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Rights and Radicals in America

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Americans and our society, by and large progressives of both parties and independents, have become a wilting, withering mass of weak, needy cry-babies, who have departed far and away from the strength of back, intellect and character of America’s Founders, who created a system that none other has ever equaled. Rather than follow along the path that made America a strong, economically thriving and prosperous nation, many Americans, especially Millennials, pursue petty and paltry pleasures, as would a sloth and a glutton, and claim their slightest whim to be a “right”.
Some things like food, shelter, clothing, water and healthcare are critical to our life, however, they are not “rights”. Even if they were made rights, this would set in motion a confiscatory requirement to satisfy that right at the expense of others, much as America currently chafes against our current welfare system.
Just as many of us witnessed Tennessee’s House Democrats release a collection of fifty bills called “The People’s Bill of Rights” in February 2017, more and more, America hears a clamor from their progressive countrymen of all rank and file, for wants and desires to be provided through government funds, the taxpayers’ dollars. Now, not only do many across the nation demand healthcare as a right, they also demand a $15 per hour minimum wage and free university educations among other items.
In March, Chris Enloe [The Blaze] reported Senator Kamala Harris’s (D-CA) tweet, which stated: “Healthcare is a right, not a privilege.”
My good friend, retired U.S. Army Colonel Kurt Schlicter, editor for Townhall, tweeted back: “Guns are in the Bill of Rights, but they aren’t one [according to Democrats]. The right to have one pay for your healthcare is not [in the Bill of Rights], but it’s a right?”
In a study published by the Heritage Foundation, Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield detail in the ranks of America’s contemporary poor, that eighty percent have air-conditioning, fifty percent own a personal computer and can access the internet and two-thirds have cable TV. A household receiving $50,000 in welfare benefits is still considered poor, if its pre-welfare income falls below the poverty line, even though they are living, in many respects, better than the middle class of 1964.
According to Rector and Sheffield, our government has spent $22 trillion of U.S. taxpayer dollars fighting poverty, since 1964 and President Johnson’s Great Society. The study also documented and charted $1 trillion spent annually on 90 means-tested welfare programs.
Over one hundred years of Marxist propaganda, the kind found in President Woodrow Wilson’s treatise entitled ‘Constitutional Government in the United States’ and President Franklin Roosevelt’s 1944 ‘Second Bill of Rights’, seems to have done its mischief well. Arguing for corrupting the Constitution, Wilson saw it as a vessel to further the progressives’ agenda, while FDR viewed it as a means to assure equality, “economic security” and the pursuit of happiness. Wilson spoke of our rights as “privilege”, and FDR framed them as “political rights”.
Our rights are God-given and natural, and they exist simultaneously among all people. The rights of free speech, freedom of religion, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures — to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — are inalienable rights;and, they are not privileges to be granted or rescinded, in the manner some past presidents, Obama included, would transform them. And in the pursuit of “true individual freedom” through “economic security”, Roosevelt and Obama offered the antithesis of the right to one’s own private property.
A true right does not impose any obligation on another. One’s rights to free speech, religious liberty, self-defense and assembly. among others, impose no obligations on anyone else, except to allow each other to use these rights without interference.
Ayn Rand wrote in 1961; “If some men are entitled by right to the product of the work of others, it means that those others are deprived of rights and condemned to slave labor.”
Even if most Americans are willing to accept the theft of their labor, their wealth, to fund real healthcare, we already know that government is not a trustworthy guardian of such an enormous responsibility. What did America receive under Obamacare, other than $2 trillion more debt, the loss of doctors, a rise in premiums, a massive tax and a welfare law that contained 20 new taxes and a huge expansion of Medicaid? And so far, the Republican plan isn’t much better.
In the meantime, Americans rename privilege and benefits “their right”, while ignoring their own misguided lifestyle and poor choices. Too many Americans spend more than they save, and too many prefer the government security blanket over the pride of one’s own independence.
Some Americans bemoan the public corruption our country is suffering and the associated moral and constitutional crises. However, the country on the whole has failed to promote the values that would have prevented it. Corrupt leaders continue to advocate and implement measures that negatively impact businesses and families, that also limit individual liberty and true free-market capitalism, expanding government in the process.
Other Americans have become fanatics for their various causes. They are in the streets ironically, demanding their own demise, as they protest against their own self-determination and for ever more autocracy and authoritarianism. When they vote, they vote to enslave not only their fellow countrymen but themselves, however unwittingly. They accept the collectivization of rights, and soon they will accept the collectivization of property.
Friederich Hayek, author of ‘The Road to Serfdom’, puts this struggle in proper perspective: “Economics has from its origins been concerned with how an extended order of human interaction comes into existence through a process of variation, winnowing and sifting far surpassing our capacity to design … motivated by [our] needs and desires within the community.”
Sadly, this trend towards fascism, this malaise, has permeated the ranks of our country’s future leaders, our children, and it has left them with false expectations. Outside family, churches and communities, the marketplace is the vanguard for moral truths in a free market society, and positively influencing the community through clear decent and moral principles, Judeo-Christian principles, improves businesses and betters people’s lives. In asking the next generation to return to a true capitalist value-based society, America’s conservatives ask for something that has not existed in their lifetime, but it is necessary to avoid self-induced destruction, and to ask is righteous.
Freedom and moral truths and the strength of men’s will in a free society, unfettered by superfluous regulations, enabled America to succeed. They are the facilitators that fuel innovation, support free-thinkers and encourage people worldwide to become who they choose to be, not who the state demands they must be. When government guarantees equality and “economic security”, it suppresses creativity, ingenuity and reward systems that enable people and nations to grow and prosper. Have Americans learned nothing from history.

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Justin O Smith

Justin O. Smith has lived in Tennessee off and on most of his adult life, and he graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 1980, with a B.S. and a double major in International Relations and Cultural Geography – minors in Military Science and English, for what its worth. His real education started from that point on. Smith worked 8 years for the LaVergne Fire Dept – two years as their clean-up boy – and became a working fireman at age 16, working his way through college and subsequently joining the U.S. Army. Since then he primarily have contracted construction and traveled – spending quite a bit of time up and down the Columbia River Gorge, in the Puget Sound on Whidby Island and down around Ft. Lauderdale and South Beach. Justin currently writes a weekly column for The Rutherford Reader in Murfreesboro, TN, which he calls home and he spends as much time as possible with his two beautiful and intelligent daughters and five grandchildren. Justin Loves God, Family and Our Majestic and Wonderful America, and he is a Son of Liberty.

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