11 Apr

How much is your country really worth to you? [Reader Post]

                                       

Over the course of the last ten years millions of brave men and women have served in the United States military. Those people, those fathers, mothers, sons and daughters deserve every ounce of respect that Americans of all stripes have.

It says a lot about both the country and these individuals that they still see something in the United States worth defending and that they were willing to sign on the dotted line to do so.

Unfortunately, that is simply not enough. Not that those brave men and women aren’t giving enough, but rather, the great sacrifice they have been and are making today is simply not sufficient to save the United States.

The United States is far more than a military power. In reality, military power is but a small part of what makes America great and a leader in the world. People around the planet have been flocking to watch Hollywood movies for decades. They’ve also been sending the best and the brightest of their progeny to study at our universities. During the Cold War it was Levis and Pepsi that Soviet citizens were clamoring for. According to Interbrand, ten of the ten most valuable consumer brands in the world are American, including names like Coke, Disney, McDonalds and Google. None of these things were accomplished with a barrel of a gun. From Star Wars to Big Macs to our private and public universities, people around the world see the United States as a place where seemingly everything is possible, where great ideas come from and where anyone can find success. Little of that is the result of American military intervention. It’s the result of accomplishments and achievements Americans have forged throughout the nation’s history… although winning two world wars certainly didn’t hurt.

The bottom line is, the United States’ military is strong because America is strong. Not the other way around. And what has made America strong is her people, the individual freedom and liberty they have enjoyed since June 21, 1788 and the economic strength that freedom has created.

Unfortunately the liberty and economic strength that underlie two centuries of success are under assault today like they have never been before. As much as I dislike Barack Obama, the blame is not all his. He may be the worst president this country has ever had, but the problem that is undermining the foundation of American greatness has been going on for seven decades. No, the majority of the blame does not fall on the shoulders of Barack Obama, or even the collective presidents of the last 70 years… The fault for the situation we find ourselves in is the fault of the American people.

A free people get the government they deserve and we are to blame for what Barack Hussein Obama has wrought as well as what George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and their predecessors did. Government is a dangerous weapon in the hands of mere mortals with their natural failings of greed, vanity, arrogance and avarice among others. Our Constitution was specifically designed to temper the worst inclinations of men and to limit the scope to which a citizen’s life might be impacted by government action. Staggered terms, a Senate appointed by state legislatures, an independent judiciary a bill of rights. Everything in our Constitution was written to give citizens the greatest degree of liberty possible.

None of that matters when the government simply decides it wants more power and the people do nothing to stop it, or as in the case of the 17th Amendment, assist in the takeover. A government of men can be expected to try and expand its power and reach and James Madison’s Constitution and George Mason’s Bill of Rights were intended to stop such expansion.

Today however both might as well have been written on an Etch-a-Sketch. How does this happen? Simple. Two symbiotic developments resulted in the situation we find ourselves in today. The first is the division of labor. When Cyrus McCormick freed mankind from the yoke of the farm he unleashed a parabolic curve of innovation such as the world had never seen. The specialization wrought an increase in the standard of living that was exponentially more powerful than anything that had come before. Simultaneously Americans began to enjoy something that few people in the world had ever enjoyed and no people had had on that scale: leisure time.

The division of labor meant that while citizens were able to focus on their jobs stamping engine blocks, editing books, testing scientific theories or flipping burgers, everything else was magically available to them at far less than it would cost them to produce or procure on their own. As their lives became more silo like, they began to understand less and less about things with which they had little contact. For a while they relied on family, friends and community organizations to help fill in the gaps. Then government stepped in and decreed that it was their job to tell citizens what was good and what was bad and what needed to be done, when, and by who. Government is, after all, there to help… isn’t it?

Then of course there is the money. Government largesse becomes a powerful weapon when combined with citizen’s ignorance. As government started providing more information and benefits it started issuing more and more regulations. Today we have the situation where the government seeks to control virtually every aspect of a citizen’s life. Indeed, half the population pays no income taxes, one third of the population relies on the government for most if not all of their income while the entire population is burdened with regulations around every corner. This regulation is particularly onerous to entrepreneurs and businessmen, the backbone of American progress.

