America Faces a Stark Choice
By: Craig Chamberlain
It has been said before that America is more of an idea than a country. For centuries that idea was liberty. The idea, however imperfectly implemented it might be, that people could be free. No one would say that it has been a perfect experiment. The question is whether or not we think the experiment was worth it at all? More and more Americans would say no. To them the ideal of America isn’t liberty, it’s protection. It’s security. They go by many names, progressives, liberals, socialists, Democrats, etc. They believe that the purpose of government is not to protect the liberties of the American people, but it exists to provide for the peoples needs. This, of course, necessitates an all powerful state that has the final say over everything.
If you want to see a clear fault line in these beliefs we don’t need to look any further than the debate over the budget, and what we should do about it. On the one hand there are the conservatives, those who still believe in limited government and liberty. Then we have the progressives who think of limited government as cruelty. Why it’s just barbaric to expect people to live their own lives and take care of themselves. They think that a civilized society must be run from the top down, and only be redistributing the wealth can we achieve a just society and eliminate want.
The conservative, the believer in small government, thinks that it’s best for the state to get out of the way. Allow people to flourish in a capitalist system and you will have the greatest amount of success. Some people might fail, but far more will find prosperity and freedom by being allowed to make their own choices, and take responsibility for them. When it comes to responsibility we see a huge gulf in thinking between the two sides. The left doesn’t believe in responsibility. They believe in bailouts and safety nets.
It’s not just a difference of opinion. It’s a difference in how we think people should live and the American people will have to make a choice. The GOP, in its budget plan, wants to cut spending, reform the entitlement programs, and decrease the influence of the federal government. Sounds reasonable, sensible, and mature. To hear the lefts reaction you would have thought that the GOP wants to deliberately make our sun go supernova. People will starve, people will die, people will be forced to live on the streets, and Republicans are evil, cruel, bigoted monsters for even suggesting such a plan. It’s the same tired refrain from the same old, worn out, songbook. They sang that tune back during the debate over welfare reform. They predicted mass starvation and homelessness, and only a nation of unfeeling Nazis would want to see that happen to its people. Instead unemployment plummeted, homelessness dropped, and people started taking care of themselves.
The left, in order to avoid being so tough on the poor and elderly(in reality they know money is power, and if they have less money they have less power. So they want to keep every dime they can get their hands on) propose an alternative plan. No cuts to anything, except defense which would see massive cuts. That’s not a surprise. The Democratic party has always hated the military. They would actually increase spending to social security, medicare, and medicaid. This would be accomplished by massive tax hikes. As high as 88% according to some plans.
So we see more than two different plans. We see two different visions of what America should be. One that emphasizes restraint and responsibility, and one that emphasizes more government and class warfare(tax the rich! of course they never quite define what they mean by “rich”) One that will pay off the debt by limiting what we spend and getting Americans back to work through the free market, and one that will chase capital out of the country through excessive, and punitive, taxation and will keep millions of Americans dependent on the party of big government.
That is the choice that the American people have before them, and it’s a decision they can’t avoid. This nation can no longer ignore the question of debts and deficits, and leave it to future generations to handle the problem. It’s now the responsibility of the American people to stand up and tell their representatives what they want to see done. Washington has shown that it can’t be trusted to make the decisions, so the people will have to.
It’s a simple choice. Do we choose less freedom, or more freedom?