Those patriots were committed to personal liberty, and to being free from the shackles of kings, queens, and other would-be dictators. So committed to these principles were 56 specific men, that they signed the Declaration of Independence despite their knowledge that the penalty for doing so might entail their death (several of the signers did die for their “crime”).
So, given that the freedom we know today was born out of great struggle, why is President Obama so ambivalent towards courageous, freedom-loving people who are struggling for their freedom in other countries? President Obama has said virtually nothing of substance about the Iranian citizens being killed by their government, as they speak out against a rigged election. And when Hondurans sought to uphold their nation’s Constitution and prevent their “President” from becoming a king or dictator, President Obama opposed them. And who could forget the hugging, back-slapping, and “brother” handshakes between President Obama and one of the most notorious dictators of our time, Hugo Chavez? What’s up with that?
And then there’s paragraph five, where the President wrote, “as long as some Americans still must struggle, none of us can be fully content. And as America comes ever closer to achieving the perfect Union our founders dreamed, that triumph -- that pride -- belongs to all of us.”
At the end of the message, the President made a pitch for American volunteerism, and in this paragraph he seems to be building-up to that pitch. But he also seems to be downplaying the significance of “struggle,” and assuming that it’s a bad thing if a person ever has to “struggle.”
I’m not suggesting that poverty is a good thing, or that I should allow myself to ignore my neighbor’s sufferings. But I know “struggle.” And “struggle” - the quest to better one’s self, to face risks, to become upwardly mobile, and so forth - is at the very essence of the American way of life.
Unfortunately, President Obama seems committed to ensuring that we all have a risk-free, struggle-free life. I suppose that’s why we’ve seen some people show up at Obama townhall events and, when given the rare opportunity to speak to the President, they ask Obama for a better job, or a new home, or a better kitchen, and so forth. Obama promises to “give things” to us, and some Americans, quite eager to avoid “struggle,” are ready to receive from him.
President Obama’s email is great, but I wish his policies were consistent with his rhetoric. I wish he understood that America’s “collective good” will not exist unless the liberty of the individual is secured, and that there is no liberty for those individuals who live under the reign of a dictator.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.