Why the government thinks that Americans suck

You will have to excuse the hyperbole in the title of my blog this week, but allow me to explain. The policies of this administration and progressives in general are based on an idea that Americans need the government to take care of us, tell us right from wrong, and protect us from ourselves. The foreign policy of this administration holds the hint of the suggestion that America doesn’t deserve to be the largest military super power on the planet. The growth of government entitlement programs infer that Americans cannot be counted on to take care of the needy in our society unless the government takes our money and does it for us. Let’s look at each one of these things individually, shall we?

1. We need the government to take care of us:
There’s a video circulating around schools taught as part of the curriculum called “The Story of Stuff”. In this video the narrator says that “it’s the government’s job to take care of us.” Do you believe that? Is that the government’s job? When did we move from our founders’ principle that the government is the protector of our freedoms, not the provider of our needs? Matter of fact, it was Thomas Jefferson who said “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”

2. The government needs to help us make the right decisions:
With freedom comes personal responsibility. That liberty is the freedom to make good choices and reap the rewards, or to make bad decisions and pay the consequences. I don’t need the government outlawing trans fats or alcohol (as progressives did in the 20’s). If I eat or drink things that are bad for me, then I will pay the consequences. If I become an obese, out-of-work alcoholic who then expects the government to pay all my health care costs and treatment options along with my housing and food stamps, then the government has sheltered me from the consequences of my actions and I will never learn.

Another aspect of this lack of confidence in Americans is seen in environmental policy. I bet that one day in the not too distant future all cars will be hybrid of some sort. That is because the demand for fuel efficiency and the public’s awareness of energy conservation and the environment drives us to be more “green”. Give people the facts and an affordable solution like compact florescent light bulbs or hybrid cars and people will buy them. When solar energy reaches that sweet spot where the benefit outweighs the cost, people will adopt en masse. We don’t need government nanny to force us towards environmental friendliness, people will move there on their own.

3. America is not deserving of military dominance:
Since the early 20th century America has been a military super power with little rivalry. We have used our power to defend and protect but never to colonize or destroy. We haven’t been perfect in all our military decisions, but we have a core principle that America’s might would not be abusively used for imperialism or terrorism. We live in a world that includes some evil people. Unfortunately some of those people hold positions of power in the world. Some have and would use military power to colonize or terrorize. Others would like nothing more than to see “the great Satan” wiped off the map. Obama’s new nuclear policy for America limits our options for defending ourselves and our allies and reduces the deterrent created by nuclear weapons. In a time where nations with very dangerous leaders, like North Korea and Iran, stand on the cusp of nuclear armament, why on earth would we chip at America’s status as the country willing and able to do anything to stop threats to ourselves and the world? I wonder if Iran actually believes at this point that we will do anything to stop them besides the last 6 years of resolution begging and bartering in the UN and with Russia and China.

4. Nowhere is the government’s lack of faith in Americans more evident than in the transition from charity towards entitlements as a source for the needy. Americans have proven time and time again that we are the most generous people on planet earth. We take care of our neighbors, our family, our friends, our community, our country and even other countries’ needy and desperate.
While some safety net is good to catch those who fall through the cracks, we are moving from a safety net to a government harness on each and every one of us. The government will take our money and use it to help with the causes that they see deserving. And since huge bureaucracies are never good at nuance, the government will offer enormous entitlement programs that will act as the teat that the American public will nurse from. Did you know that a baby mammal will nurse far longer than it needs to if their mother does not forcibly wean it?

My real concern about this unconstitutional shift away from personal responsibility to government care and control is that people become what others expect of them. We all know the kid who was told by abusive parents that he would never amount to anything. Then when the kid turned into a loser or a criminal the parent would say “I told you so”. It’s a self fulfilling prophesy. We are losing the generation that truly understood personal responsibility – the “up from your bootstraps” generation. We are raising a new generation that believes that the government will take care of them and that it’s “the government’s job” to do so. Our liberties will disappear as politicians realize that they can buy the votes of the lazy and entitled with the money of the hard-workers.

We must be vigilant to never believe the lie that government can or will take care of us. We must live the principles of charity, military might with honor, self-reliance and acceptance of the consequences. We must never become the people that the progressives expect us to be.

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15 Responses to Why the government thinks that Americans suck

  1. Anonymous says:

    This piece is definatley the best of yours that I have read yet. You narrow down the debate as to why the direction of progressivism is a path of destruction. There are sooo many examples of why this NEVER works! thank you. from Jeanne Guzman

  2. John White says:

    Why is it the government's job to protect us militarily but not socially?Isn't forced taxation for military budgeting just undermining the individual's urge to independently fund military spending?

