HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY. Note: You cannot enforce liberty.
The Founding Fathers, in the 1700s, understood the dire risks of pursuing liberty, and did not do so by enforcing some imagined (utopian) equality (see a Spearhead piece on equality), but by carefully separating themselves from an autocratic leader, by realizing and establishing not just a new government, but essentially a new form of government. That's a big deal. I think too many take it for granted, or only give it some general lip service today. The patriots of that age wanted to allow citizens who were law-abiding proceed in their lives, not be pinched at every turn of luck or at every respectable success.
The Founders' decision to leave the tyranny of Britain's King George was the promise of their ruin (Snopes.com), not knowing the outcome. They still took that chance. A calculated risk? Certainly. (What's the biggest risk of your life you've ever taken? Driving a car? Motocross? Bungie jumping? Or serving your country at a time of war? Saving someone from a burning building? Only the last two count.) Thanks to the Founding Fathers and many of their fellow patriots, the USA won its freedom, implausibly, from the most powerful sea and land force on the planet.
Look how far we've come, huh?
We can't say that today our leaders have the same thoughts that the Founders, or any patriots of the 1700s, had. We are a nation spoiled by our comforts, to the least engaged among us. The difference we can make is in recognizing those aspects of our lives that are spoiling us, and living beyond them.
The current Democratic chief in the White House (and by extension, those who surround him or share his ideas) has the notable trait of blaming others -- not a leadership trait. If you search for "Barack Obama blame" online, there are 58 million hits. That is the trait not of a true leader, but of an abuser, or a lowly wheeler-dealer, not a heroic and principled change agent. Of course, some of those are about average people seeing his lack of blame (Economist, unscientific poll), while others point out the irony of his claim and blame paradox (Economist article, June 2012). His rhetorical soundbites and longwinded speech-lectures too commonly amount to lies in the long run. See, just because you think something might be true doesn't excuse you when it is exactly wrong -- that's delusional. That's, apparently, a lot of Obama true believers in a nutshell. For instance, he pledged in 2009 that the ACA, or Obamacare, would help the needy and make costs go down for the middle class. Not happening.
Power grabs of one type or another have been too common since Sept. 11, sadly. Borne of concern for safety, they are obviously affecting freedoms, and it is far worse under Obama and the federal agencies under his umbrella than it had started out with under the equally security-over-liberty minded George Bush. The supposedly forward-thinking White House of 2013 is not an antidote to power over the people, but fully a part of that allegedly well-meaning, but nonetheless overbearing, attitude of enforcing fairness by playing favorites. This current condition is not in any way Americanism, it a whiff of totalitarianism.
In Texas, it seems that we've learned -- if one has no understanding of it for one's own -- that the support of abortion after 20 weeks is a right. Aborting a child after five months is a kind of liberty? For whom?! Unwilling mothers who are too dumb or delusional to decide to give up a child, in the worst way possible, before five months? Nationwide, we've seen the view that registering all legal guns is the only right thing to do, according to our president and those on the overbearing, nanny state, big government side of America. This is so, while letting arms slip into hands of known bands of killers to try and track the guns, and losing track of them (what the hell?!) is good for liberty. As well, while giving deadly arms to rogue activists akin to the Taliban, in this case, the Syrian rebels, is also acceptable. But. not entrusting Americans with their right to bear arms, a central tenet of the idea of liberty envisioned by our Founding Fathers. What liberty is Obama and the left in favor of? That which limits the rights of all in favor of coddling to the favored labels? How un-American have we gotten?
Slavery wasn't abolished by our founders and, out of context, that's shameful to me. In context, I realize that the civil war would have happened on the heels of the revolution, had that move been pushed. Still tragic, but to manage freedom from the King of England was a first step. The Founders were not perfect men. Obama is far from that himself, farther than they. That wrong does not translate well to the idea that the broad freedoms they envisioned in the 1700s were incorrect. Today, how is it that granting, to the government, more power over law-abiding citizens somehow makes anyone more "free"? I think leaving aside slavery at the outset was a compromise, no matter how regrettable it was. We live in different times, but how dare people suggest that these times also call for a government that nannies us? That isn't liberty, that's comfort to the disinterested and lazy. We shouldn't be regarding independence as something administered by the government. Because it can only be taken from us by a government. We freed the slaves not by limiting their freedom, but by preventing their enslavement. There is a huge difference.
- jR, aka AirFarceOne (Twitter)