Today, with individual liberty and capitalism under fire, the foundation of American greatness is withering away like the grains of sand through an hourglass. The question is, can the country be turned before the sand is fully drained? This is one battle that the men and women of the military cannot fight for us. This is a battle that will be fought in the voting booths across the country. But the real battle is going to go on long before November 6th. The question is, are you going to join the battle? How far are you willing to go to preserve the greatest nation in the history of the world? Politics is rarely a pretty thing and sometimes it causes real pain when you disagree with people close to you. Such is life. Would you rather keep the peace with your brother in law or friend at the cost of watching everything you hold dear slip away, or do you want to take a chance and try and change someone’s mind? It may not work. You might end up talking to yourself or having someone yelling at you. The battle between now and November 6th is not a hot war like what is going on in Afghanistan, but it no less important.

The pending nomination of Mitt Romney demonstrates that conservatives cannot depend on the GOP to light a fire under the American people about the dangers of the leftist agenda and profligate spending. The danger posed by your mother in law or your best friend are nothing compared to the Taliban or Al Qaeda and the other real dangers our men and women in uniform face every day. How much are you willing to do to make sure that their sacrifice is not in vain? Are you willing to do what it takes to help send the Democrats home? Are you willing to do what it takes to help put the United States back on track to greatness and prosperity? Pick up the phone, buy your buddy a beer. Start a conversation. Have a dinner party. Post something on Facebook. At some point someone has to do it. If not you, who? If not now, when? How much is your country really worth? How much are you willing to do for her? Are you going to sit back and watch as the sands of liberty and prosperity pass or is a free Republic worth fighting for? Twenty years from now when someone asks you what were you doing during the most important election of your lifetime, what do you want to be able to say? Do the things today that you will be proud to speak of tomorrow… make a difference, help save your country.

About Vince

The product of a military family, growing up in Naples, Italy and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and being stationed in Germany for two years while in the Army, Vince spent half of his first quarter century seeing the US from outside of its own borders. That perspective, along with a French wife and two decades as a struggling entrepreneur have only fueled an appreciation for freedom and the fundamental greatness of the gifts our forefathers left us.
This entry was posted in Barack Obama, Class Warfare, Conservatism, Constitution, Freedom, Mitt Romney, Politics, Socialism and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Wednesday, April 11th, 2012 at 6:00 am
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19 Responses to How much is your country really worth to you? [Reader Post]

  1. Russell says: 1

    It cracks me up every time I see the social conservatives who hate America precisely because of its freedoms, who would roll back all of it from the gay rights movement to the 14th amendment, take up the cry of “freedom.”

    ROTDLMAO.

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  2. mossomo says: 2

    @Russell:

    How do you conclude individual liberty and capitalism are of a social conservative persuasion? They are of a more libertarian flavor I would argue, and the main idea running through the article. It would seem you are projecting (vis-à-vis trolling) a bias of some sort as the article has nothing to do with so-con issues, gays or the 14th amendment.

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  3. johngalt says: 3

    @Russell:

    You obviously misunderstand exactly what constitutes a ‘freedom’ or a ‘liberty’.

    -Freedom is the condition of being free from restraints.

    -Liberty is the quality, or condition, of being free.

    In order to have liberty, one must be free. In order to have freedom, one must be free from constraints. Constraints include anything that forces, or coerces, one to act or choose a certain way. Our freedoms and liberty stem from the rights we are guaranteed, as American citizens, by our Constitution. A right is not something that one forces, or coerces, another into giving them by act, product, or service. A right is something you are free FROM another’s act, product, or service.

    When you give another something, by act, product, or service, you are granting them a privilege, not a right. Privilege can also be forced, or coerced, by government, on one person, or group, to another person, or group. This is not freedom. This is not liberty.

    In one of your specific examples, gay “rights”, freedom and liberty for homosexuals cannot be gained by using government force, or coercion, to exact an act, product, or service from others. That is not a right, Russell. That is using tyranny to force the choice of a person, or group, to a predestined decision. In doing so, you remove the freedom and liberty of the person you are forcing the choice upon. You are granting a privilege to one person, or group, by removing the freedom and liberty of another person, or group. And that is not what this country was built upon.

