Tuesday, December 01, 2009

America Under Attack

What will become of America when Americans en masse begin to believe that government subsidies are an accepted parcel of American life? Some would argue that we are already there.

I believe that the health care bills currently being discussed would, if adopted, push us over the edge, for there is a sinister component to them that will create a relentless attack at the heart of an American principle on which this country was founded, and one that was stressed to me while I was growing up.

My parents were never rich, were never college educated, and were never the type of people that lived high on the hog. I would guess we would have been considered middle class by most measurements, though to reach that lofty stratus of livelihood my Dad worked six days a week most of the year, rarely took vacations, and had two jobs. He would still be working today at age 90 if his eyesight hadn't worsened to the point that he can no longer read or drive. My Mom worked in a hardware store from the time her youngest daughter (a whiner and an incessant crybaby if my childhood recollections are correct) entered Kindergarten, until she was well into her 70s.

This hard work and a strong dedication to family made my parents, according to some social engineers, members of a privileged class. This is hogwash of course, for we were never privileged beyond the point that my parents worked. My Dad worked as a farmer, a truck driver, a delivery man, a bus driver, a piano tuner, and a giver of unsolicited advice to his children. During my Mother's professional career she could have called herself a maid, a cook, a clerk, and an uncompensated giver of unsolicited advice to her children.

My parents never smoked, drank, went on strike, did drugs, owned a weekend home, went on elaborate vacations, or lived beyond their means. They never divorced, and, except for my younger sister whom I told she was adopted at the zoo, all of their children were born within wedlock. To my knowledge, other than the sporty Ford my Mom drives these days, they never owned a new vehicle in their adult lives, unless, of course, you consider being "new to them" really new. I admit it, my parents drove mostly crap cars during their adult lives, a family tradition I have been proud to carry on.

These are not the lives of the privileged, but rather the lives of the self-sufficient; people who did what they had to to get along while asking for no handouts from the government. America can survive, and has survived, because of people like my parents; people of wise disposition who live within their means and provide for themselves.

My parents do not understand how a country can continue to exist when it plans to spend trillions of dollars more than it has in the bank. They never could have done this in their home. They are not keen either on the idea of their country providing to people what they should provide, and can provide, on their own. This was not how they lived their lives.

Understand too that we are not talking about cold hearted brutes. They gave to charity, they gave to the church, and they even gave money to the GOP back in the day when Ronald Reagan managed to turn Americanism into something that Americans could be proud of. They taught me, in turn, that being self-sufficient means more than cutting the rope between myself and a dependence on government, it also means supporting others in need.

It is a tragedy that the current health care bills being discussed will force millions upon millions of people to enlist into a life of dependence on government for no other reason than bureaucrats want to control the process, and because of their enlistment, an integral portion of the American Experience will be expunged from the psyche of Americans.

Make no mistake, self-reliance is under attack, and therefore Americanism is under attack, for the two concepts are inseparable.

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