The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

Posts tagged ‘freedom’

THE SYSTEM

A panhandler was walking down the street hoping to collect some money so that he could find a flop for the night – and if he got really lucky have enough to buy a little Ripple to lull himself to sleep.  He approached a very well dressed man in his mid-thirties with his usual line, “Buddy, could you spare an old drunk a little change?”

The man looked at the panhandler and said, “My friend, you’re wasting your time trying to raise money this way.”

The panhandler cocked his head with interest.

“Do you know what the building is that you’re standing in front of?  It’s The Ford Foundation.  Their whole business is giving away hundreds of millions of dollars a year.  And I’ll bet if you even get one person to give you one dollar on any given day, you think that you’ve struck it rich.  My advice to you, sir is to go inside and see if they will give you a donation.”

The panhandler thanked the man for his advice and went into the building where he was greeted by a receptionist.

“May I help you, sir?”

“I’m here to see if you would consider making me a donation.”

“Would that be a private donation or a public donation?”, the receptionist asked.

The panhandler responded, “Uh, I guess that it would be a private donation.”

“And, sir, would this be a large donation or a small donation?”

The panhandler thought for a minute and responded, “Oh, by your standards this would be a very small donation.”

“Well, fine,” the receptionist said.  “Small private donations are handled in Room 205.  Just take the escalator to the second floor and you’ll see the room on your left.”

So the panhandler followed her instructions and arrived at Room 205.  He opened the door and while he was looking around the room he was surprised to see that it was totally devoid of furniture and people.  In his confusion, he let go of the door knob and the door swung shut and locked so that he was standing in the empty room with nowhere to go.

Several minutes went by and two rather burly young men entered the room, hoisted the panhandler off the ground, one holding him under each arm, carried him down the backstairs and threw him out the rear door to the building into the alley.  In the process, the panhandler hit his head against a telephone pole and lost consciousness for a few minutes.

When he recovered, he stood up, shook himself off and returned to the street where he happened to encounter the man who had advised him to go into The Ford Foundation.

“Hey, my friend,” the man said, greeting the panhandler.  “Did you try my advice to get some money from The Ford Foundation?”

“Yes, sir I did.”

“Well, how did it go?”

“Uh, not so good.  But, you know I was really impressed.  Boy, do they have a system.

The simple reason that Obama collected more votes than Romney is this.  The most radical elements of the Democratic party have been working for years to put in place a “system” for recruiting new voters, recruiting candidates who meet their liberal social agenda, targeting specific state offices – particularly the Secretaries of State since they are the ones who control the local election process, and doing a highly effective job of turning out the vote for the elections themselves.

If the consequences weren’t so dire, I would congratulate them.  Instead, I look at a successful playbook which should be emulated by those who still hope to live in an America the Free.

In retrospect, the evolution of this “system” has been on-going for at least a decade.  The fact that Obama won with such a small plurality speaks less to those who, despite the fact that they know three-quarters of what he says are lies and the other quarter are half truths and still voted to him, than it does to those who, because of matters of principle, decided to opt out from the election, thus handing him his victory – and America another nail in the coffin.

If those who are contributors to the GOP and those who have positions of authority within the party are wise, they will begin now to start planning a strategy for 2014 and beyond.  They will begin identifying candidates who understand that the Constitution is our governing document and will honestly uphold it.  They will begin educational grass roots movements to recruit new members to the party.  And, unwittingly, they will have a great deal of help in this from President Obama.

The economic consequences of going off the fiscal cliff might be horrendous – but there is really no need for Obama to compromise on this issue.  If, as some suggest, his agenda is the ultimate destruction of the American ship of state, in retaliation for his view of us as a “colonial power”, then all he has to do is, much the same as he has done, which is to say, nothing.  He then can blame the ensuing disaster on the Republican House.  And since it’s getting a little late to blame everything on President Bush, they would seem a convenient scapegoat.

Now that he has a second term tucked away and nothing further to run for, there is nothing more for him to do than to advance his ideology – or the one that has been fed to him all his life by others on the extreme left.  That would include the complete takeover by government of the healthcare system, a more radical attempt at wealth redistribution and a significant reduction of the freedoms guaranteed the citizenry in the Constitution.

Perhaps, when, and I say when rather than if, those start being felt by the general population, even those who worked and voted for him, will begin to feel the weight of the government’s heel on their necks.  And we will have a new base for rebuilding a better and stronger opposition party – one which has returned systematically to the roots and principles on which it was founded and under which the nation prospered.

“ON LIBERTY”

If I were forced to choose a term to describe my political philosophy I would select the term, “Liberal.”  However, that is in the sense in which that was defined by John Stuart Mill in his essay, “On Liberty.”   I think that within today’s re-defined terminology that would translate to Libertarian.

“On Liberty” has been continuously re-printed since it’s initial publication in 1859, attesting to the significance of the message it conveys.  The essay is relatively brief and should be something that everyone who votes in the November 6, 2012 election should read before they cast their ballot.  Sadly, I know that will not be the case.

There are several essential ideas which Mill states clearly in his essay.

“Over himself, over his mind and body, the individual is sovereign.”  Mill goes on to talk about how the “Tyranny of the Majority” can attempt to force their will on the individual and how this is endemically contrary to the nature of men joining together in a political union.

Before those of you reading this ask, “Does that mean that people are free to commit murder or do anything else that we view as contrary to our view of living in a lawful society?”  The answer is resoundingly, “No.”

Mill goes on to describe the “Harm Principle” which addresses this issue.  “Neither the state nor any other social body has a right to coerce or restrict the individual unless (my emphasis) the individual causes harm to others.”

This is a message not unlike that which the Founding Fathers incorporated in The Declaration of Independence and framed in the Constitution of the United States almost a century earlier than the date of publication of Mills’ essay.  It is a message that established America as the world’s first great modern democracy.  It is a message that has increasingly been overlooked, ignored and blatantly violated. 

It is a message which needs to be revived with the support of all of us who live in this land and call ourselves Americans.

There are now five remaining contenders for the highest post in the land, President of the United States.  There is only one who has been consistent in supporting the principles that the Founding Fathers established and which Mills echoed in his essay.

I will leave it to you to figure out who that candidate is and to do the intelligent thing if you are in a state with an upcoming primary or caucus and are eligible to voice your opinion in it.  You really owe it to yourself to do the right thing.  If you don’t take the responsibility to do that, who do you think will do it for you?

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