Who knows best how to spend YOUR money? John Kerry, that’s who.


“A tax cut is non-targeted. If you put a tax cut into the hands of either a business or an individual today, there is no guarantee we can control them they’re going to invest their money. There’s no guarantee they’re going to invest their money in the United States. They’re free to go to invest anywhere that they want, if they choose to invest.

The fact is, none of those people are guaranteed to squander invest that money in any of the vacuous pet-project black-holes of sh** new projects that we are. So John Kerry government, Yes – Government, has the ability to be able to waste make a decision for you stupid rubes who lack the capacity that the private sector won’t necessarily make today.”

(I added emphasis and some minor edits)

So who is it that stands for individual freedom in this country? Who are the people that think YOU – not some jackass bureaucrat - can make a better decision on what you ought to do with YOUR money?

The fact of the matter is – I work very hard to make a living (the same cannot be said for John ‘marry-a-millionaire-and-billionaire’ Kerry), so I can freely invest my earnings in whatever I please. I don’t need John Kerry to decide how best I should handle MY MONEY.

Note what even Kerry inadvertently points this out:

“They’re [you are] free to go to invest anywhere that they [you] want, if they [you] choose to invest.”

Personal financial freedom. We can’t have that now, can we?

John ‘I want to spend your money on stupid crap’ Kerry: Tyrant of the Week:

kingJohnkerry

Socialized Healthcare and ‘Tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims’

Boy is this audio appropriate today:
Part 1:



Part 2:


Whatever you thought of Reagan, there was one thing true about him – he understood the fundamental epic failing of socialist philosophy applied to government. Socialism comes in the form of friendly ideas with the best intentions. It ends in Tyranny.

C. S. Lewis put it this way:

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

Contrast all of the above with President Obama the other day:


audio ht: Levin

John Stossel – The Road to Serfdom

Great column this week. Read it on Townhall, or below:

It’s exciting that the world is so excited about Barack Obama. I’m excited, too. That he achieved the presidency says something good about America.

But the excitement also frightens me. It reinforces the worst impulse of the media and political class: the assumption that all progress comes from Washington. In a free society, with constitutionally limited government, the president would be a mere executive who sees to it that predictable and understandable laws are enforced. But sadly, the prestige and power of the presidency have grown, and liberty has contracted. That is not something to celebrate.

The infatuated chattering classes now demand “action” on the economy. They use positive words like “bold steps.” The insufferable New York Times suggests the choice is “between a big-bang strategy of pressing aggressively on multiple fronts versus a more pragmatic, step-by-step approach …. ” There is endless talk about how FDR ended the Great Depression and how Obama will apply similar “stimulus.”

Please. FDR’s “bold” moves didn’t end the Depression. They prolonged it by discouraging capital investment. Hoover and Roosevelt turned what might have been a brief downturn into 10 years of double-digit unemployment.

Now Obama says, “we don’t have a moment to lose,” and he and the Democrats insist that government must unionize most of America by passing “card check” and taxpayers must throw even more money at American automakers.

This is the conceit of what Thomas Sowell calls “the anointed” (http://tinyurl.com/6me8d4). The politicians know best how our money should be spent. The “road to serfdom” is paved with such good intentions.

Obama promises:

We will change the world … There is nothing we can’t do, nothing we can’t accomplish if we are unified.”

Who is this “we” politicians always cite?

We can change the world for the better if “we” means hundreds of millions of free people pursuing their interests, inventing, building, parenting, helping.

But the politicians’ “we” is different. It means government. “We” will take your money by force and order you about. A democracy can become the tyranny of the majority. That’s no way to create prosperity.

Obama is an extraordinarily talented man. But there is one thing he can’t successfully do: ignore the laws of economics. No one can do that. That’s why we call them “laws.”

Ludwig von Mises wrote that once the science of economics emerged in the late Eighteenth Century, people began to realize “there is something operative which power and force are unable to alter and to which they must adjust themselves if they hope to achieve success, in precisely the same way as they must take into account the laws of nature. This realization … led to the program and policies of [classical] liberalism and thus unleashed human powers that, under capitalism, have transformed the world.”

The resulting abundance, which so many people take for granted without understanding its source, allows them to believe that a new president can “stimulate” us out of recession.

But we cannot raise wages or create jobs or eliminate poverty by executive order. We can do so by freeing people to save and invest and accumulate capital. We can’t make medical care universal and inexpensive by legislative fiat. But we can approach that goal by permitting a free market in medicine to work.

