity for generations will be saddled paying for!
To sort of underscore this idea and hopefully get those who seek our support for public office to really understand how we feel, some of Ronald Reagan’s first Inaugural address is particularly appropriate. The comment I’m quoting concerns a young WWI veteran, who rests in Arlington. Even though most of us are not soldiers at war, the markers at Arlington should give us pause to consider the everyday American hero such as “this young man—Martin Treptow—who left his job in a small town barber shop in 1917 to go to France with the famed Rainbow Division. There, on the western front, he was killed trying to carry a message between battalions under heavy artillery fire.
We are told that on his body was found a diary. On the flyleaf under the heading, “My Pledge,” he had written these words: “America must win this war. Therefore, I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone.
The crisis we are facing today does not require of us the kind of sacrifice that Martin Treptow and so many thousands of others were called upon to make. It does, however, require our best effort, and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds; to believe that together, with God’s help, we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us. And, after all, why shouldn’t we believe that? We ARE Americans.”
These were great words. I am asking all of us to remember the Pledge of Martin Treptow as if it were our very own! “America must win this war. Therefore, I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone.”
Folks! The Government has been buying our votes with food stamps, extended unemployment, Social Security, Medicare, and God alone knows how many other support programs for immigrants, illegal aliens, women, children, students and minorities, for generations. It has preyed on our generosity, our guilt, our forgiveness, and our fear, to create bureaucracies to funnel money from our pockets to each of them, as they generously provide for themselves! Government has said you can have it all, we CAN make it happen! Who wants to vote against getting ‘FREE MONEY’, or safety, or leveling the playing field (their version of ‘equality’ and ‘justice’)? BUT, in trying to make it happen, our Government has spent us, our children, their children and their children’s children into bankruptcy, and created a culture of dependency! THERE IS NO FREE MONEY! Europe’s condition is living proof that system does not work! Our independence has been bought from us with stolen money!
As for my solution? If we, the Boomer generation, as well as all the other generations now involved, would, as individuals, make Martin Treptow’s pledge our own by simply REFUSING to ACCEPT what the politicians have no right under the Constitution to give away in the first place; if each of us would pledge to do our utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle of removing the crushing burden of debt on our children and restoring integrity, morality, and a deep sense of civic duty to our nation, state, and local governments, depended on us alone, the politicians trying to buy us, would lose the largest block of voters in the U.S.A. and be replaced by honest men and women who represent US. Best of all our children would have generations of heroes in their own families to admire. They would get a firsthand look at what the pioneer spirit that made America great looks like, and how UNAmerican the entitlement/victim spirit is that began to pervade and subvert America before the New Deal. If we want OUR country back, those are the terms in which we MUST begin to think. America must win this war! She cannot do it without US, and we, each one of us, must start NOW to fight cheerfully and do our utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on us alone!
This was just one possible solution. I am sure there are others. This IS America! But first we must elect representatives who unequivocally represent ‘We the People’, and our Constitution, not some many times failed ideology, not corporate lobbyists, and certainly not their own lust for power!
I hope, having read this, you have discovered something you can discuss with your friends and family over the next few months when the occasion permits for this reason:
We are spending the money of the unborn to pay for the repose of the unproductive. This is the ultimate expression of taxation without representation.
–Robert Owens (Blogger)
Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote … that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.
–Samuel Adams (Founding Father)
God bless America!