    It seems to me that you have swallowed the liberal/progressive ideology, that is built upon lies and obfuscation, and condemned conservatives for something they do not believe in. I, as a conservative, would no more remove your choice of how you live, than I would place shackles upon my own arms and legs. All I, as a conservative, ask, is that you do the same for me. Don’t place the shackles of servitude upon me, because of your wants and desires.

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  4. Hard Right says: 4

    Another unhinged fascist left troll projects it’s hatred onto us. How typical and old.

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  5. Greg says: 5

    What some people seem to want is unrestricted freedom to pursue their own interests regardless of the consequences to others, and freedom from responsibilities and obligations to society.

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  6. mossomo says: 6

    @Greg:

    freedom from responsibilities and obligations to society

    My life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness owes you and society not a damn thing. And notice how these don’t cost you a cent either. Your blue model takes what is known as charity and forces it as a condition of citizenship. Our only obligations to society are to pay taxes and obey the laws. Outside that, live and let live.

    “We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name – liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names – liberty and tyranny.”

    =- Lincoln -=

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  7. Greg says: 7

    @mossomo, #6:

    “My life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness owes you and society not a damn thing.”

    That’s what people on the far right keep telling themselves and each other. They generally don’t question the assertion too deeply. If they did, they would realize that it simply isn’t true. Everything in the modern world is interdependent. Individuals cannot be separated from the society they live within. Each has responsibilities and obligations toward the other.

    “We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word many mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name – liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names – liberty and tyranny.”

    Consider for a moment: Which of the two views does present-day corporate capitalism appear to embrace, if you judge its most powerful players by their deeds rather than their words?

    Focusing hostility on government is just a diversion. It’s part of a sleight of hand trick. It’s intended to distract from the real agenda, which is about the consolidation of wealth and power. The more widely that is shared, the less it can be concentrated at the top.

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  8. johngalt says: 8

    @Greg:

    What some people seem to want is unrestricted freedom to pursue their own interests regardless of the consequences to others, and freedom from responsibilities and obligations to society.

    That’s exactly right, Greg. Those people are called liberal/progressives, of which you seem to be a part. As an example, the left wants “women’s rights”, and any church can be damned if they get in the way.

    The left also strives to relieve certain portions of the population from any responsibility or obligation to society, by giving them “aid” with no reciprocal action required. Who will pay for it? The people who have the means, as tested by government agents and envious liberals everywhere. The left will demand that the government force these people of means to not only provide society with their own responsibility and obligation, but to also be responsible for those given the “aid” and take over for their obligation to society.

    In short, the liberal/progressives wish to enslave those with the means to government, and also enslave those without the means to government(by way of being the sole provider for them). All this in order to attain more control of the population by a tyrannical government.

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  9. mossomo says: 9

    @Greg:

    The more widely that is shared [wealth], the less it can be concentrated at the top.

    #1 – Every society will have a hierarchy where power and wealth are concentrated at the top. Be it Sumeria, Zhang Dynasty, Rome, Aztecs, USSR, Cuba, India, Brazil, or United States. It’s very much the norm under any social model going back 5000 + yrs.

    #2 – The Left makes the assumption there’s this huge old pie in the sky of money [wealth] to be had if only the greedy capitalist pigs would get out of their way. But they forget the fundamental principle of wealth creation, you have to create something of value that someone else wants. If a millionaire goes bankrupt/broke, that doesn’t increase the supply/access of wealth to us; we won’t earn a penny more during our lives than we would have regardless of a bankruptcy or not.

    Individuals cannot be separated from the society they live within.

    That’s not the argument. That’s a given.

    Point being is I am free to be the biggest asshole I want as long as I’m not breaking laws and am paying my taxes. And I’m free to be as uncharitable as I want too. That’s freedom.

    This is my ground: My participation in society does not entail forced charity or the redistribution of my wealth and/or my production. Your stated goals can’t be reached without either.

    The reason, Greg, your goal – The more widely that is shared [wealth], the less it can be concentrated at the top. – can’t be met without forced charity or redistibution is because wealth has to be created first before it can be redistributed and shared. If no one produces anything, there’s no wealth to share; someone has to do the creating.

    The blue model indentures the producers to the non-producers.

