I never thought the federal government was supposed to provide me with everything I wanted, just by virtue of the fact that I didn't have it. As an adult, I always figured it was my responsibility to feed and clothe myself, raise my children, put a roof over my head, pay my utility bills, obtain money in exchange for work, purchase health insurance, get a cell phone, pay for college, etc. I also never thought the government was supposed to take most of my money if I worked hard and one day became successful.
I never considered any of these beliefs to be right wing, left wing, or middle of the road. In fact, I never considered them to be political at all. I thought America was supposed to be the land of opportunity, where success was actually encouraged and appreciated. That's what grows our economy and provides opportunities for others. This isn't a political belief either. It's common sense.
I thought Americans were supposed to be free to pursue their own happiness without undue interference from their own government. I'm sure I read that somewhere in a founding document.
I thought the above beliefs went without saying, that they were bedrock principles of our independent country. However, in certain circles, such as those in which my left-wing blogger pal Reverend runs, my beliefs are...I'll quote him to make sure I get the rhetoric right..."fueled by Tea rage", "Supply-side Voodoo", "fairy dust snorting stuff", "indifferent towards the poors" (link), "hyper-patriotic, states rights worshiping", "Deadbeat", about "regaining national power for the purpose of crippling domestic safety net programs and redistributing the "savings" to the 1%" (link), and about "waging a war against minorities or women or the poor". Apparently, according to the Reverend, my beliefs mean I think I am "the rightful owners of minorities", and I'm against that "dark skinned guy in the White House" (link). He was talking about Republicans, not me personally, but since I hold some of the same views about limited government, he actually is talking about me too.
Who knew my beliefs meant all that ? I sure didn't.
As per lefties like the Reverend, it boils down to is this - if you are against ANY expansion of the welfare state whatsoever (barring corporate welfare), if you oppose this leftist view of government as the candyman providing all our needs - you are a racist, corporate stooge who hates the poor and is working to enrich the top 1%, and never mind the fact that this country is drowning in debt and on a path to national bankruptcy. That is apparently...irrelevant ?
What's most interesting is that even if you are against a welfare state expansion that has never existed before in the 237 year history of this country (such as the Obamacare subsidies and Medicaid expansion), you are STILL a racist shill for the top 1% in left-wing eyes. I guess that means almost everybody who ever lived in America prior to the year 2014 is a racist shill for the top 1%, because they never put these Obamacare welfare expansions in place before, those lousy sob's. That's how quickly the left attempts to move the goal posts.
With all due respect to the leftists, before I go out and purchase my copy of Das Kapital, I have a few concerns:
If the government provides us with everything we need, why would we bother studying, working, and striving to improve ourselves ? What propels our society forward once we are taken from cradle to grave under Big Brother's caring wing ? The Reverend openly mocks values like self-reliance, industriousness, and individualism, but why ? Aren't they a lot better than dependence, laziness, and authoritarianism ? I always thought so. If we breed a society that looks to the government to fulfill it's every desire, what kind of society will that be ? If the government gives us a home, food, health care, free utilities, spending money, a cell phone, and anything else the left can dream up, what is left for us to do ? Will we work hard with the knowledge that if we do succeed, the government will simply take away our earnings via the exorbitant tax rates that must accompany a near universal welfare state ? That motivation is all wrong. It sends the wrong message and incentivizes mediocrity and failure. It we enable our citizenry to glide through life aimlessly, with a permanent welfare state supporting them basically forever, a lot of people will choose to glide through life. We end up with more and more people taking, and fewer and fewer people contributing. We create a permanent underclass that grows and grows. We don't create a middle class that way. We create an underclass. We kill the middle class that way, because the middle class was built upon a foundation of working for a living.
We have already seen what happens with left-wing socialist societies around the world. The communist states tried it first. Collosal failures and nightmare totalitarian regimes, every one. They imploded from within, or, like China, embraced the market economy and began to thrive (this is called a clue, leftists). Next were the quasi-socialist European states, and most of those are drowning in debt, stagnating under the tax burden, and failing to compete and grow. There are a few exceptions (temporarily), but not many. The experiment of big socialist government has largely ended in failure, and if you ask me, they will all ultimately fail if they don't change course and move away from socialism into something more sustainable.
There was one country that was different, and succeeded wildly, becoming the world's number one superpower. That is the United States of America. People came here from all over the world for the opportunities presented by our free country. That was no coincidence, but now we are falling into the same socialist trap that has ensnared so many others throughout history. We are deeply in debt, becoming more and more dependent, and we have no coherent plan for how to get out from under it. In fact, we are going deeper into debt and dependence by leaps and bounds now. Our economy is actually supported temporarily by debt, but that is the all-time loser mentality if I ever saw one. By definition, it cannot last, but many people are afraid to face up to it.
The government was never intended to be the candyman, and it can't be, because ultimately, the government is us. It's the people, and if we become mediocre and dependent, that's spells our doom. The candyman can't. It's one thing to provide a temporary safety net for people who hit the skids. We should also help those who are mentally or physically disabled. These are the marks of a compassionate society, but when the welfare state becomes universal, that marks the end of the America I knew, and marks the beginning of something else entirely. In my view, it marks the beginning of the end.
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