Greatest Hits: The American Spirit – Do We Still Have It?

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The American Spirit – Do We Still Have It? Jim challenged us to consider that very question. 

Have you noticed, when talking to people on any issue at all, how difficult it is to get a definitive answer as to where they stand? That little word BUT keeps getting in the way. Brian Wilson, writing for LewRockwell.Com,  has some insights into what people really mean when they use that word, BUT.  It’s a very humorous article and it’s not very long. so skip on over and give it a quick read then come back and we’ll talk about a more serious aspect of this phenomena.

[ ]

Okay. Was it worth a few chuckles? I certainly enjoyed it. There is one sentence in Brian’s article that caught my eye and gave me pause to think. Let’s look at it together:

It’s amazing how scared people are of Freedom but quite comfy with soft tyranny and incremental socialism.

Now that is a pretty sad commentary, isn’t it? People are scared of freedom yet they are comfortable with a little tyranny mixed with socialism. Those words “soft tyranny and incremental socialism” have haunted me for several days now. They seem to explain so much about the character of the American people today. It is not the same character that was responsible for creating this great nation; not even close. What has happened to what we once proudly refered to as the American Spirit?

In an excellent article by John Carey of  the Sentry Journal blog, he asks the question: “Do we even know what liberty is anymore?” When I read those haunting words of Brian Wilson, I immediately thought about John’s article. This is an article well worth reading. Referring to the attitude of Americans today, I left a comment for John saying that if Americans in the time when the United States was all East of the Mississippi had the same attitude of Americans today,  the West would never have been developed.

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Never has there been a time when people were more free than when the American West was developed.  Imagine that great expanse of unknown land where there was no city, state or, federal governments to tell people what they could or could not do. There was no social safety net. People were truly free to succeed or fail on their own merits. To me, these Americans personified what I refer to as the American Spirit.

Over time, of course, city, state and, federal governments came to the West.  And, with the governments came the ubiquitous restraints on individual freedoms. But the American spirit prevailed in spite of government’s interference.  In my opinion, this    ” can do” spirit of fierce independence continued to dominate the American character at least until the 70?s.

In the 70?s, the Great Society and War on Poverty programs began to take hold. This is when I believe things began to take a serious turn for the worse. Instead of taking responsibility for one’s own life, more and more people began to look to government to solve their problems. And how have these programs worked out? Do we have a bigger or lesser percentage of people earing their way and contributing taxes to support government? Do we have more or less people on welfare? Do we have more or less un-wed mothers?

For forty years now, this bureaucratic monster we call government has been growing faster and faster and demanding more and more to feed it. We are not producing enough to feed it. We have borrowed more and more to keep the monster satiated. We are facing the day of reckoning when we will not be able to find enough lenders to keep the monster fed.

There is a terrible dark cloud hanging over America and I am wondering if there is sufficient  American Spirit left to meet the challenge that faces us. I believe that those that still have the American Spirit burning in their souls are now a minority. So, my question to you, dear readers, is how do we rekindle this spirit in those that have lost or may never have had it? Without this spirit, America will no longer be America.

That’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

Original Post: Conservatives on Fire

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The American Spirit – Do We Still Have It?

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Have you noticed, when talking to people on any issue at all, how difficult it is to get a definitive answer as to where they stand? That little word BUT keeps getting in the way. Brian Wilson, writing for LewRockwell.Com,  has some insights into what people really mean when they use that word, BUT.  It’s a very humorous article and it’s not very long. so skip on over and give it a quick read then come back and we’ll talk about a more serious aspect of this phenomena.

[ ]

Okay. Was it worth a few chuckles? I certainly enjoyed it. There is one sentence in Brian’s article that caught my eye and gave me pause to think. Let’s look at it together:

It’s amazing how scared people are of Freedom but quite comfy with soft tyranny and incremental socialism.

Now that is a pretty sad commentary, isn’t it? People are scared of freedom yet they are comfortable with a little tyranny mixed with socialism. Those words “soft tyranny and incremental socialism” have haunted me for several days now. They seem to explain so much about the character of the American people today. It is not the same character that was responsible for creating this great nation; not even close. What has happened to what we once proudly refered to as the American Spirit?

In an excellent article by John Carey of  the Sentry Journal blog, he asks the question: “Do we even know what liberty is anymore?” When I read those haunting words of Brian Wilson, I immediately thought about John’s article. This is an article well worth reading. Referring to the attitude of Americans today, I left a comment for John saying that if Americans in the time when the United States was all East of the Mississippi had the same attitude of Americans today,  the West would never have been developed.

Never has there been a time when people were more free than when the American West was developed.  Imagine that great expanse of unknown land where there was no city, state or, federal governments to tell people what they could or could not do. There was no social safety net. People were truly free to succeed or fail on their own merits. To me, these Americans personified what I refer to as the American Spirit.