Government is force, not eloquence. And force is an attempt to defy economic logic. The consequences are often opposite of those intended. “A subsidy for medical insurance increases the demand for services and raises prices. A price ceiling makes those services less available. A floor under wages makes jobs for unskilled workers more scarce, as employers find it a losing proposition to hire them. A subsidy to production means too much produced relative to something else consumers want. A trade restriction lowers living standards at home and abroad,” writes Sheldon Richman on the Foundation for Economic Education website.

What will happen when the unintended consequences hit? F.A. Hayek warned that a government serious about enacting its economic plan must be prepared to use heavy-handed measures. Is that what we want?

I fear that today’s “forceful actions” will not only be a painful assault on our freedom, they will exacerbate whatever economic troubles we face.

UPDATED: Height of Irony: Obama to Require Youth Involuntary Servitude – ‘REQUIREMENT’ REMOVED

If you’ve already read this – skip down for Major Updates:

serve

“Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year.”

Are freedom and liberty things people even desire anymore? Or are these just quaint notions great men used to talk about in a bygone era?

How ironic that I would have to remind President-Elect Obama of the 13th Amendment:

Section 1.
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

In a free American society, the State does not have the power to compel service, only encourage it. Only Tyrannies hand the power of people’s lives to the state. While community service doesn’t seem to have parity with slavery, what is the real difference? Do we not trade individual masters for government? Who decides what service is, or for what institute it must be done? If I choose to serve my church, or through a Boy Scout troop – is that included? What about military service? Who will decide the penalty for non-compliance?

Naturally, The State will choose. 

And what will you do when The State requires you to do something you oppose? A government with the power to impose good – has an equal power to impose evil.

Time to once again quote the great late C.S. Lewis:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

(emph. mine)

I guess so long as the slaves are “doing something good” it doesn’t count as slavery.

More on Soft-Tyranny…if anyone even bothers to care anymore.

Updated: Requirement Romoved from change.gov. 

You can take a look for yourself here:

http://change.gov/americaserves/

“Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by setting a goal that all middle school and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year and by developing a plan so that all college students who conduct 100 hours of community service receive a universal and fully refundable tax credit ensuring that the first $4,000 of their college education is completely free.”

Now this is a much more thought out and reasonable proposal, and as far as change goes – a very wise one. Obviously, how exactly all this will pan out, as well as the ins-and-outs of the idea, still have much room for debate – but this is definitely an improvement over the earlier statement.

This may not have been totally clear above, but it’s not community service that I am opposed to. Clearly, part of growing up and maturing is becoming aware of the needs of those around us. As an Eagle Scout – I spent a great deal of my childhood preforming community service – and this experience helped me to grow in even greater ways than much of what I learned in traditional school. I was taught the value in helping others and volunteering through direct experience. I believe this is a vital thing for people to learn, and greatly benefits a community in the long run.

With that said – I also don’t think that instilling the value of service on citizens is a responsibility that hangs on government mandate. The real value here is learning to serve out of your own choice – rather than compulsion.

As a side note – it bears mentioning that we currently have the luxury of being governed by a (at least somewhat) moral government. What I was writing about in the initial post may have sounded like a knee-jerk reaction – but allowing a government the power to choose how you serve comes with high risk implications in the long run. What would happen if the government decided you needed to serve in a fashion that you opposed? For instance – consider military service: I happen to see value in military service as well as community service – but I hardly think people should be forced to serve militarily. The point I was making above is that a State with the power to force it’s citizens to serve is, in a way, a return to serfdom – (albeit – a benign sudo-friendly form of serfdom. But that’s today – what about 5, 10, 15 years from now?) something America was founded to oppose. 

Back to my main point:  The greater value here for a free people, is to learn and understand the value of service – and so choose to serve – as opposed to serving under pressure. In short, compulsory service (by government) makes slaves, while service by personal volition makes responsible and mature citizens.

In a free society, Government can, and should encourage certain positive behaviors, and rightly enforce punishment (to protecting rights and freedoms) on wrong behaviors. What the government cannot do is force people to do good. Not only does this hinder society in the long run (slaves resent their masters), it also runs contrary to human nature (people will not be ruled) and potentially jeopardizes individual freedom.

I’m very happy that President-Elect Obama has wisely re-considered his policy here and made adequate changes to his proposal. Hopefully, congress can work together to come up with a reasonable application of this idea, sans-coercion.

Under Obama – I’m a filthy evil Phatty McRicherson

The best part about this ad is that the left doesn’t even deny it’s true. Here is a little segment from the HuffPo. Note the lack of denial cloaked behind, ‘well…technically speaking…’ bullcrap:

“The claim that Obama voted to raise taxes on people making more than $42,000 comes with a caveat. The Budget Resolution that Obama voted for and McCain now highlights was a provision to allow portions of the 2001 And 2003 Tax Cuts to expire. Taxes would have gone up. But it was not a vote to raise taxes.”

