Tony Blankley captures the flavor of the American political scene in his piece “An American Obsession with Freedom.” Edward Burke referred to “… some favorite point which … becomes the criterion of their [the peoples’] happiness.” Blankley believes that point was crossed by the Democrats in their all-out surge to pass healthcare and expand the government to levels never before seen:
I believe that the rise of the Tea Party movement and the impassioned nature of American politics in 2009-10 is the result of the Obama administration’s having, probably inadvertently, intruded into “some favorite points which becomes the criterion of (our) happiness.”
Regarding the debt, Blankley states:
Similarly, the shift from less than $500 billion of annual deficit in the last George W. Bush year to a $1.5 trillion deficit in each of the first and second Obama years (and the proposed addition of almost $10 trillion of new public debt over the next decade) has — by the increase in quantity — changed the nature of public debt in such a way as to intrude into our sense of our fundamental liberty.
Blankley sees a way back from our current position:
The first hard step in that defense will be the election in November. The second, even harder step will be the rollback of already enacted debt and damage to our freedom. Defining the extent and detail of the rollback must be the agenda for the government’s loyal opposition in this year’s election. And the things to which we are loyal are our Constitution, our founding principles and the good institutions and social contrivances brought into being by those principles over our providential history.
There obviously is a way back, but I am not as optimistic as Blankley that it will be taken. Our society has grown soft with increasing numbers of people sucking on the government teat. It is difficult to imagine how politicians will have the courage to do what is right. After all, “Vote for me, and these are the benefits I will take away from you” is not apt to be a winning political strategy. It has not been for the past century.
To regain freedom and to survive means a dismantling of the welfare state and government as we know it. Time is short, if indeed the task can be accomplished at all.
While everyone is for more freedom, no one willingly parts with his seat on the gravy train. We are in a race between the development of political courage and its proper use versus an oncoming financial collapse. At this stage, one appears to be an overwhelming favorite. I know which one I am putting my gold on.
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