Over time, of course, city, state and, federal governments came to the West.  And, with the governments came the ubiquitous restraints on individual freedoms. But the American spirit prevailed in spite of government’s interference.  In my opinion, this    ” can do” spirit of fierce independence continued to dominate the American character at least until the 70?s.

In the 70?s, the Great Society and War on Poverty programs began to take hold. This is when I believe things began to take a serious turn for the worse. Instead of taking responsibility for one’s own life, more and more people began to look to government to solve their problems. And how have these programs worked out? Do we have a bigger or lesser percentage of people earing their way and contributing taxes to support government? Do we have more or less people on welfare? Do we have more or less un-wed mothers?

For forty years now, this bureaucratic monster we call government has been growing faster and faster and demanding more and more to feed it. We are not producing enough to feed it. We have borrowed more and more to keep the monster satiated. We are facing the day of reckoning when we will not be able to find enough lenders to keep the monster fed.

There is a terrible dark cloud hanging over America and I am wondering if there is sufficient  American Spirit left to meet the challenge that faces us. I believe that those that still have the American Spirit burning in their souls are now a minority. So, my question to you, dear readers, is how do we rekindle this spirit in those that have lost or may never have had it? Without this spirit, America will no longer be America.

That’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

Original Post: Conservatives on Fire

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The Inside Deal: Obama's Economic Program

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Democrat President Barack Obama’s economic programs can be best called “The Inside Deal.” There is a long history of ‘deals’ in our nation, where the government expands unconstitutionally into areas where it is not supposed to be and crowds out human freedom and industry. These deals all have cool names- Square Deal, New Deal, Fair Deal, Great Society- and as Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress have jammed through considerable changes in our nation over the last year, it is appropriate that we give a name to Obama’s economic policies. I hearby submit to the world that we call Obama’s economic programs “The Inside Deal.”

The Inside Deal is Democratic President Barack Obama’s domestic economic program and is characterized by extensive government spending for politically connected groups within American society. It is aimed to reward those groups that supported Obama’s campaign for the Presidency in 2010, such as labor unions, public employee unions, teachers unions, environmentalists, anti-war protesters, Wall Street, and big businesses. Some of the programs that were passed by the Democratic Congress at the time to reward these groups include the stimulus bill, the healthcare bill, and massive annual budgets.

Increasingly during the height of the Inside Deal, there is a link between who receives taxpayer money from the federal government and their political connections. Called by some crony capitalism, it is increasingly unpopular, and in the face of continuing recession in spite of (or because of) the massive deficits that marked the Inside Deal, this program was largely overturned by Republican Congressional majorities and Presidents from 2010-2020 (hopefully).

Hopefully someone will soon create a wikipedia article on this, describing Obama’s Inside Deal in more depth.

The first ‘deal’ that was made between government and America where citizens traded their rights and liberties for the promise of ‘progress’ was the Square Deal. The Square Deal was Republican President Theodore Roosevelt’s domestic program formed upon three basic ideas: conservation of natural resources, control of corporations, and consumer protection. Thus, it aimed at helping middle class citizens and involved attacking the plutocracy and trusts through rhetoric and expansions of federal power while at the same time protecting business from the extreme demands of the rising communists.

Democrat President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had The New Deal. This was a series of economic programs passed by Congress from 1933 to his reelection in 1936. The programs were responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call the “3 Rs”: relief, recovery and reform. That is, relief for the unemployed and poor; recovery of the economy to normal levels; and reform of the financial system to prevent a repeat depression. To see a list of some of the programs that comprise FDR’s New Deal, see my post 1930’s Are Root of All That is Wrong.

The next ‘deal’ was offered by Democrat President Harry Truman, who presented a 21 point program of domestic legislation outlining a series of proposed actions in the fields of economic development and social welfare, including the call for universal health care. But in the face of peace and rising prosperity, the country decided that it didn’t want to accept this deal, and the boom times of the 1950’s and 1960’s followed.

But Democrat Lyndon Johnson was inspired by the Fair Deal, and when he became President, he tried once again to make a deal between government and society whereby people would trade their individual rights and freedoms and liberties for some sense of ‘fairness’ in society. He called his ‘deal’ the Great Society. Two main goals of the Great Society social reforms were the elimination of poverty and racial injustice. New major spending programs that addressed education, medical care, urban problems, and transportation were launched during this period. The federal government has since spent trillions of dollars on these issues, and education, healthcare, urban areas, and transportation systems are now much worse today then they would have been if the federal government would not have stuck its nose into those areas and let human ingenuity and freedom and industry work unchained and untaxed.

Obama’s Inside Deal represents then just the latest in a long line of usurpation’s that have the goal of reducing our rights to life, liberty, and protection of property. Like our forefathers before, it is up to us to fight and overturn these injustices, least we be reduced to a state of tyranny.

Original Post: A Conservative Teacher

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