The simple question is – will Obama raise taxes? The answer is yes. And don’t try the ‘only on the rich’ because that is total subjective class based crap. Who gets to decide that, and how is that fair? 

“Oh – we’re sorry. We’ve decided that you’ve become too successful. We are now going to steal force you to pay more than other less successful people on the assumption that the only reason you are wealthy is because you somehow exploited people to get there. But don’t get upset, we are doing it for the good of ________________(insert glittering generality: i.e. ‘the children,’ ‘the elderly,’ ‘to save the planet’)”

-you’re friendly governmental tyranny

I know that the ‘Robin Hood’ approach sounds all justified and appeals to some people – but realize that it wasn’t simply ‘the rich’ whom Robin Hood was stealing from to give back to the poor. It was the corrupt government who was taxing the crap out of it’s people, and Robin Hood fought against that tyranny, or so the story goes.

Don’t be fooled. Taxing ‘the rich’ for the benefit of the poor, is bold faced, class based Marxism.

My wife and I worked our freaking rears off to get to where we are today (with some loving help from our parents who also worked their own rears off…). We went to college so that we could get decent paying jobs, and are now paying off our own educations. The idea that the state should have the right to force us to pay more for other people who have not chosen to work as hard, in my opinion, is totally unethical.

What say you? Would you like your taxes raised when you reach a certain level of prosperity defined by politicians?

The Road to Green Tyranny

A new proposal from San Francisco’s mayer, Gavin Newson:

Garbage collectors would inspect San Francisco residents’ trash to make sure pizza crusts aren’t mixed in with chip bags or wine bottles under a proposal by Mayor Gavin Newsom.

And if residents or businesses don’t separate the coffee grounds from the newspapers, they would face fines of up to $1,000 and eventually could have their garbage service stopped.

The plan to require proper sorting of refuse would be the nation’s first mandatory recycling and composting law. It would direct garbage collectors to inspect the trash to make sure it is put into the right blue, black or green bin, according to a draft of the legislation prepared by the city’s Department of the Environment.

The program is designed to limit the amount of food and foliage that goes into the city-contracted landfill in Alameda County, where the refuse takes up costly space and decomposes to form methane, one of the most potent of greenhouse gases. It will also help San Francisco, which city officials say currently diverts 70 percent of its waste from landfills, achieve a goal set by the Board of Supervisors to divert 75 percent by 2010 and have zero waste by 2020.

Ed Morrissey breaks it down:

Philosophically speaking, this represents a gross intrusion (in more than one sense of the word) of government into private life.  Recycling plans work because they’re voluntary; most people don’t mind a simple sorting process involving one bin for refuse and another for recyclables.  If they are required to start using three, four, or five bins for sorting their trash upon threat of prosecution, the good will compliance will end and people will stop recycling altogether.  And wait until the municipal courts get flooded with the accused looking to clear their good names and avoid the $1,000 fine.  Plus, can the garbage collectors even levy those citations without being sworn officers of the law or at least employed by law enforcement?

The following video is pretty much right on the money but, Content warning – Strong Language: Here.

Samuel Adams: keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.

A collection of quotes:

A general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy…. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader…. If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.

The said constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.

How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!

The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.

Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: first, a right to life; secondly, to liberty; thirdly to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can.

It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.

The right to freedom being the gift of Almighty God, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave.

It is a very great mistake to imagine that the object of loyalty is the authority and interest of one individual man, however dignified by the applause or enriched by the success of popular actions.

If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.

–Samuel Adams

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. 
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. 
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: 
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. 
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

C.S. Lewis on -soft- Tyranny

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

This is essentially why I am against increasing the power to the State. A lot of things come packaged nicely (welfare, healthcare, environmentalism, ‘No Child Left Behind,’ etc) and they end up being communicated as moral imperatives. There is a very real danger when governments believe that they decide what’s in the best interest of their citizens, as opposed to the people themselves. (Peter DeFazio talked about this very thing in his reply to my letter about the Fairness Doctrine).

As someone who is philosophically conservative, I believe that for freedom to flourish, is vital for each person to have the power to make decisions about what is best for themselves.

I think this is often why Conservatives are perceived to have a lack of compassion in regard to social programs. For instance, I was listening to a left wing radio show the other day and the host, who was discussing global warming, stated something in the effect of, “You see, Conservatives are always opposed to people coming together to fix a problem (in this case, the problem was global warming).”  Close, but the host left out one crucial point:

Conservatives are opposed to governments forcing people to come together to fix a problem. This is because, governments are the only entities that have the power to force citizens to do anything (in America, usually through taxation and regulation). Non-governmental organizations do not, instead relying on a person’s free choice to support that organization. 

