“We have given you a Republic, if you can keep it.” –Benjamin Franklin
We believe that when this country was formed it was uniquely blessed to have had at least six world class leaders among it’s founders. A world-class leader is one who impacts civilization in such a powerful way that a paradigm shift is created and typically comes along only once in a generation. The six leaders who converged in 1776 would include George Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton. Such notable men as Patrick Henry, Thomas Paine, Samuel Adams, John Hancock and Noah Webster greatly fortified and enhanced the effectiveness of these leaders and would themselves have been classified as “world-class” in any other generation.
These men were uniquely educated as well as intellectually gifted. They were well trained in history, philosophy, economics, languages, law, agriculture, warfare and religion. They were keen observers and analysts of the various forms of government and economic systems that had been tried in ancient and contemporary Europe. They were quite familiar with gun control, wealth redistribution, pure democracy (which they equated with mob rule) the importance of the rule of law above judicial fiat and the danger of the “proliferation of offices” (bureaucracy). They feared government and believed that it’s powers must be carefully defined and restrained.
As a result of their valiance a miraculous victory was won over the most powerful empire the world had ever known. Because of their brilliance, a government was established that created a level of liberty, tolerance, prosperity and stability that became the envy of the world. Accordingly, we have inherited a sacred trust that must be safe guarded for succeeding generations. In the words of Jefferson, “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”
The success of our Republic is evidenced by the millions of immigrants who annually risk their lives or leave their families to come to “the land of opportunity.” The hordes come from every country on every continent representing every religion and language. As long as these men and women embrace our tradition of liberty and respect our laws they are welcomed with open arms. No other country on earth holds such an attraction to immigrants. If fact, many have walls to keep their citizens in bondage and absolutely no one is trying to get in.
Liberty or Bondage is dedicated to the Jeffersonian principle that “the government that governs least governs best.” As President Reagan famously said, “Government is not the solution to the problem. Government is the problem.” However, we also know that what is received too easily is soon despised. Although we have been given a freedom that others risk their own lives to share, too many Americans only see the imperfections of our country instead of its abundant virtues.
We were given the right to life, liberty and the “pursuit of happiness” but we were never guaranteed happiness. We are promised equal opportunity, but not equal outcomes. Freedom carries with it the freedom to fail as well as the freedom to succeed. Whenever failure is “bailed out” the prosperity of all others is diminished. Bail-outs not only burden the successful but also those who may have been on the brink of success. When government plans too much, private citizens and business cannot plan at all. When government engages in activities that were not envisioned in the Constitution (such as welfare) then private charity and philanthropy will recede. When government assumes responsibility for certain population groups then the personal responsibility of those groups will decline.
We believe that man-kind is generally split into two groups. Group one believes that government is responsible for the health and welfare of it’s citizens. Group two believes that the citizens are individually responsible for their own health and welfare. Those adhering to Group one tend to downplay the private sector while working tirelessly for government favors and benefits that can only be underwritten by the private sector. As they seek the growth and influence of government they unavoidably create subsidies, tariffs, income redistribution, taxation, bureaucracies, regulation and oversight that progressively suppresses private enterprise. Those adhering to Group two downplay the role of government while working tirelessly to generate benefits for themselves, their families and their communities. As they seek the best interest for themselves and their families they unavoidably produce income, opportunities, employment, property, investments and stability that inures to the benefit of their community.
Those committed to the proposition that government should provide the needs and desires of the citizenry tend to be activists who are employed by government or liberal-progressive foundations and community action groups or by the media. Many of these groups actually receive partial funding of their budgets from government grants. As such, they are able to devote an inordinate amount of time toward the goal of expanding the role of government.
Those committed to the proposition that the individual and families should attend to their own needs and desires tend to be employed in private enterprise. As such, he expends the majority of his energy producing income for the care and advancement of himself and his family – and increasingly to the payment of taxes to fund the constantly expanding government. Therefore, he does not have the time, energy or resources to equal those expended by the pro-government constituents.
Critical mass has been attained by the pro-government side of the argument. They control the mass media, public education, most governmental agencies except the military, colleges, universities and law schools. They enjoy a distinct electoral advantage in California, the northeast and in most metropolitan areas of the country. Their positions are advanced in Hollywood, the networks, all major newspapers with one exception, and all of cable television except one. They dominate commercial and investment banking and most of Wall Street. Those who share the belief that the individual is paramount over the state reside in the south, southwest and portions of the west and mid-west. They dominate the energy and agricultural sectors and most of small business. They press their arguments in talk radio, the Wall Street Journal, and to some extent on Fox News.
The battle lines are clear and the stakes are high. Will we continue down the road to European style socialism or will our Constitutional Republic be revitalized? Will America become a place where incomes are redistributed and outcomes are predetermined or will we remain a land of innovators and risk-takers? Will Americans be satisfied with a guaranteed stipend and government health care or will we insist upon free enterprise and state of the art medicine? Will bureaucrats dictate the cars we drive and the energy we use or will we make those choices based upon our individual needs and preferences? Will the Federal government assert absolute dominance over the states or will the states insist upon the autonomy guaranteed by the 10th Amendment? Are we all destined to become wards of the state or will we demand liberty?
America is the last country on earth where the freedoms described above are still enjoyed by its citizens. The fight to keep liberties is much easier than the fight to gain them. Our forefathers secured these rights for our benefit, we must decide if they are worth the fight to preserve them for the next generation. Will they have liberty or bondage?