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  10. bbartlog says: 10

    Point being is I am free to be the biggest asshole I want as long as I’m not breaking laws

    OK, but this is a crappy definition of freedom because it’s based on something changeable – the laws. If Obama & co. get their healthcare plan to pass constitutional muster, or raise your income tax rate to 55% (quite legally!), are you still as free as ever? You seem to want to strike a libertarian pose while *also* acknowledging all current law as valid. Real libertarians have pretty harsh criticisms for a lot of our laws.

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  11. NotinsomeGodforesakenplace says: 11

    I do not think it is expecting too much to have some leaders who lead selflessly and honestly. If they do such, they do not have to be tossing out marketing smoke screen dupe words like transparency. Perhaps it would be contrary to a great part of human history to have leaders as I mentioned but then the frame-work of this country is exceptional as are many of the past and current citizenry. For example, I believe many of us still work far more hours that those in most industrialized countries and as SALARIED employees. And look at the level of volunteerism and charity too! I do think we deserve and can have a good leader in stead of what many people see as a dis-honest, narcissistic turd. Yes name calling but history clearly backs up that observation. (Turd: A person regarded as obnoxious or contemptible.)

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  12. Liberal1 (objectivity) says: 12

    When I read articles like this one, I think conservatives (or maybe just ultra-conservatives) must live in a bubble. How can they talk about the liberal attack on freedom, when the Democratic Party in Michigan has had to sue the Republican congress for not allowing the Democratic vote to be counted. http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/04/05/democracy-begins-its-death-in-michigan-rachel-maddows-expose-video/

    (Uh, oh. This report is by Rachel Maddow, so it must be false. Quick, turn the page so you don’t get indoctrinated.)

    Couple this fact with the fact that Governor Snyder has suspended democracy, and implemented authoritarian rule, on five towns in Michigan, I can hardly see how conservatives can talk about freedom and liberty—unless their understanding of such terms is the similar to that of Stalin or Hitler.

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  13. mossomo says: 13

    @bbartlog:

    Paradigm shift. You changed the equation with hypotheticals or we are coming from different bases. If I lived in repressive society with repressive laws – no, I wouldn’t clamor about being free. But my platform is that America is still a generally free society despite Her flaws while never acknowledging all current laws as valid. Sorry I didn’t jack the thread to start bashing America and all Her laws I don’t agree. Not sure what else you would have me do.

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  14. mossomo says: 14

    @Liberal1 (objectivity):

    Sensationalize much?

    Democratic Party in Michigan has had to sue the Republican congress for not allowing the Democratic vote to be counted.

    Sued the GOP for using the same procedural moves that the previous Democratic majority employed: http://bit.ly/HmFSRE

    implemented authoritarian rule, on five towns in Michigan

    You’re talking about the Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act. If Michigan residents don’t like the law, they can vote them out – that’s more inline with how democracy works than authortarian rule.

    The law does bring up a valid and interesting debate about what the state should do when a local gov’t is corrupt, ineffecient and broke.

    That said, the real outrage from the Left is the fact that the law allows Union contracts to be voided and replaced with cheaper alternatives from the private sector.

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  15. xthred says: 15

    tl;dr

    Guilt trip fail.

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  16. mossomo
    hi,
    I was with you until the last one,
    the law approve union contracts to be broken to be replace by private company,
    if I understood it right
    what about if UNIONS are not reasonable when they ask too much from a STATE WTH A TIGHT BUDGET TO FOLLOW, DON’T YOU THINK THEY UNIONS DESERVE TO BE REPLACE BY MORE REASONABLE COMPANIES WHO CAN DO THE JOB WITH LOWER PRICE, WHICH IS PART OF FREEDOM FOR A STATE TO CHOOSE?

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  17. mossomo says: 17

    Bees – I think you misunderstood me, we are in agreement that the states deserve the right to choose low cost private sector alternatives to public sector gov’t service monopolies.

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  18. mossomo
    thank’s, It’s me, which misunderstood, woops, sorry,
    I’m glad I ask, because it didn’t fit your previous comments,
    bye

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  19. I read this one at POOKIE18 on the comment part;
    what am I doing on top of the man who’s on top of the man who’s on top of the alligator,
    hope you get the laugh I had.

    ReplyReply

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