The ultimate problem is that any time we hand over power and responsibilities to The State, it is nearly impossible to get them back. Not to mention, citizens become less self-reliant, instead counting on the government to make important decisions, or provide for important personal needs.

Back to what Lewis was saying. Whether we elect John McCain or Barack Obama this year, the country is not going to immediately spiral into tyranny. However, some of the ideas that BOTH McCain and Obama are pushing are small steps in this direction. Do not be fooled into feeling guilty when it comes to social issues by the nice (morally imperative) way that they are packaged: “It’s for the children, the elderly, the environment, fill in the blank… (One real world example: Al Gore has stated that the climate problem is not a political issue, it’s a moral issue. Thus, people who disagree, or might question his position aren’t just wrong, they’re immoral. I wrote a whole post about this topic called The Cost of Disagreement.)

The bottom line is whatever the issue, (oil prices, healthcare, environment, jobs, taxes, etc), don’t buy the, “you are morally obligated,” emotional fluff. The important question should be:

Does this idea promote personal liberty – or is it handing more power to The State?

In other words, is it a small step towards, or away from tyranny?

Now, there is a great deal of talk about what should be done about certain problems in society. Those thoughts can be reserved for another time or post. For now though, my opinion is that for most things, the government isn’t the answer.

What Makes America “the best”?

This is a reply that I wrote on an article by Daniel Hodge titled: America, The Best Country Next To 10 Others. Follow that link to read his article. The following were my thoughts:

In my view, the thing that makes America stand out (call it “number 1″ or “the best”) among other nations has nothing to do with our productivity, our healthcare, or our education system. It can be summed up in one word: Liberty.

I believe the reason we have a productive nation, a decent education system, and good healthcare, springs from our nation’s backbone of liberty. The truly sad thing about America today is how few people there are that fully grasp how preciously fragile liberty is, and how unique it is to America.

The foundation of our government is built upon several revolutionary (not to mention, Biblical) concepts that nurture this idea of liberty. These are best illustrated, not by me, but from reading them directly:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…” -The Declaration of Independence

This idea that freedom (liberty), rights, and happiness are not given to individuals by governments, but are bestowed on every individual by our divine Creator gives value to each human being. In doing so – it acknowledges that each human being has the power to choose their own destiny and that individuals loan that power to the government. Thus, the government’s purpose is to use that power to protect and nurture liberty. The acknowledgment of this idea in one of the three major founding documents of our nation is remarkable when you really think about it, and I think, something radically unique to America as a nation.

It should be mentioned that the founders of our nation were good studies of human nature. They thus instigated a 3 branch system government with checks and balances designed not to allow too much power in the hands of any one body. They did this because they knew Liberty would be crushed if too much power ended up in the hands of the State.

Also, don’t be fooled. Often, when people talk about “living the American dream” they mention material things like owning houses and cars, or making money (or the buzzword: Success). This is a fundamental misunderstanding. The American Dream is about having the freedom to pursue your own interests (including religion) throughout your life. (so long as your dream does not infringe on another person’s – which is why it was necessary to instate a government that upholds the Rule of Law).

Also, you mention the United States not requiring citizens to learn foreign languages. And thank God this is true! I’m not sure you realize what you are advocating here. Like I mentioned above, it is not the governments job to make its citizens do one thing or another. That’s not liberty, it’s tyranny.

Don’t get me wrong – I think it’s very important to learn foreign languages. But it is the individuals free choice to realize the importance of becoming bilingual in a globalized world. Then it is up to them to take the steps to learn other languages. Perhaps the government could encourage this – but requiring it flies in the face of what makes this nation great. In my view, if there is anything that is weakening American citizens, it’s their increasing reliance on The State to solve their problems. (On a personal level, I would rather be free, than educated.)

And I am not advocating glossing over America’s flaws, of which we have many. But in this nation it is the responsibility of the citizen to strive to become better – not the State. The best thing about America revolves around the state not forcing, but encouraging positive growth in it’s citizens and giving them the freedom to do so (also discouraging regressive or destructive behavior).

Anyway, if you want to talk about the decline of America – then you should be concerned about the back-benching of liberty. Again, the greatness (or best-ness) of America is its unique system of government that should be encouraging and nurturing the freedom given to man by God. As American’s, (second to the cause of Christ as Christians) I think these are the ideas we should promoting around the world (instead of crappy movies, music and cheeseburgers.)

That’s my ten cents. Sorry if it’s a little disjointed.

So there’s my opinion. What do you think makes America great (or perhaps, not so great…)? 

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