  3. It is the government's job to provide for the defence of the nation. That is something that we cannot do individually.Ever wonder why "provide for the common defence" appears right in the preamble of the U.S. Constitution? chief framer, James Madison, explained: "Security against foreign danger is one of the primitive objects of society. Without providing for our own security, we could never hope to control our own destiny or command or own fortunes." National security is a precondition for everything else. None of our other rights can be enjoyed unless we are safe and secure.

  4. John White says:

    Why is it that providing for the common defense is a critically important function of government, but providing for the common welfare isn't?

  5. Anonymous says:

    John White…grow up and take responsibility for your own life and welfare. Stop thinking it is owed to you. What comes with the government providing for you, is the government telling you how to live your life. If you let them support you, then you are submitting to them. I bet when you became an adult, you expected your parents to stop telling you what to do. Do you want the government to tell you what to do for your entire adult life?? Because that's EXACTLY what it would be. It would be just like having parents control you forever. You better get that sand out of your head, it's clogging your brain!!! And people like you will be the downfall of the greatest nation on earth. I can tell you that you will not like it here if we become just another third world country. You are a threat to MY freedom.

  6. Think about it – National Defense is the most critical job of the federal government. We cannot as individuals create the military might and coordination necessary to defend ourselves and create international alliances. That is THE job that state, local government and individuals cannot do for themselves. If that isn't self evident, I don't know how else to explain. That is why the constitution gives the federal government limited and ennumerated powers – they wanted the federal government to have power limited to what the states gave them: defense, creating currency, regulating interstate commerce – things that the states needed a central authority for. Everything else is left to the states because the people have the right, as Reagan said, "to vote with their feet". So if you don't like the laws or policies of one state, you can move to another. If I live in MA, and I don't like their health care plan, I can move. When the federal government does it, we are all stuck. The role of the federal government in promoting the general welfare has been perverted to mean by some that the government should have the power to regulate all areas of our lives for our own good. If you read the writings of our founders you will find that is light years away from what they meant.

  7. eRaz0r says:

    There are things that individuals can provide for themselves and things which are common goods shared between them.An individual cannot provide for national defense. Moreover, a defense force cannot rely on individual contributions to it, because National defense is indivisible. You can't reduce the amount of national defense granted to an individual based on their contribution. Similarly the shared environment in which we all live cannot be protected by rational individual actions. The results of the rational self-interest of each person sharing the commons will lead to its inevitable destruction (tragedy of the commons)Say you get a small group of interested parties together and decide between you that your shared commons need protecting from each members individual actions. Say you agree to impose fines on each other for over-grazing (in the original example). You do this because you want to protect your own long term interests.Guess what you did – you made a small governing body.. of the people.. by the people.. for the people. Imagine that.

  8. John White says:

    Why is it important for me as a person descended from slaves to place terminal importance on the ideals of the founding fathers, when those ideals didn't include freedom from slavery?

  9. John – Are you saying that because some of our founders did not recognize slavery as evil when our country was created that therefore the form of government, prosperity and liberty that they designed for us in our constitution is not worthy of following?

  10. John White says:

    I merely asked a question. The founders very clearly did NOT mean for me or my family to enjoy the benefits of prosperity and liberty. Why should I hold their beliefs as the touchstone for purity of value?

  11. Anonymous says:

    I just watched "The Story of Stuff" online. What a bunch of one-sided opinion filled with unsubstantiated statistics, percentages and propoganda. They really show this garbage in schools???!!!Keep up the good work!Uncle Bill

  12. John – you a silly, little shadow of a man. You are destined to live your life as a slave unless you take responsibility for YOURSELF. So full of excuses…..so sad….I pity you.

  13. Jamie – This post hit home for me in that I am VERY conscious of how, as a culture, we have removed personal responsibility from our daily lives. This is probably my number one bent right now. As a veteran, I have had the opportunity to observe true good, true evil, and true desperation. Americans are absolutely clueless to the larger world out there and how they fit into it. To help expand your military history knowledge for your next post… please read "The Savage Wars of Peace" by Max Boot. Also, e-mail on the way!

  14. Bullfrog117 says:

    @John White – I read your comments and I can't help thinking of the phrase "throwing out the baby with the dirty bath water"; meaning that you want to disregard all of the founding father's ideals because they weren't comprehensive enough. Has any act ever been completely and comprehensively good with no bad whatsoever? I don't believe that you're trying to say that we should not spend money on common defense and instead spend it on common welfare, but rather that common defense receives so much money while common welfare appears to receive so little. Am I accurate in my assessment? 😀

  15. Hi all, I love the good debate and comments. Keep them coming. Let's keep the arguments based on the issues and be careful not to make personal attacks. Thanks!

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