Thursday, September 2, 2010

Of Fish and Beacons

Today, I'm going to speak from the heart.
You, turn of the teleprompter.
No seriously, turn it off, I'm not going to use it today.

(I'm writing this free-form, no editing, other than fixing the spelling)
(no I'm not certain why today's rant turned into a political speech)

Let's get back to basics.

If you had to pick one single principle upon which this nation was founded, it would be the principle of self determination. A nation, born in blood and fire, fought a revolutionary war for this singular principle. The inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of property is fundamentally about the right of people to determine their own destiny. Sure, Jefferson wrote pursuit of happiness, but Locke and others from whom Jefferson cribbed spoke of property.

And not just a right of self determination, but an inalienable one. Whether one believes as the Christian Madison did that this right is a result of God's creation of man, or one believes as the Deist Jefferson did that it is simply a natural part of man's existence, or you conduct a rational basis as does the Militant Atheist who has perhaps read one too many treatises by Ayn Rand, the result is the same. A fundamental, inalienable right of self determination.

This singular principle is the one that has led this nation to greatness. It is this principle that caused Ronald Reagan to refer to these United States as a "shining beacon upon the hill". A beacon because it is a shining example to others, not an invitation to take the shininess part it out and redistribute it to the less-shiny.

Importantly, it is a path, not a destination. You have the right to try, but you also have the right to fail along the way. And just as importantly, if you do fail, the right to get up, dust yourself off, and try again.

Aye, we have stumbled along the way. That principle conveniently didn't apply to darker skinned folk in half the country at the founding. We solved that with another bloody war (the bloodiest in our history). But here is the important part, so important that the government education system goes to great lengths to hide it. While it is true that many in the North saw that war as a principled war to bring self determination to the slaves, almost everyone fighting on the other side saw it as defending their own right of self determination and self government.
After all, hardly anybody down there actually owned any slaves; that was a rich land-owner's pastime. Then as now, the rich could be a convenient excuse.

We stumbled again in WWII when we rounded up Americans and placed them in camps due to their ethnicity and descent. And though we didn't learn directly from that experience, Eichman and his buddies showed the entire world where that path leads.

But perhaps our greatest stumble along the path towards greatness was the implementation of the "Great Society" after the assassination of J.F.K.

Where the liberal sees giving people who are down and out a helping hand, the Libertarian sees people enslaved by a culture of dependency.

Consider the well trod parable of teaching a man to fish:

Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.

-What happens though, when you give a man a fish, and tell him that if he goes fishing you are going to take the fish away from him?

-What happens when you incentivize him to not provide for himself and his family?

-What happens when you use government policy to make it materially harder for him to even buy the tools to go fishing?

Because that is what we have done with the entitlements and entitlement mentality of Johnson's great society.

What you have done, is robbed him of his self determination, and of his pride and of his honor.

It is a fundamental law of nature that you cannot keep people from falling through the cracks using the force of government because every time you do that you make the cracks bigger and trap more people. That means that government is not the solution. The government is never the solution. The solution is to pave over the cracks. If someone needs a hand, you give them a hand up, not a handout, and under no circumstances whatsoever should you let the government ever be involved.

That means that the liberals in congress and holding the presidency must be fought tooth and nail and inch by inch. Not just no, but Hell NO! Because every single item on their agenda is the antithesis of self determination. It's not about leading by example and inspiring others to follow, but about spreading the shiny, and making the whole world a dimmer place as a result.

At some point you have to draw a line in the sand and say, no more, not a mile, not a yard, not an inch. Ask any Army infantryman and they will tell you that when you are pressed you win by taking up a defensive position and letting the enemy throw themselves against your
fortifications until they are weakened to the point where you attack their heart with maneuver and determination. Ask a Marine rifleman and they will tell you the same thing. Heck, ask any Marine, as we all know that every Marine is a riflemen first.

When pressed you fall back, regroup, then attack. And now is our time to attack. Now is the time to say: No more government programs that only enslave the people in a culture of dependency. No more government programs that only serve the interests of fat-cat bureaucrats. No more
government bailouts of failed policies. No more unconstitutional government mandates. No more.

It is time to once again elevate that principle that Jefferson so proudly elevated above all others as the most righteous reason to fight oppression in his time. It is time to once again say that
self-determination is the fundamental right, and that allowing people to pursue their own destiny, and succeed or fail on their own merits, is not only the right thing to do, but the only way out of the economic malaise we have found ourselves in.

It is time. Time to make this nation great again, not only as a shining beacon to others, but as a true land of opportunity for those already here.

Thank you, and good night.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said Mark.

Kelly C.