Odd Man Out
What hath we wrought? In a nation born of entrepreneurs, rugged individualism, and private property ownership rights, our ship of state has been boarded by pirates (born in the USA, not Somalia) and they now control the helm. He who values the correlation between hard work and realization of the American Dream has been thrown off the bridge. He is outside on the deck, looking in at the ship of fools. His world is upside down. He is the odd man out.
I had dinner in London this past week with an old friend. He is a good man, and hails from a family that have rested their heads in beds in the same house for over 900 years. Surely this is a man who understands tradition. In spite of being in a position where he could have rested upon the comfortable pillows of inheritance, he instead has had a successful career and made his own financial hay. ( I suppose there are those who would say he didn’t have his successful career by himself. It was no doubt due to the work of others that he succeeded.) In time he will return to his ancestral farm and make the hay more familiar to his forbears.
The gentleman is an Opine Needles reader, so he was very ready to discuss the American political scene. In my resolve to convey the myriad reasons we find ourselves at an American tipping point, I found myself feeling wholly unpersuasive. You see, the intrinsically inviolable rights I value so much as an American are very unique to us. So where I take umbrage at the notion that my earnings may be arbitrarily removed from me by authorities who deem it necessary to distribute them to those who don’t lift a finger to make their own way in the world, my friend from the UK is relaxed about such practices. His view is if taxes are necessary to support a welfare state, then so be it. His view is philosophically underpinned by the notion that things change, and one cannot simply expect what worked yesterday to apply today. Where I look with disdain at the increasingly invasive hand of government in my day to day life (with daily assaults on the private sector now the norm), my friend sees regulation as a natural result of an evolving society. Where I enter a near state of apoplexy over our deficit spending and the democrats’ incessant plaintiff wail that we need more tax revenue to pay for expenses we should not be incurring, he sees a necessary expense that must be paid for. The list goes on, but you no doubt get the point.
Well, I respect my friend. But at the end of the day, he is not an American. True, he married an American, and spent time working in the United States, but only an American can appreciate the depth of commitment (and vision) our founding fathers had to our right to pursue individual life, liberty (including religious liberty), property rights, and yes, happiness. And it is of no little consequences that these are inalienable rights.
So how is it that we have arrived at a place and in a time where an intelligent, successful, hard-working, patriotic, committed family man running for President is the underdog? And how is it that this man might lose the election to a man who has never had a job in the private sector and has spent the last 3 1/2 years working to destroy virtually everything unique and exceptional that we have built over the past 300+ years?
To suggest that the president is not an American is only incendiary and off target. But I can suggest that his actions very clearly indicate that he behaves in a distinctly un-American way. ( I can picture my liberal friends cringing.) Alas, I have written this before, but it merits repetition. I don’t doubt that Barack Hussein Obama loves his country. My point is that he does not love the country I love. He seethes with resentment and anger over the imperfections of our past, and simultaneously refuses to embrace all the admirable parts of the past that made us what we are today. (To all the haters out there, hear this; historic warts and all, we are still the greatest experiment in freedom ever experienced in the annals of man.) The ultimate irony may be that by merit of the fact that he now resides in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Mr. Obama should be the first to realize that we have overcome the worst of our legacy. His incessant attacks upon the best American attributes only undermine our exceptionalism and make the hard working American wonder aloud “who is this guy, and what planet did he come from? And when he was en route from that planet, what kind of spacecraft had enough room for his Attorney General Holder to accompany him?”
Concurrent with these endless attacks on the granite philosophical foundation supporting those principles which have made us a great country, we find ourselves enduring daily barrages from countless special interest groups. These assaults are hard to not take personally. Many hard working lower middle, middle, and upper middle class Americans are now de-sensitized to them. Everyone has a cause. Black this, Hispanic that, NOW this, Then that. Gay, lesbian, transgender this, physically or emotionally challenge that. Plaintiff attorney this, public union pension fund that. Occupy Wall Street this, Biden and Pelosi that. Get it? As Ricky Ricardo used to say, “Splain this” to me. Why is it right that there is a black caucus in the Houses of Congress? Why is that not racist? Richard Nixon (while no one’s poster child on how to lead a successful life) once spoke of the “silent majority”.He was talking about all those hard working Americans who get on with their lives every day without relying on others to pave their way. These Americans, by the way, are white, black, Hispanic, Asian, (purple and gold, for all I care), gay, lesbian, transgender, challenged, impaired, union, you name it. They love their country and they get up every day and go about their business. The vast majority of them do not need their color, creed, sexual preference, or impairments rammed down the nation’s throat every day.
So what indeed hath we wrought? I fear we have created an environment in which he (or she) with the biggest grievance (aided and abetted by our main stream media) wins. The countless grievances have a common denominator; there is rarely any accountability. The problems are always someone else’s fault. Someone else created them, and someone else better fix them. Somehow in the process of cultivating and perpetuating this blame-game society, the hard working traditional American has become lost in the shuffle. To not have a cause is now a disadvantage. To have worked hard and provided for one’s family is to have sucked the lifeblood from others. To be a traditional American is to be out of the mainstream; out of touch. To be one who eschews the blame game is to be the odd man out.
Thus we find ourselves at the oft-mentioned tipping point. The helm has been seized and if we do not take it back, our ship of state will continue to be steered into waters from which there is no return. Mitt Romney‘s (and our) problem is that based on the world the president and his minions see as the new normal, Mitt is the odd man out. Only you have the power to reverse the ship’s course. On election day, you can send a message to the world which proclaims for all to hear, “America is back!” Do that and the odd man out will be back inside (and at the helm) where he belongs.
A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.” (Milton Friedman)
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